City Council Covid 19 update 14.04.20

It has been horrifying to watch the pandemic grow, especially as there have been so many aspects which could have been prevented by the government. Despite the appeals for testing and Personal Protective Equipment, not all front line workers who need it, have it.

I have been pushing hard to ensure that our neighbourhood as much as our city can avoid as many positive cases and deaths as possible. I have continued to raise the issue of PPE, testing, ventilators and the care of our most vulnerable with senior council officials. I am lobbying to open more of the seafront to allow joggers and walkers to share the space, pushing for more tests for front line council staff; helping some of our most vulnerable residents get access to council services; and over the weekend Hannah and I were out helping to tidy up.   

Today’s update below.

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.  

Please keep up your hugely appreciated efforts to curtail the pandemic. And please, stay safe.

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Business grants
  • Council pledges £30,000 for food appeal
  • Scam warning
  • Brighton & Hove Buses accepting exact cash fares only
  • Bikeshare cleaning
  • Signs in parks and seafront
  • NSL supporting hot meal delivery
  • Request help for the most vulnerable people

Latest update

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Chancellor Rishi Sunak spoke about “tough times” for the UK economy and that the UK’s strategy is not about choosing “wealth over health”.

He also said the measures the government has put in place is aiming to mitigate the economic impact of the virus and talked about “bouncing back” and recovering quickly and strongly.

The advice for the public around social distancing remains unchanged.

Everyone should:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Anyone can spread the virus.

Stay home and save lives.

Service changes

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

Business grants

We are distributing government funded, small business grants. Payments have now been made to over 1,300 local businesses. 

We are asking eligible businesses, whose bank account details we don’t already hold, to contact us through a secure portal on our website so that we can make payments to them as soon as possible. 

More information on support for small businesses

Council pledges £30,000 for food appeal

A community appeal to raise money to provide food for vulnerable and isolated people in Brighton & Hove during the Coronavirus crisis topped £30,000 in just 21 days. 

The council is matching the sum and contributing an additional £30,000 to the appeal.

We are working with the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to support more than 50 local community volunteer groups across the city providing food parcels and meals to residents struggling to get food.

You can read more on our website.

Scam warning

The council has seen several reports of residents receiving phishing emails over the last few days asking for personal information, including bank account numbers and details.

We do not send e-mails asking for bank details or offering to pay credits to accounts that we don’t already hold the details of. 

For information about council tax reductions, visit our website.

Brighton & Hove Buses accepting exact cash fares only

Brighton & Hove Buses are introducing new measures to reduce contact with drivers and the spread of coronavirus.

From tomorrow Wednesday 15 April, they will only be accepting exact fares from passengers paying with cash.  Drivers will not be able to provide change at this time.

Passengers are being encouraged to pay with contactless, mobile app, key cards and scratch cards where possible.

Please only travel if absolutely necessary and you do not have symptoms of coronavirus.

BTN BikeShare cleaning

The cleaning of BTN BikeShare bikes in Brighton & Hove is being significantly increased to help minimise any possible spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Following advice from the city’s public health team and having been trialled over the Easter weekend, a team will be working on the scheme’s five busiest days of the week to support the regular cleaning, disinfecting, tidying and lubricating of the scheme’s 600 bikes at all 69 hubs in the city.  This is in addition to the existing cleaning and maintenance.

The team is made up of cycle trainers and staff from NSL.

Priority will be given to the busiest hubs and at least three temporary hubs set up to support NHS workers using BTN BikeShare during the pandemic.  Teams will pay particular attention to the bikes’ contact points, including the handlebars and grips, saddle, keypad and u-bar lock.

Customers are also being encouraged to wear appropriate gloves if they wish to, avoid touching their faces or eyes while riding, and to wash their hands thoroughly before and after use.  Riders should practice social distancing from pedestrians and others on shared routes and cycle lanes.

Signs in parks and along the seafront

Signs have been painted at various locations along the seafront and in our parks to encourage residents to follow guidelines on social distancing.

The stencils show the two metre gap people should adhere to when passing each other during their daily exercise.

NSL supporting hot meal delivery

Brighton & Hove City Council’s parking enforcement contractor, NSL, is working to support vulnerable residents during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

From today (Tuesday 14 April), the company is providing four vehicles with drivers to deliver hot meals and meal boxes from the Holland Road Baptist Church to people in emergency housing across the city.

The move is a further demonstration of partners working together to support our community.

Community advice and support hub

Vulnerable people can get additional COVID-19 related support for emergency food bank referrals, shopping and medicine collection from the community advice and support hub.

  • If you, or someone you know needs support to get essential supplies and you don’t have family, friends or a care worker to help you, go to: new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus-help
  • If you have no way of getting online and no one to help you, call 01273 293117, and press option 2
  • If you need information about changes to existing council services because of the COVID-19 situation, search for the relevant service on the council website, or visit: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus

City Council Covid-19 Briefing 08.04.20

Please see todays briefing below. There will be no briefing over the Easter weekend so tomorrow’s will be the last until Tuesday 14th April.

