Covid-19 update 14.5.20

Dear all

I proposed changes (attached) to the transport plan for the city at today’s urgency committee about bringing in new measures to expand space for outside exercise, walking and cycling in Brighton and Hove. Those measures will provide a strong response to help the city recover with wider pavements, more access for people on the A259 (the seafront road) and will help small traders. We were able to convince Labour to support it to get through. Many of you have approached us during lockdown about the problems of us all wanting to have safe social distance and the city’s transport plan will now enable us to do that. It’s far from over and we are happy to continue banging the drum to have more space for all of us to get out for our exercise.

Some of you will already have received the community newsletter from the city council and a number of the city’s community and voluntary sector groups. I am looking for kind volunteers to help deliver the rest. Drop me a line if you’re fit and healthy and fancy it.  

You may recall that we have been calling for weeks- since 30th April- for the city’s waste sites (tips!) to be reopened mainly because it was seeing a lot of people burning rubbish and increasing air pollution. We are glad to see that the council is now reopening them but please note the very tight restrictions. This follows waste centres around the country being inundated so please only go if you absolutely must. Both Brighton and Hove will reopen as of Monday at 10AM.

Please note East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are having a consultation about the future of the service. You can make comments here.  

We have raised massive concerns about the consultation which will cut appliances and jobs and have said the timing of the consultation-during a global pandemic- is not right!

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, or you want to be removed please drop me a line.

Please continue to stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

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

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

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:                           3:45pm Thursday 14 May 2020

Briefing number:     49

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online

Full council meeting virtually

The meeting is available to view via the council’s website where you can also find the meeting’s agenda.

During the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Brighton & Hove City Council has been holding meetings virtually in order to continue with day-to-day business while continuing to be held accountable to residents.

You can read more about how the council is embracing ‘digital democracy’ in our newsroom.

Mayor Making 2020

Cllr Alan Robins will become the Mayor of Brighton & Hove when he is elected by fellow councillors at the Annual Council Meeting later today.

Covid-19 update 13.5.20

Dear all

Many of you have approached us during lockdown about the problems of us all wanting to have safe social distance. Further to winning proposals at Policy and Resources committee on 30th April to get the city to spend resources helping us all keep safe social distance, further details on what will be proposed for the city come to committee tomorrow- detailed in the city briefing below. I don’t believe that report goes as far as we need and am trying to have the report amended to incorporate many of the issues you have raised with us including:

  • Changes to the seafront road, the A259- for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists 
  • Footway widening for pedestrians

This will incorporate many of your concerns around more space for safe social distancing.

Please also find the briefing from Brighton and Hove bus company beneath the update which is about their escalation in bus services.

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, or you want to be removed please drop me a line.

Please stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

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

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

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:                           4:45pm Wednesday 13 May 2020

Briefing number:     48

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online

This briefing’s theme is transport in the city

Councillors to consider transport action plan tomorrow

Councillors will tomorrow, Thursday 14 May, be asked to approve a transport action plan designed to support the city in its short, medium and long term recovery from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Read more on our newsroom

Temporary cycle lane for Old Shoreham Road

Work has taken place to create a new temporary cycle lane on the A270 Old Shoreham Road, freeing up space for cyclists in response to government guidance on physical distancing and changes to how people are currently travelling around the city.

The cycle lane has been painted in both directions from its junction with Hangleton Road in west Hove, to The Drive, where it meets with the existing cycle lane network.  The new cycle lane will be approximately 1.7 miles in length, 3.4 miles in total. 

The council has already closed Madeira Drive to motor vehicles as part of this reallocating of road space.

Read more about the temporary Old Shoreham Road cycle lane on our website

Valley Gardens and Shelter Hall work continues

During the pandemic, work has continued on some major projects in the city.

Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee Anne Pissaridou said: “Work has progressed on a number of projects, including Valley Gardens and Shelter Hall, with physical distancing measures in place and regular risk assessments carried out to protect our workforce. 

“At Valley Gardens, reduced traffic has meant teams have been able to continue with road and footway resurfacing, tree planting and landscaping.  The last of the new streetlights have been installed and most of the signal junctions have been completed. 

“At Shelter Hall, work is continuing on the building itself while reduced traffic has meant good progress is being made on the A259/West Street junction, with support from the Churchill Square Shopping Centre.” 

“I’m pleased we have been able to continue with these vital projects at such a challenging time for our workforce.”

Read councillor Anne Pissaridou’s open letter on A Positive Future for Valley Gardens.

Respecting those helping to keep our city moving

While many of us are getting used to working from home, the council still needs to have staff working in our communities to ensure we are kept safe and that roads and highways are accessible for those people and services who need them most.

Street lighting teams have been repairing broken or damaged street lights, work has been continuing to keep roads safe and clear and local bus companies have been adjusting timetables so that essential workers can still make key journeys.

Please respect those who are working to keep our city moving.

Help to get the information out to the city

The council has produced these graphics highlighting support available in the city. Please share on your social media platforms to help the information reach residents.

(Social media text for awareness about transport action plan)

Councillors will tomorrow, Thursday 14 May, be asked to approve a transport action plan designed to support the city in its short, medium and long term recovery from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.  Read more:  https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2020/council-consider-transport-action-plan

(Social media text for awareness about Old Shoreham Road cycle lane)

A new temporary cycle lane has been created on the A270 Old Shoreham Road, freeing up space for cyclists in response to government guidance on physical distancing and changes to how people are currently travelling around the city.  https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2020/new-temporary-cycle-lane-a270-old-shoreham-road

Phased escalation in bus service levels across the city in line with government guidance for social distancing

From Monday 18th May 2020 Brighton & Hove Buses are increasing service levels on routes 1, 1A, 12, 12A, 24, 26 & 49 to continue to enable physical distancing. Routes 2, 25 & 46 have also been revised. Plus, there will be some timing changes on route 27 in response to passenger feedback.

Our new timetables form part of a phased escalation in services that are in line with government guidelines around social distancing on buses. Our aim is to help keep passengers and drivers as safe as possible. Details of further phases will be announced shortly.

There is also a continued focus on maintaining early morning bus services for key workers, particularly those bus routes serving hospitals. To help with essential journey planning, you can find detailed timetables here.

Martin Harris, Managing Director of Brighton & Hove Buses said “These changes are a result of our close monitoring of bus usage and listening to passenger feedback. We want to ensure our buses are safe and comfortable for key workers, those making necessary journeys and our drivers.”

The company is continuing to encourage passengers to observe physical distancing at bus stops and on the bus. When boarding the bus, passengers are encouraged to pay by contactless, scratch cards or mobile phone to help minimise contact. If paying by cash, please use the exact change where possible as drivers are not providing change at this is time. It’s also important to observe on bus information designed to help with physical distancing. 

