Covid-19 update 20.5.20

Dear all

Thank you to residents who’ve kindly responded to the request for volunteers to help keep the seafront tidy. I met with the brilliant local Surfers Against Sewage today about how the city council along with people like Surfers can work to keep the beach and seafront tidy. I will be following this up with a series of questions for council officials too.

We (safely and appropriately) helped with the community plant and dig in Norfolk Square last night.

We continue to receive queries on accessing dental care- Healthwatch have produced guidance below and the sorts of care you may, in the circumstances, be able to provide for yourself at home is attached too.

Work is ongoing on the economic recovery for the city- there will be a public committee next week (webcast with Councillors attending virtually) which will examine this. Keep an eye here for the agenda as it goes live over the next few days.

A number of you have inquired about the quantities of confirmed positive Covid-19 cases the city has and indeed how many people have, very sadly, died from the pandemic. The information below has been provided by officials from public health. As ever we have been pushing for as much clarity on the many different aspects of the numbers here, as well as continuing to press for action on protective equipment and contact tracing in the city.  

Please find the city council briefing below.

We will answer your queries just as soon as we can. If you are self-isolating and need shopping or a prescription delivered or just a chat on the phone, both Hannah and I are more than happy to help. If you have a neighbour who would like to be added to these emails please drop me a line.

Please continue to exercise safe social distancing and, above all, stay safe!

Yours sincerely


Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Official Opposition

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Opposition Spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee

Member of the Tourism Development and Culture Committee and Planning Committee

Greater Brighton Economic Board, Strategic Delivery Board, Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited, Representative to the Local Government Association

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ


Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           4:30pm Wednesday 20 May 2020

Briefing number:     52

Queries about this briefing can be sent to:            

Click here to view today’s briefing online.

Special Policy & Resources Committee meeting

Next Thursday 27 May, a Special Policy & Resources Committee meeting will take place via Skype to consider a number of key reports.  This briefing will outline some of those reports and provide links for further reading.

Covid-19 – Financial Position Statement

Members of the Policy & Resources committee will be asked to note a report updating the council’s financial position as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Included in the report is information about:

  • Costs and losses to the council in response to the pandemic
  • Business rates information
  • The processing of grants to businesses in the city
  • Other Covid-19 government support.

You can find the report being presented to committee on the council’s website.

Personal Protective Equipment expenditure

Councillors will be asked to consider a report into Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) expenditure during the Covid-19 pandemic and into the future.

The report gives details on the current services requiring PPE through the council as well as the number of items of PPE being distributed in April and May of this year.  It also states that the need for PPE is likely to become ‘business as usual’ for the next 12-18 months.

More information on this report can be found on the council website.

Remote council meetings and use of Urgency Powers

In March, the Policy & Resources Committee agreed arrangements for democratic decision making during the Covid-19 pandemic.  In April, new regulations were made to allow the council to hold virtual meetings. 

Councillors will next week be asked to consider proposals which include:

Allowing the resumption of a number of council working groups remotely

Allow all Committee and Sub-Committee meetings to take place with remote attendance by members, the public and press.

You can find more information on the council’s website.

More information

More information about next week’s Special Policy and Resources Committee meeting can be found on the council’s website.

Read our news story about embracing digital democracy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Council meetings are webcast live and recorded to watch at a later date.  Details of which can be found on the website.

You can also access the full calendar of council meetings.

Dentistry: access and home care advice Non-urgent dental activity has stopped in line with social distancing requirements. You can still access dental care and should in the first instance contact the practice you are registered with – if you are not registered with a dental practice then you can contact any practice which is near to you. A summary of the key points is included below.  We have also attached some advice about how to deliver self-care for common dental issues such as toothache, wisdom teeth pain, ulcers, lost crowns and knocked-out teeth. A detailed Healthwatch guide to accessing dentists is available by clicking here KEY POINTS ABOUT ACCESSING DENTAL TREATMENT * Patients can still contact a dentist if they require medical help. Contact the dental practice you are registered with first, but you can also contact any practice which is near to your home. You can find the contact details for a local dentist by entering your postcode in the search facility. * Face to face dental appointments have mostly stopped, but dental practices have replaced these with telephone consultations. * Dentists can still prescribe medications such as pain relief and antibiotics for a suspected infection where appropriate. * If a dentist thinks you need to be seen for urgent treatment, they will make a referral to one of the new Urgent Dental Care Hubs. Please note that you cannot self-refer to one of these Hubs. The range of symptoms being offered is limited to very severe dental conditions. * You can still be referred to a Hub for urgent dental treatment if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are vulnerable or shielding, although you will be seen at dedicated sites only. * Some Hubs are based outside of Brighton, but support is available to help you travel to these sites. * It is possible that you may not be treated at a Hub if your condition is not deemed serious enough and you may be referred by your dentist to a pharmacy to privately purchase home dental kits, for example a temporary tooth repair filling. If you experience any difficulties in obtaining dental care please get in touch

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