As ever, let us know if you have any queries.

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Youth services in the city
  • Appeal for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations
  • Planning Service update
  • Survey: How are people are receiving coronavirus information?
  • Request help for the most vulnerable people

Latest update

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor, announced £750m of funding for frontline charities.

Angela McLean, chief scientific adviser at the Ministry of Defence, said new UK cases of the virus are “not accelerating out of control”.

The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.

Everyone should:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home


Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Anyone can spread the virus.

Stay home and save lives.

Service changes

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

Youth services in the city

More than 30 youth groups and organisations across Brighton & Hove are continuing to offer services to support young people through the Coronavirus crisis.

More information on our website

Appeal for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations

We continue to ask for PPE donations. Thank you for the contributions received already.

While we are doing everything we can to source additional supplies on top of the stock being provided nationally, we’re calling for help from local businesses such as tattoo parlours, health and beauty salons, construction, schools and colleges.

We’re looking for fluid replant masks, protective eye goggles, disposable latex gloves, and plastic aprons.

Donations can be taken direct to Hove Town Hall where our PPE distribution team will see that it gets to front-line staff. Please drop off donations between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday.

Thank you in advance for any suitable equipment you can give and please remember to maintain the 2 metre social distancing guidelines.  We will not be able to accept any homemade equipment.

More information is available on our website

Planning Service update

Updated information about how we’re running our Planning Service during the COVID-19 pandemic has been posted on our website. This includes details about pre-application advice, Planning Performance Agreements and new applications.

We are also proposing to postpone the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on planning permissions granted on and from 1 June to 5 October 2020. A final decision on the postponement, which has been recommended by planning officers, is anticipated to be taken at a meeting of the council in May. 

However, for now, the Planning Service is continuing with preparations to implement CIL. Reports are scheduled for committee during late April and May. Full council will then have to approve the adoption of the charging schedule and changes to the council’s constitution.

Details are on the CIL section of our website.

How are people are receiving coronavirus information?

Residents are being asked to share their experiences of how they receive and use information about public health and NHS services.

People are being encouraged to fill in a short online survey which is being promoted by Brighton & Hove CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group). The survey closes this Sunday, 12 April.

The aim is to find out where people are getting information from and whether people are

linked in to community support.  

Request help for the most vulnerable people

Vulnerable people across the city are being supported with emergency food bank referrals, shopping and medicine collection, as well as wellbeing and loneliness support.

You can get additional COVID-19 related support from the community advice and support hub.

  • If you, or someone you know needs support to get essential supplies like food or medication and you don’t have family, friends or a support/care worker to help you, go to: new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus-help 
  • If you have no way of getting online and no one to help you, you can call 01273 293117, and press option 2 
  • If you need information about changes to existing council services because of the COVID-19 situation, please search for the relevant service on the council website, or visit: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus 

City Council Covid-19 Briefing 07.04.20

Please find today’s briefing below.

You can continue to contact us at the details here.

Especially as the weather warms up please continue to help the city fight back and adhere to the guidelines about social distancing and going out.

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Woodvale cemetery closure
  • Supporting vulnerable people
  • Ongoing support for rough sleepers
  • Returning rehab equipment
  • Spare freezer space
  • New parking permits
  • Highway maintenance
  •  How to request help online if you need it

Latest update

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Dominic Raab MP, Foreign Secretary, gave a brief update on the health of the Prime Minister, who is said to be in “good spirits” and receiving “excellent care”.

The Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance said that it’s “possible we are beginning to see the flattening of the curve” but that we won’t be able to tell for sure for at least another week.

The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.

Everyone should:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home


Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Anyone can spread the virus.

Stay home and save lives.

Service changes

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

Woodvale Cemetery closure

The difficult decision has been taken to close the cemetery grounds at Woodvale Crematorium from tomorrow (Wednesday 8 April) in line with new government guidance for managing crematoria.

The guidance states crematoria must close to the public, except for funerals. This requirement also includes a cemetery if the crematorium is situated in the cemetery, which is the case at Woodvale.

We understand that this will be upsetting to those who wish to visit the graves of family and friends; but it’s important that we follow regulations on health protection at this difficult time.  Read more from councillor Daniel Yates.

Supporting the most vulnerable people

Council leader Nancy Platts has written about what is being done to support the most vulnerable people in our community with emergency food bank referrals, shopping and medicine collection, as well as wellbeing and loneliness support.

Get additional COVID-19 related support from the community advice and support hub

If you, or someone you know needs support to get essential supplies like food or medication and you don’t have family, friends or a support/care worker to help you, go to: new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus-help and fill in the form with details of the help you need.