Meanwhile, the bus company is maintaining an enhanced cleaning schedule, including deep cleaning and en route cleaning throughout the day. Drivers, cleaners and all other bus workers use PPE to help keep passengers and drivers safe.

Covid-19 update 12.5.20

Dear all

I send out a daily email at the moment on the Covid-19 pandemic- I’ve recently added a number of residents who have been in touch recently. The information below ‘City Briefing’ relates to what the city council has been doing. You can of course ask to be removed from these emails at any time.

We have been lobbying for public toilets to be re-opened since the decision was made to close them, unilaterally with no consultation with us- despite us having a public toilet in our ward. The decision has doubled the isolation felt by many who couldn’t leave the house for fear of being caught short. So we were glad to see that yesterday, the council has reversed the decision and is opening 12 of the 37 public toilets.

Our work on supporting small businesses and the local economy continues and we have raised concerns about gaps in the government job retention scheme. In response to the confusing recorded speech from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Sunday night, we have raised concerns that it will grow the pandemic. While we have called the government guidance for pupils returning to schools “reckless and dangerous”. We have also reiterated our message which we sent out after the prime minister’s speech that people in the city should continue to stay at home. And reminding anyone thinking of coming to our wonderful city not to, as it’s still not safe. Councillors approved a temporary cycle lane extension on the Old Shoreham Road- effective as of yesterday morning- as part of the response for more space for safe social distancing. Another report will address more detail about widened pavements and pedestrian priority areas to allow jogging and walking. We will of course keep pushing for the necessary support for the neighbourhood.

Please find today’s city council update 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 stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

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

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

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:                           5.05pm Tuesday 12 May 2020

Briefing number:     47

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online

This briefing’s theme is support for vulnerable residents

Help for those experiencing domestic abuse

Councillor Clare Moonan, chair of health and wellbeing board, talks about support available for people in need and those at risk of abuse.

Read the full statement on our council newsroom

At home shouldn’t mean at risk

This is a worrying time for us all, but particularly for adults and children living with domestic violence, or who have experienced stalking or sexual abuse. Risks will be heightened and you may be feeling that you are trapped or that your mental health is suffering as a result of isolation.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, isolation rules do not apply. Police response and support services remain available to help and advise you.

If you have been affected by domestic or sexual abuse and violence you can talk to someone and get support from:

  • The Portal freephone 0300 323 9985
  • National Domestic Violence 24hr helpline 0808 2000 247
  • In an emergency call 999

If it is not safe for you to speak to the police you can use the Silent Solution system – call 999, and if you don’t speak you will be diverted to an automated system. You can then press 55 to be transferred to the local police.

If you think you are experiencing any type of abuse, it is important to remember that it is not your fault and that there is support available. Speaking to someone about what you are going through can help you to feel less alone and can support you in understanding your options. You can speak to a colleague, your GP, a teacher, or any other trusted professional.

Exploitation must be reported to the police

People can be tricked into situations where they are bought, sold, abused, and exploited in many different ways including: sexual exploitation, forced labour, street crime or domestic servitude.

The COVID-19 pandemic is heightening the risks for those that are being exploited.  

If this is happening to you, or you know it is happening to someone else, contact Sussex Police online or by calling 101. Please call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

Protecting vulnerable adults and children

Safeguarding means protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect. This can happen in different ways, and can be perpetrated by anyone. This might be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. Abuse is always wrong.

If you see something, are told something, or something doesn’t feel right – you need to report it.

You can report your concerns to adult social care services, through Access Point:
www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/adult-social-care
01273 295555 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm)

If you are worried about a child, contact the Front Door for Families:
www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/front-door-families
01273 290400 (Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and Friday until 4.30pm)

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse can take a lot of different forms, for instance someone who:

  • Makes you hand over control of your accounts
  • Asks for money to buy shopping or pay bills and doesn’t do it
  • Takes out credit cards or loans in your name.

It can come from a partner, or from other relationships, such as family members, friends and carers and can take away confidence and leave you feeling isolated.

You can find more information about financial abuse and where to go for support on the Money Advice Service website.

Organisations that exist to also provide advice and support on financial abuse include the Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Adults Board.

Spotting scams

During the coronavirus pandemic there has been a rise in scams seeking to exploit people’s anxiety and uncertainty over COVID-19.

These include:

  • Telephone ‘cold calls’ claiming to be arranging distribution of face masks and hand sanitiser to the ‘over 50s’ and then asking for payment
  • Doorstep selling of ‘anti-virus kits’
  • Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments or hand over their bank details

We have put together useful advice from our trading standards team detailing the types of scams currently out there and what to do if you are contacted.

There is also advice for vulnerable people on our ‘how to stay safe at home’ web page which includes how to protect yourself from fraud and keep your money safe.

We are alerting families to a free school meals email scam and businesses to potential scams when they are applying for small business grants or rate relief.

Help to get the information out to the city

The council has produced these graphics highlighting support available in the city. Please share on your social media platforms to help the information reach residents.

(Social media text for stay at home shouldn’t mean at risk)

At home shouldn’t mean at risk. If you or someone you know is suffering from #DomesticAbuse isolation rules do not apply. Police response and support services remain available.

Find local support at @SussexPortal

Or call 999 if you are in immediate danger #YouAreNotAlone

Covid-19 update 11.5.20

Dear all

In response to the confusing recorded speech from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, last night, we have been clear that we believe the move could lead to higher contraction of the pandemic and lives lost. As such we would defend workers’ rights to refuse to work in unsafe conditions https://www.brightonhovegreens.org/2020/05/11/greens-defend-workers-rights-to-refuse-to-work-in-unsafe-conditions/

We have also reiterated our message which we sent out after the prime minister’s speech that people in the city should continue to stay at home. And reminding anyone thinking of coming to our wonderful city not to, as it’s still not safe.

You may have caught that late on Thursday Councillors approved the decision to create a temporary cycle lane extension on the Old Shoreham Road- effective as of this morning- as part of the response for more space for safe social distancing. Another report will now start detail more of the detail about widened pavements and pedestrian priority areas to allow jogging and walking.  

Please also find an update from the Clinical Commissioning Group- the local NHS for some services.

Please find today’s update 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, or you want to be removed please drop me a line.

Please stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

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

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

01273 291357

Twitter @phelimmac

Yours sincerely

Phélim

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

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

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:                           6.05pm Monday 11 May 2020

Briefing number:     46

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online

This briefing’s theme is a response to the changes in coronavirus restrictions

Concerns about an influx of visitors

Cllr Nancy Platts, leader of the council, gave an immediate response to the Prime Minister’s announcements yesterday calling on visitors to stay away from the city to give space for residents to maintain physical distancing.

This statement is also available online

Government advice on the changes starting on Wednesday

The government website has been updated with questions and answers about what people will be allowed to do and what is still prohibited from Wednesday.

Help to get the information out to the city

The council has produced these graphics highlighting support available in the city. Please share on your social media platforms to help the information reach residents.

The advice remains to stay at home as much as possible and follow the guidance on what is an essential trip out.

When you do go out:
keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart

#stayhomesavelives

About this daily briefing

This briefing is sent out daily on weekdays to share the latest actions being taken in response to Covid-19.

These daily briefings also include information and updates from across the council and partner organisations in Brighton & Hove.

Each day we will also give a summary of information available for a key issue affecting people in the city during the pandemic.

The latest briefing will be published online soon after you are sent it. This is the link for sharing

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) is on our website

Additional briefings will be sent at other times if information needs to be shared urgently.

If the daily early evening Downing Street announcement requires major service changes to be made locally, this will be communicated as soon as possible. Updates will usually follow the next working day when changes are agreed.

Government guidance and announcements are available from the government website.

Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC
Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

Covid-19 update 1.5.20

Dear all

Your council update is below.

Thank you for all of the things you are doing in the neighbourhood to help our community withstand the crisis.

It’s another week where we have continued to raise questions with health and council officials for answers on personal protective equipment (PPE), tests and care homes. It has been exasperating to watch the crisis unfold when we raised serious concerns with government 6, 7, 8 weeks ago.

At the start of the week I co-signed a letter to government ministers with the other political leaders on the council to push for much more PPE and sustainable chains of supply. One of the key issues is that we get supplies for only a few days at a time from government, which is leaving us unable to effectively use what resources we get and plan.

For the formally constituted groups in this mailing, the application form for The Police Property Act Fund is attached. The fund aims to support charities and voluntary and community organisations working to keep communities safe and feeling safe- applications can be up to £500. I can’t see a deadline but can chase queries and help with applications.

Further to pushing for the expansion for space for walking, outdoor exercise and cycling, we won the argument at yesterday’s committee, here’s our press release https://www.brightonhovegreens.org/2020/05/01/keep-toxic-emissions-low-and-expand-space-for-walking-outdoor-exercise-and-cycling-to-support-residents-now-and-in-future/

Brighton and Hove Buses have compiled information https://www.buses.co.uk/communitysupport

There are FAQs on Covid from the Clinical Commissioning Group attached. You may be aware there is some concern that people, understandably, have been reluctant to attend hospital etc, please see the updates from Healthwatch 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.  

Whether or not we have passed the ‘peak period’ or not, please, continue to stay safe.

Yours sincerely

Phélim

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

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

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 Friday 1 May 2020

Briefing number:     41

Contact:                      Queries about this briefing can be sent to:

news@brighton-hove.gov.uk                

Overview

This briefing is sent out daily on weekdays to share the latest actions being taken in response to Covid-19 coronavirus.

These daily briefings include the latest information from across the council and partner organisations in Brighton & Hove.

The latest briefing will be published online soon after you are sent it. This is the link for sharing

Additional briefings will be sent at other times if information needs to be shared urgently.

If the daily early evening Downing Street announcement requires major service changes to be made locally, this will be communicated as soon as possible. Updates will usually follow the next working day when changes are agreed.

Government guidance and announcements are available from the government website.

Council newsroom

This briefing contains information directly related to the response to Covid-19. For an overview of all council updates, please visit our newsroom on the council website.

In this briefing

  • Service changes
  • Keep your distance, protect the NHS, save lives
  • Covid-19 City Recovery Programme
  • Join in with our meerkat hunt on your daily exercise
  • Update on small business grants
  • Protect our street cleaning team – dispose of used PPE at home
  • Helping people get support in the city
  • Celebrating Nature2020 at home!
  • Take part in University College London’s Covid-19 research

Service changes

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.

Keep your distance, protect the NHS, save lives

As the lockdown continues Alistair Hill, Brighton & Hove’s director of public health, describes how important it is that everyone keeps to the restrictions to protect key workers and vulnerable people.

The latest figures suggest that more people have been going out to open spaces like parks and the seafront, and to shops. In some cases, people are not keeping at least two metres apart, increasing the spread of Covid-19 which is highly infectious. 

On behalf of all health and care staff, please play your part in the fight to save lives.

Read the full story in our newsroom.

Covid-19 City Recovery Programme

Yesterday’s Policy & Resources Committee agreed to establish the Covid-19 City Recovery Programme to help prepare and steer the council and the city through the recovery phase of the pandemic.

The Recovery Programme will aim to build a solid foundation for the city, so that Brighton & Hove has the best opportunity to emerge as a healthier and more sustainable city, through a three-staged programme.

We’ll also be setting up a five-member Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-Committee, chaired by the council leader, to focus on the programme and make decisions quickly.

We’ll be working with businesses and communities across the city, including Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, the universities and the NHS.

You can read the full story in our newsroom.

Join in with our meerkat hunt

Children (and parents!) across Brighton & Hove are being given the chance to add a little more fun and adventure to their daily exercise outing.
 
The council is looking for nursery and school children across the city to take part in a new meerkat trail and scavenger hunt while out walking, scooting or cycling as part of their once-a-day exercise routine.

More details about how to take part and a link for printing off your meerkat can be found in our newsroom.

Small business grants

We’ve been working hard to reach out to eligible businesses to arrange payment of small business grants. As a result, we’ve already paid more than £42 million to nearly 3,000 small businesses.

We estimate there are around 1,000 eligible businesses who have yet to get in touch. We are proactively making contact with businesses, but if you run a small business or know of a business that might qualify, please ask them to contact us by sending their details through our secure online Covid business support portal.  

While applications where we need to double-check records are taking longer to process, we are treating the payment of these grants as a priority to ensure small businesses benefit as soon as possible.

Businesses can also check what financial support they are entitled to using the government’s online financial support checker.

Protect our street cleaning team – dispose of PPE at home

We’re sending out a reminder about the need to dispose of used gloves, masks, other PPE and tissues double-bagged in your waste at home.

To protect our street cleaning team and everyone else from infection, please do not dispose of any of these items in the city’s litter bins.

We are still seeing these being put into litter bins – please be mindful of our staff working hard to keep the city tidy. We’d like to thank our street cleaning team for the excellent job they’re doing helping to keep residents safe from infection.

Please follow government advice on safe disposal:

Read the latest Covid-19 waste and recycling service updates.

Helping people get support in the city

If you know someone is finding things tough right now, whether it’s food, money, wellbeing or loneliness, they can search for support on the Covid Brighton & Hove help directory.

Vulnerable people who have no-one who can help them at the moment can also request additional Covid-19 related support, including emergency food bank referrals, shopping and medicine collection by contacting the council’s community advice and support hub.

Celebrating Nature2020 at home!

The Living Coast team have been really boosted to hear how residents in the Round Hill area of Brighton got creative so they were still able to celebrate Nature2020 despite the current lockdown.

Nature2020 was planned to be a year-long programme of events marking the UN Decade of Biodiversity. Unfortunately, with the exception of the City Nature Challenge, all events scheduled in the spring and early summer have been cancelled or postponed.

The Round Hill residents haven’t let the lockdown stop them from celebrating biodiversity in the Biosphere and on our doorsteps. 

You can see more details and photos on the Living Coast website.

Take part in Covid-19 research

University College London is running a study into the psychological and social effects of Covid-19 in the UK.

The results are being used to understand the effects of the virus and social distancing measures on mental health and loneliness in the UK and to inform government advice and decisions.

We’re looking for adults in UK who are happy to take part and spread the word about the study. Participation involves answering a 10-minute online survey now and then answering a shorter follow-up survey once a week whilst social isolation measures are in place.

To take part, visit the Covid-19 Social Study UK website.

Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC
Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

Covid-19: Healthwatch update

We are hope you are all keeping well. This week’s briefing includes information on the work we have been doing to support the NHS ‘Open as Usual’ campaign, and the results from issues we have escalated including PPE and access to GPs for the d/Deaf community. We have included updates on the government’s testing programme and local data on new Covid-19 cases

Your Healthwatch

Recent press releases

(1) NHS ‘Open for Business’ campaign

This week the NHS launched its ‘Open for Business’ campaign to encourage people with urgent medical needs to visit their GP, A&E or other health professional. Healthwatch issued a press release encouraging anyone to access NHS services for non-coronavirus medical issues where they have an urgent medical need or have been instructed to. 

The focus of the NHS over the last six weeks has rightly been on preventing the spread of Covid-19 and treating those affected by the virus, but it is now clear that thousands of people who might normally have gone to their GP, dentist or their A&E department have not attended. There is now a concern that for some of those who are not seeking early help for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and mental health issues, they will experience poorer health and that their conditions may be more difficult to treat. You can read more on our website.

Over the coming weeks, we will be working with the CCG, key health officials and colleagues across other Healthwatch teams in Sussex to deliver targeted messaging to higher risk groups.  Look out for further information from us on this.

(2) Basic amenities for all

Last Friday evening, Healthwatch issued a press release raising concerns that some people in Brighton and Hove had no access to water, sanitation and washing facilities. We welcomed the Council’s engagement and response to our concerns. Following this, yesterday the government announced new guidance to mitigate impacts on Gypsy and Traveller communities.

An update on our work

(1) PPE for carers

Yesterday, the Council launched a new online form to allow carers to apply for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Applications can be submitted where the care is unpaid, provided through a care agency, funded through direct payments from the council, privately funded by the person receiving care or provided in the person’s own home. Healthwatch has been liaising closely with the Council and CCG over the issue of PPE and are pleased that this new facility is available. We continue to ask for clarification on some aspects of this service. We would like to express our thanks to one of our Healthwatch volunteers for bringing this to our attention and their help in pushing this important issue forward – proof that together we really can deliver improvements to the health system for everyone. We would also like to congratulate the Council and CCG for introducing this facility.

In addition, from 1 May, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.

(2) GPs services offering services for deaf

From this week, d/Deaf people across Sussex will benefit from a new Video Relay Service (VRS), which has gone live in all GP practices and offers telephone consultations to British Sign Language (BSL) users. The new, improved service will see GP practices being able to offer the consultations with support from Signlive, a free to download App that connects the caller to a fully qualified interpreter before connecting to the recipient. It will mean d/Deaf patients across East Sussex will now be able to call their registered practice for free, using the standard telephone number, speak with receptionists and book a telephone appointment with a GP, just as a hearing person can.  David Liley, CEO of Healthwatch, had escalated this issue with the CCG and we are extremely pleased to see this new service going live. We would like to congratulate the Council and CCG for introducing this service.

Health updates

NHS responders (volunteers)

It is now possible for people to refer themselves for help from an NHS volunteer. This new site will provide you with further information if you are self-isolating and are in need of support.

Testing and treatment

This week testing was extended to include more people. Those now eligible for testing include NHS staff, care home staff and care home residents whether or not they have symptoms; essential workers; everyone in England aged 65 and over with coronavirus symptoms along with symptomatic members of their household and symptomatic workers who are unable to work from home also eligible for testing.

Mobile testing units operated by the Armed Forces will also travel around the UK to increase access to coronavirus testing. Units will respond to areas of highest demand. The new units will work alongside the country’s drive-through test sites. 

In addition, a major home testing programme for coronavirus which will track levels of infection in the community was announced this week. It will help improve understanding of how many people are currently infected with the virus, and potentially how many have been infected and recovered. The testing programme will help identify an antibody test that is accurate and easy to use. In the first part of the programme, 100,000 randomly selected people from across England will be invited to provide swabs, which will be tested and look for evidence that someone is currently infected with the coronavirus. In the second part of the programme a number of different antibody tests will be assessed for their accuracy and ease of use at home.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials of 6 new drugs offering potential treatment options for those with Covid-19 were announced this week, accelerating the development of new drugs for patients hospitalised with the virus.

A clinical trial has been given approval to determine if plasma donated by patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can help those battling the illness. If effective, up to 5,000 severely ill patients with COVID-19 could soon be treated each week.

Data on deaths from Covid-19

The way data on the numbers of deaths from Covid-19 changed this week, showing an increase in overall numbers. The revised data includes deaths in all settings with COVID-19 for the first-time including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. The new figures do not show a sudden increase in the number of deaths as it includes retrospective data.

Government updates

This link will take you to a set of graphs which show that numbers of people in hospital with Covid and deaths from the virus are both falling.

Brighton and Hove & Sussex data

There are 355 confirmed cases in Brighton and Hove, out of a local population of 290,395. In the South East, 2,310 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

Adult Social Care

An adult social care recruitment campaign launched last week to boost workforce levels. ‘Care for others. Make a difference’ aims to attract people with the right values to take up work in social care, now and in the future. You may have seen adverts on television, radio and social media. 

Other items of interest

The government has supported the development of several online apps which offer additional support to people who may be particularly vulnerable or isolated during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Apps include:

Beam is a digital platform that supports the homeless and vulnerable. Beam takes referrals from local authorities and homeless charities, then ensures goods are funded, delivered and documented.

Vinehealth is a mobile app to support cancer patients and their loved ones during treatment by allowing them to easily track and understand their care, including their symptoms, side effects, appointments and medications.

Domestic Abuse
Due to the lock down there is concern that we may see a potential increase in domestic abuse. Support is available. RISE, a local charity. People can email and talk to Anita Johal over the phone. More information has been produced by the government which can be accessed via this link.

Brighton and Hove STI week

This week, our city’s annual STI (sexually transmitted infection) Testing Week launched. Sexual health is often forgotten, and the present situation offers people an opportunity to order online testing kits to check their sexual health. (#BAHTW20). More information is available on twitter and THT Brighton’s facebook page. People should be sexually distancing at this time. Further information is available on the SHAC website.  

City Council Covid 19 Update 28.04.20

We hope you are well.

Please see today’s city briefing below, which we hope you will find useful.

Tomorrow, Phélim and I will hold our first ever digital advice drop-in (ward surgery) on zoom. We still have some spaces for appointments and you can view the details of that here.

Stay safe,

Hannah

In this briefing

  • Service changes
  • Stay at home and enjoy the city online
  • Woodvale cemetery grounds to reopen
  • Testing for frontline key workers
  • New Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses announced
  • Bereavement support services
  • Public toilets

Service changes

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.

Stay at home and enjoy the city online

Cllr Alan Robins has shared ways to enjoy local arts and culture from your own home.

From virtual events to digital reading material, the city’s cultural sector is offering a range of activities to entertain and inspire people to be creative in their own homes as the lockdown continues.

Find out more

Woodvale cemetery grounds to reopen

Following updated government guidance, the cemetery grounds at Woodvale will reopen from tomorrow, Wednesday 29 April.  

In an address to residents, lead councillor for life events services, Daniel Yates, says he’s pleased that the grounds will be reopened, but has again urged people to treat the grounds with the respect.  

The message follows concerns that before the grounds were closed, staff witnessed people using the grounds for activities such as skateboarding and picnics. Children were also seen climbing on headstones.

Testing for frontline key workers

Testing for Covid-19 is being expanded to all frontline key workers with coronavirus-like symptoms. This is to ensure that self-isolating key workers can go back to work if they’re well enough.

The test allows key workers to find out whether they or members of their household currently have coronavirus. It is not an antibody test to identify if someone has had or is immune to the virus.

Frontline key workers can access testing either by attending one of several drive-through testing sites across Sussex or by requesting a home testing kit.

Find out more

New Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses announced

The government has announced a new Bounce Back Loans scheme that will be made available to small businesses from Monday 4 May. These loans will be 100% government-backed.

Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months. Businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

The government will work with lenders to ensure loans delivered through this scheme are advanced as quickly as possible and agree a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

More information about support for businesses and employers

Bereavement support services

We understand that many people will be experiencing loss during this difficult time.  

Brighton & Hove City Council has updated its information on local bereavement services.  The bereavement service team can also offer advice on burials, cremations and memorials.

Public toilets

A reminder that we have closed most of the public toilets in the city following the continued government requirement for social distancing and asking people to stay at home. In line with this, it is expected that people minimise the time spent outside and use local open spaces near to their home when exercising.

We have kept a number of public toilets open to serve essential users who don’t have access to any other toilet facilities. These are:

  • King Alfred (including RADAR accessible toilets) – open from 8am to 8pm
  • Park Road, Rottingdean – open from 8am to 4pm 
  • Royal Pavilion Gardens – open from 8am to 8pm
  • Stanmer Village – open from 8am to 8pm 
  • The Level (including RADAR accessible toilets and Changing Places facilities) – open from 8am to 8pm

The decision to close most of the toilets followed increasing difficulties to maintain them in a safe manner. This included increased anti-social behaviour, vandalism and theft, in addition to issues managing overcrowding.

We are keeping this under review and will reopen toilets as soon as we can do so safely.

Covid-19 Update 27.4.20

Dear all

Please find Covid19 information below the update from Healthwatch. Information also attached from the Council’s community hub.

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, or you want to be removed please drop me a line.

Please stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

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

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

01273 291357

Twitter @phelimmac

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           4:30pm Monday 27 April 2020

Briefing number:     37

Contact:                      Queries about this briefing can be sent to:

news@brighton-hove.gov.uk                

Overview

This briefing is sent out daily on weekdays to share the latest actions being taken in response to Covid-19 coronavirus.

These daily briefings include the latest information from across the council and partner organisations in Brighton & Hove.

The latest briefing will be published online soon after you are sent it. This is the link for sharing

Additional briefings will be sent at other times if information needs to be shared urgently.

If the daily early evening Downing Street announcement requires major service changes to be made locally, this will be communicated as soon as possible. Updates will usually follow the next working day when changes are agreed.

Government guidance and announcements are available from the government website.

In this briefing

  • Service changes
  • Supporting our city’s businesses
  • Second round of Covid-19 grants for community groups
  • Support for travellers and van dwellers in the city
  • Food update
  • ‘Fake’ council posters

Service changes

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.

Supporting our city’s businesses

So far, we have paid out more than £32.1m to around 2,000 businesses in Brighton & Hove with another 2,000 on track to be completed by the end of this week.

We have also trained an additional 23 staff to join our business rates team who have been working 7-days-a-week to process these applications.

You can read more on this in council leader Nancy Platt’s address, including more information about the support available to local businesses.

Second round of Covid-19 grants for community groups

Another 17 community and voluntary organisations have been awarded grants from the council’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency fund.

Grants awarded from the fund now total more than £100,000.

Projects benefitting this round include groups providing emergency food and community meals, support for older isolated people and help for victims of domestic abuse. These include:

  • The Bevy – to cover costs of providing community meals
  • Brighton Women’s Centre – to cover costs of additional demand and phones for victims
  • Time to Talk Befriending – to cover additional support for isolated older people 
  • RISE – for home working equipment to continue help and support for victims of domestic abuse
  • Fareshare – to cover management of extra volunteers recruited to cover crisis
  • St Richards Church & Community Centre – to support the emergency food hub and cover lost income from the partial closure of the centre

Read more on our newsroom.

Support for travellers and van dwellers in the city

We have been working closely with people living in vans to make sure they have the support they need to keep themselves safe during the crisis.

The chair of the council’s housing committee, Councillor Gill Williams, said: “We have visited all the city’s van dwellers and offered them alternative accommodation.

“This would provide people with the facilities they need over the time of the pandemic, and enable them to self-isolate if that is required. 

“However, we cannot force them to accept this offer.  

“Our traveller support team has carried out welfare checks and given advice in line with government guidance.

“The team will continue to be in regular contact with people in lived-in vehicles at all the locations we are aware of. 

“We have also given information to people in lived in vehicles about available toilets, water supplies and refuse points across the city.” 

Most of the public toilets have been closed in the city following the continued government requirement for people to stay at home. We’ve had increasing difficulties operating and maintaining them safely, including a rise in anti-social behaviour and vandalism.  

We have kept a number of toilets open for people who do not have access to any other toilet facilities. This includes people living in vans.

Food update

Albion in the community has started delivering food to vulnerable families and fans with help from Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, the Ivy in the Lanes in Ship Street and Bill’s restaurant and bar in North Road. 

So far, more than a thousand meals have been delivered in Brighton & Hove, Lancing, Adur and Worthing.  To find out more you can read more from Albion in the community here.

‘Fake’ council posters

We are aware that a number of fly-posters have been put up in the city with various lines about staying at home and including the council logo.

While we support any messages which encourage people to stay at home, we can confirm that these posters are fake and have nothing to do with the council.

Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

Covid-19: Healthwatch update

We are hope you are all keeping well. This week’s briefing includes information on new GP Covid-19 hot hubs, Urgent Dental Care hubs, looking after your mental health, cancer support and advice from Ageing Well. We have included more information on the Brighton and Hove Community Hub, plus the latest numbers of positive cases and deaths in the City and across Sussex. Lastly, we have included the latest guidance produced by Healthwatch. 

GP hubs 

To ensure patients remain safe and get the care they need during the 
Covid-19 pandemic, dedicated sites and areas within some practices, called
‘hot sites’, are being introduced. These are for anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, and for anyone who is isolated at home with household members with Covid-19 -symptoms.

A service is now available at Withdean, but others are expected to open in due course. PLEASE NOTE that this is not a drop-in service, it is by GP referral only, and only patients booked in will be seen. Patients cannot directly contact or visit the Withdean site.

If you have any health concerns you should continue to contact your own GP surgery first, or call NHS 111. Healthwatch has produced a guide which provides more information about seeing a GP which you can access here.

Dentists – Urgent Dental Care Hubs

Patients can still contact a dentist if they require medical help. Whilst face to face dental appointments have mostly stopped, dental practices have replaced these with telephone consultations. Dentists can still prescribe medications such as pain relief and antibiotics.

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. 

Some Hubs are based outside of Brighton, but support is available to help
you travel to these sites. Healthwatch has produced a guide which provides more information about seeing a dentist which you can access here.

Looking after your mental health

The NHS has created a webpage containing expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Information is provided to help you cope with this current health situation, to help support any children and to help you whilst you work or stay at home. Healthwatch has also updated its guide providing top tips for looking after your mental health and staying physically active

Cancer support

The Macmillan Horizon Centre Schedule (for April and May 2020) includes  phone and virtual support:

Phone support: 01273 468770. Counselling, welfare benefits advice,  information and support, check in calls

Virtual Support sessions: Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 10:30 – Managing anxiety; cookery session; breathing workshop; yoga and Pilates

If you are worried that you may have cancer-related symptoms you should
contact your GP immediately. If your GP is concerned, you will be referred
to hospital, and should be seen within two weeks. Look out for future communications from Healthwatch on this topic. 

Ageing Well support and advice

To help support people during the outbreak of Coronavirus in the UK, Ageing Well have collated a detailed list of local and national services, primarily for those aged 50 and over. 

Brighton and Hove update

As at 23 April, the city’s total number of positive cases stood at 334, with just over 350 deaths across Sussex healthcare trusts (not just Brighton & Hove).

Brighton & Hove Community Hub

The Council has established a Community Hub which offers additional help in coping with coronavirus. We have attached a document produced by the Council which provides more detail.

Healthwatch information and advice

We have updated our guide to local health and social care services, FAQsdedicated Covid-19 webpage and top tips for staying active and looking after your mental health.

This week we published new guides which provide information about visiting a dentist, GP and collection of prescriptions.

We are currently collating information to understand how easy it is to obtain dental appointments and urgent treatment. Do get in touch if you have a story that you would like to share with us.

If you need information on a particular topic please let us know office@healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk

Healthwatch website. Information is available in a variety of formats and our fully accessible Covid-19 webpage can be accessed via: here https://covid.reciteme.com/healthwatchbrightonandhove/

Ward Surgery – Wednesday 29.04

Normally, as your councillors we host a monthly advice drop in (or “ward surgery”) on the last Wednesday of each month at Cornerstone Community Centre.

Obviously at the moment we can’t do that (!) but we still want to provide our community with the opportunity to ask us any questions and get any support from us on the date it would have gone ahead.

So we’re hosting it this Wednesday (29th April) online (via zoom, in private rooms) and offering 15 minute chats to people who need us. We will be starting at 7.15pm and finishing around 8.30pm.

If you’d like to book one in, please email us at brunswickandadelaide@brightonhove.greenparty.org.uk and one of us will send you the details.

Let me know any questions as ever and the email address above does forward to both myself and Phélim so can also be used to contact us, or individually on hannah.clare@brighton-hove.gov.uk, phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Covid-19 updates 21-23.4.20

Apologies I’m only getting around to posting updates now.

Please also find attached some details of the Southern Housing crisis fund for tenants in the east of the ward. If you aren’t a tenant yourself but know someone who is, they can access the crisis fund during the pandemic and of course we would be happy to try and get a referral to the fund for residents. 

Please also find Covid19 information from the excellent Possability People headed up by one of our very own residents- Geraldine. https://www.possabilitypeople.org.uk/coronavirus/

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, or you want to be removed please drop me a line.

Please stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

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

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

01273 291357

Twitter @phelimmac

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           4:30pm Thursday 23 April 2020

Briefing number:     35

Contact:                      Queries about this briefing can be sent to

news@brighton-hove.gov.uk                

Overview

This briefing is sent out daily on weekdays to share the latest actions being taken in response to Covid-19 coronavirus.

These daily briefings include the latest information from across the council and partner organisations in Brighton & Hove.

The latest briefing will be published online soon after you are sent it. This is the link for sharing

Additional briefings will be sent at other times if information needs to be shared urgently.

If the daily early evening Downing Street announcement requires major service changes to be made locally, this will be communicated as soon as possible. Updates will usually follow the next working day when changes are agreed.

Government guidance and announcements are available from the government website.

In this briefing

  • Service changes
  • Please stay home and save lives
  • Food update
  • Cancellation of exams and assessments
  • Greater Brighton pledge to work together on Covid-19 economic recovery plan
  • A259/West Street junction works
  • New homes and offices approved at virtual planning meeting

Service changes

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.

Please stay home and save lives

In the council leader’s most recent address, Councillor Nancy Platts is thanking those who have helped protect the NHS and save lives by social distancing but says it’s vital we don’t let our guard down now.

Councillor Platts has repeated the message that the seafront should only be used for essential exercise by those living nearby and not for sunbathing, meeting with friends or swimming in the sea.

We are also putting two metre stencil markings in parks to highlight the need for social distancing, the same as those already used on the seafront.

It is also important that all shops ensure staff and customers maintain social distancing, for everyone’s safety, to reduce the risk of infection 

Food update

Community gardens in the city are growing more food than ever to support the needs of Brighton & Hove residents.  

A number of community run projects are increasing the amount of food they’re growing and donating it to local initiatives supporting residents classed as extremely vulnerable and have registered a need for food support.

The food is then either being used in food parcels or to create hot meals.  For more information on this story please visit our website.

Cancellation of exams and assessments

The government has cancelled all school and college exams and assessments this year. This is because of the national Coronavirus restrictions. 

It applies to all age groups – from pre-school all the way up to A-levels.

The government’s Office for Qualifications (Ofqual) has sent a very clear and detailed message to students explaining how this affects GCSE and A-level students and what will now happen instead.

More information, including local support on offer for students can be found on our website.

Greater Brighton pledge on Covid-19 economic recovery plan

Greater Brighton leaders have agreed to work together on a Covid-19 economic recovery plan for the city.

The board, which is made up of local authorities, education providers, business partnerships and other bodies, has acknowledged the need to outline ways in which it can support the thousands of businesses and residents affected by coronavirus (Covid-19).

At a meeting this week, the board agreed to pool public and private sector expertise to work up proposals which could support sectors adversely affected by COVID-19, such as hospitality and tourism.  Read more.

A259/West Street junction works

As part the redevelopment of Shelter Hall, work will begin next week to make the A259 Kings Road/West Street junction safer for cyclists and pedestrians and improve traffic flow for motorists.

The junction, which is usually used by 36,000 vehicles, 30,000 pedestrians and 2,500 cyclists every day, is a key link between Brighton railway station and the seafront. 

While the number of vehicles on our roads has significantly reduced due to coronavirus (Covid-19) movement restrictions, doing the work now will minimise disruption to motorists and local businesses.

New homes and offices approved at virtual planning meeting

Councillors have backed proposals to build new homes and offices in Brighton & Hove as part of the development of our city, beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, during the historic first in a series of virtual meetings.

An application to build 148 homes plus more than 950 square metres of office floor space in Newtown Road, Hove, was approved by the city’s Planning Committee yesterday – the first council committee to meet virtually, using video-conferencing technology, to ensure that vital infrastructure decisions continue to be taken during the Covid-19 outbreak.  Read more.

Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           5:45pm Wednesday 22 April 2020

Briefing number:     34

Contact:                      Queries about this briefing can be sent to

news@brighton-hove.gov.uk                

Overview

This briefing is sent out daily on weekdays to share the latest actions being taken in response to Covid-19 coronavirus.

These daily briefings include the latest information from across the council and partner organisations in Brighton & Hove.

The latest briefing will be published online soon after you are sent it. This is the link for sharing

Additional briefings will be sent at other times if information needs to be shared urgently.

If the daily early evening Downing Street announcement requires major service changes to be made locally, this will be communicated as soon as possible. Updates will usually follow the next working day when changes are agreed.

Government guidance and announcements are available from the government website.

In this briefing

  • Service changes
  • Ireland Lodge care home
  • Key worker testing
  • Embracing ‘digital democracy’
  • Letting of council housing and housing association properties
  • City Plan Part Two (Protecting local shops and parades)

Service changes

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.

Update on Ireland Lodge care home

Ireland Lodge is a Brighton-based care home for people with dementia. It is run by the council and currently has 20 residents.

Staff at the home recently raised serious concerns in a letter written to management. Staff also requested no new residents to be admitted to the home.

It has been agreed that no new residents will be admitted at this time to Ireland Lodge. Residents at the home are currently showing no symptoms of Covid-19 and there have been no new admissions to the home since 8 April 2020.

Read more.

Key worker testing

Testing for Covid-19 is being expanded to all frontline key workers at Brighton & Hove City Council with coronavirus-like symptoms. This is to ensure that key workers who are self-isolating can go back to work if they’re well enough.

The test allows key workers to find out whether they or members of their household currently have coronavirus. It is not an antibody test to identify if someone has had or is immune to the virus.

Frontline key workers can access testing at several drive-through testing sites across Sussex.  More information can be found on the website.

Embracing ‘digital democracy’

Brighton & Hove saw ‘digital democracy’ in action from today as councillors met for the first in a series of virtual meetings to ensure the efficient running of the city throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Planning Committee was the first council committee to meet virtually, using video-conferencing technology – which will also allow members of the public to make representations where necessary. The first virtual meeting of the full council is scheduled for tomorrow.

All virtual meetings will be held using Skype. Options for members of the public to speak on a specific matter on the agenda, such as a planning matter, include dialling in using a pre-designated link. Interested parties could also have questions/deputations presented on their behalf by a council officer if unable to join a telephone conference themselves.

Meanwhile, the public can continue to follow all committee meetings as usual by watching webcasts of individual meetings.

Letting of council housing and housing association properties

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions and government advice around moving home, we are temporarily stopping the letting of council homes to new tenants on our housing register. Many of our housing association partners are also pausing new lets.

This is starting from Wednesday 22 April following the completion of the latest bidding cycle on our choice based letting system, Homemove.

We’ve continued to run the service but arranging moves, ensuring access to amenities and bringing the property up to a lettable standard are becoming an increasing problem.

The process has also become very stressful for tenants and prospective tenants, many of whom are high risk in terms of Covid-19 and are self-isolating or shielding.

We will be contacting everyone who’s been matched to a property in previous bidding cycle or signed a tenancy agreement for a new property and are unable to move. All offers and agreements will remain in place.

Our Homemove team are still processing all new applications to the joint housing register and responding to enquires.

As soon as the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and we are able to return to lettings, our focus will be on making sure all empty properties are let as quickly as possible.

We will be continuing lettings of temporary accommodation for people who need to move in an emergency.

Protecting local shops and parades

Special policies to protect shopping parades, pubs and independent retailers will support local businesses and encourage community wealth-building in different areas of the city.

The policies are included in the second part of the City Plan, which will be discussed at the first ‘virtual’ council meeting this Thursday, 23 April. The Plan will be used to guide development for the next 10 years.

If agreed there will be a further opportunity to comment on the Plan. The council will consider the best time to carry out public consultation after the coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions are lifted.

Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           4:30pm Tuesday 21 April 2020

Briefing number:     33

Contact:                      Queries about this briefing can be sent to

news@brighton-hove.gov.uk                

Overview

This briefing is sent out daily on weekdays to share the latest actions being taken in response to Covid-19 coronavirus.

These daily briefings include the latest information from across the council and partner organisations in Brighton & Hove.

The latest briefing will be published online soon after you are sent it. This is the link for sharing

Additional briefings will be sent at other times if information needs to be shared urgently.

If the daily early evening Downing Street announcement requires major service changes to be made locally, this will be communicated as soon as possible. Updates will usually follow the next working day when changes are agreed.

Government guidance and announcements are available from the government website.

In this briefing

  • Service changes
  • Council urges self-employed and SMEs to seek support
  • A safe and happy Ramadan
  • Protecting our city’s children
  • City Plan Part Two
  • Healthy meals
  • Withdean recycling

Service changes

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.

Council urges self-employed and SMEs to seek support

With more than 29,000 self-employed people in Brighton & Hove, the council is urging those whose livelihoods have been affected by coronavirus to seek support.

We have created a dedicated page for the self-employed and freelancers to find the most appropriate support available to them.

The government has devised a number of measures to help self-employed and freelance workers who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19), for example, the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allows self-employed people to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months.

we urge anyone who is struggling to navigate the various schemes to check out our business support page and FAQs which have been designed to help them find what’s right for them”.

A safe and happy Ramadan

Ramadan this year runs from Thursday 23 April. It is the holiest month of the year for Muslims when the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammed. 

During Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours and increase spiritual devotional acts, such as prayer and giving to charity.

With Covid-19 restrictions in place in many countries around the world, Ramadan will likely be a different experience for Muslims celebrating this year.

Many will not be able to travel, be with family or attend Mosque to pray as they usually would. 

Due to the restrictions on people attending Mosque, calls to prayer are being extended on Friday and may be audible outside some Mosques in the city.

It is vital for everyone to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

The Muslim Council of Britain’s website has guidance on celebrating Ramadan at home, including tips for staying connected online, planning food and shopping, and studying at working at home during Ramadan.

If you see something – say something! Help protect our city’s children

The Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) is calling on all the city’s residents to help protect vulnerable children and their families through these difficult times.

If you see or hear something that worries you and think a child may be at risk or in need of support – please:

City Plan Part Two

Reducing waste and re-using materials, improved management of green open spaces and attractive environments for walking and cycling will reduce carbon emissions in future development and increase the biodiversity of the city’s plants and wildlife.

Policies in the City Plan Part 2 support the city’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2030. The plan will be discussed at city’s first ‘virtual’ council meeting this Thursday (23 April).  Read more on our newsroom.

Healthy meals

Our partners, The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, have created a booklet of healthy meal recipes for those with limited kitchen equipment.

The recipe booklet has options for people that only have access to a kettle, microwave or toaster and can be found on their website

Withdean recycling

Due to the ‘Hot Hub’ testing site being set up at the sports complex, the recycling point at the Withdean Stadium has been moved to the east end/overflow car park.

You can find a list of all recycling points in the city can be found on our website.

Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

City Council Covid 19 update 20.04.20

Hope you are keeping well.

Please find today’s update below. We continue to work for you and 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.  

Here is some information from the city council on supporting your own well being https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/supporting-your-wellbeing

In this briefing

  • Service changes
  • Message from council leader Nancy Platts
  • ‘Hot site’ at Withdean
  • Support for self-employed and freelance workers
  • City Plan part two
  • Housing repairs helpdesk

Service changes

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.

Message from council leader Nancy Platts

Council leader Nancy Platts is again calling on people to respect important social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.  It comes after concerns were raised about gatherings around the city at the weekend.

Councillor Platts said: “I want to reiterate the importance of social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We have reports of increased numbers of people out and about in groups over the weekend. The risk of spreading COVID-19 is still high, and the virus spreads between people when they gather.

“Everyone needs to follow the government guidelines of staying at home and only going out for exercise and shopping for essentials, once a day.

“If you are out for exercise or shopping, please maintain at least 2 metres (about 6 feet) of distance from others, including if you’re queueing outside shops.

“Social distancing is vital. We’ve had lots of concerned residents getting in touch about people having BBQs and picnics on the outskirts of the city. I know the weather is improving and people want to make the most of it, but those having these social gatherings are putting themselves and others at risk. This is about saving lives.

“We all need to look out for each other and ensure we’re following the guidelines and maintaining social distance.

“Thank you to everyone who is staying at home, protecting the NHS and helping to save lives.”

CCG update about ‘hot site’ at Withdean

Any patient with Covid-19 symptoms will be given an appointment at a so called ‘hot site’ rather than their own GP practice. Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group has shared more information about the service available at Withdean and how people can access appointments.

This is not a drop-in service, it is by GP referral only.  Patients will be directed to the Withdean site from General Practice or NHS111 and will also be triaged by GPs on the site.

The site will deliver a service to people across Brighton and Hove who have Covid-19 symptoms or are isolated at home with household members with Covid-19 symptoms. 

Patients can only access the service by car, not by foot, part of strict infection control measures to ensure the safety of staff, residents and those being tested.

Support for self-employed and freelance workers

A new webpage has gone live today, with information to support the self-employed and freelance workers.

It includes information for licensed businesses such as taxi and private hire companies, those working in the cultural sector and advice for food and drink businesses.

It also contains links to the government’s income self-employment income support scheme.

City Plan part two

A blueprint that will guide new development in the city to 2030 to provide more genuinely affordable homes for local people, reduce carbon emissions and support economic recovery will be discussed at the city’s first ‘virtual’ council meeting on Thursday (23 April).

Councillors will vote on whether to move forward with the latest version of the City Plan Part 2 and open it up for a final round of public consultation before it is submitted to the government for an independent examination.

You can read more on our newsroom which includes some of the included policies.

Housing repairs helpdesk

The repairs helpdesk is now working remotely and dealing with emergency repairs only. A service voicemail has been introduced – when tenants call they’ll be asked to leave a message and their name, contact number and address, and we will call them back as soon as possible.

The voicemail is being monitored 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, with the usual emergency out-of-hours service operating outside of these hours.

The repairs service currently only carrying out emergency repairs and health and safety maintenance checks. An emergency repair would involve:

  • Serious leak or flooding
  • Loss of power or other service
  • Dangerous window
  • Insecure front entrance door
  • Annual gas servicing
  • Anything else which represents an immediate health or security risk

When attending an emergency repair, we will ask tenants questions around whether they are unwell, self-isolating or social distancing. If they are unwell or self-isolating and the repair is essential, our staff will talk to them about how they will carry out the repair and will use additional safety equipment.

If the repair is not an emergency, tenants are asked to use our online repairs reporting form where they can.

Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/