If you have no way of getting online and no one to help you, you can call 01273 293117, and press option 2 (please only call if you have no other option, leaving the phone lines free for those who really need it).

If you need information about changes to existing council services because of the COVID-19 situation, such as Parking, Bus Passes, Council Tax payments, or Business Rates, please search for the relevant service on the council website, or visit: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus (please use the online forms to contact the service wherever you can as phone lines will be busy).  

Ongoing support for rough sleepers

We’re working with our outreach service, St Mungo’s, to provide toiletries and essentials for homeless people who are staying in hotel rooms during the pandemic. We are also making sure those who have not yet agreed to come inside have access to basic supplies while we’re working to bring them off the streets.

Essentials such as shampoo, soap bars and deodorant have been particularly appreciated. At present, items have been given out on a needs basis. The team is now working on preparing packages which will be distributed to 200 people each week. The weekly supplies include shampoo, deodorant, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. Women’s packs also include sanitary products.

We’re working on expanding the offer in the weeks ahead to include hair conditioner, make-up, after shave and moisturiser. Donations are welcome. Items need to be new, unopened and within their use by date.

Contributions can be left at St Patrick’s Church side entrance, 1 Cambridge Road, Hove, between 3pm and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Please be careful to observe social distancing while dropping off items and aim to do so when on a planned essential trip out. If this is not practical for you or you would like to make a large donation please email the Commissioning.Team@brighton-hove.gov.uk with more information and to discuss options.

We’re also looking at making people’s stay as comfortable as possible while they follow the government’s stay at home guidelines. We’ve been working with organisations across the city to seek donations of devices such as internet enabled tablets, televisions, games consoles and radios. If you can donate an item, please email hello@galvanisebh.org and a collection will be arranged from you to the St Mungo’s team.

All those in need are also being provided with meals through the day.

The accommodation and support is being provided for people who are local to Brighton & Hove. We are managing the numbers involved and working closely with partners to meet people’s individual needs. It is possible that the number of people facing hardship and homelessness could rise during the weeks and months ahead, we are looking at how best to manage any rise in local demand.

The government has stated that only essential trips should be made at this time. People should not be coming to Brighton & Hove to seek accommodation. We will have to reconnect people to their local services if they are not from Brighton & Hove.

Returning rehabilitation equipment

People in Brighton & Hove who are no longer using six key items of specialist rehabilitation equipment are being asked to return them as soon as possible to help the NHS during the Coronavirus crisis.

  • The six items are:
  • Specialist hospital-style beds
  • Mattresses
  • Hoists
  • Electric reclining chairs
  • Perching stools
  • Commodes.

To arrange a collection please phone NRS Healthcare on 01273 894350 or email enquiries@brightonandhove.nrs.uk.net 

NRS Healthcare runs the city’s specialist rehab equipment service on behalf of the council and the local NHS. 

All collection drivers will be using appropriate personal protective equipment and will follow strict social distancing measures.

For example, some items can be left outside your front door on the day of collection.

Spare freezer space

Together with our partners, the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, we are working with 60 local community groups across the city to providing food support to those that need it most.

As part of this effort, our partner organisations are asking for more freezer space to store food for individuals in need, as well as food banks.  Both chest and industrial freezers are needed by organisations, with a preference for those being contributed by the catering trade.

If you can help with this request, please get in contact with East Brighton Food Coop by emailing janet@eastbrightonfoodcoop.uk or calling 07866027719.

New parking permits

Residents in Brighton & Hove wishing to apply for new parking permits are now able to do so online.

In order to follow guidance on social distancing, we’ve removed the requirement for residents to come to Hove Town Hall for new permit applications.  The online process for renewing a permit remains unchanged.

More information on resident parking permits can be found on our website.

Highway maintenance

During this period, we have continued to maintain the city’s highway network as usual, ensuring all necessary inspections are taking place and repairs completed in a timely way.

We are working with utility companies and developers to carry out essential works on the network, prioritising safety defects and preparing sites for a programme of resurfacing works. Although the winter season has now ended, we are still delivering our winter service over the coming weeks to ensure further cold spells are covered and roads remain safe to use.

To ensure the safety of staff and the public we are adhering to government advice and have adjusted our working practices accordingly; all staff are following social distancing guidelines and we have introduced new processes to limit the amount of contact staff have with one another.

How to request help online if you need it

Any vulnerable residents with no other support can tell us directly if they need help during the coronavirus pandemic by filling in an easy to use form for themselves, or on behalf of someone else.

The form asks for details of residents who do not have support in place from family, friends or carers and need additional help with shopping, collecting medicines, emergency foodbank referrals or support to maintain their wellbeing. The information is treated in strictest confidence and used to help people as quickly as possible.

Our telephone switchboard is running on a reduced service and we ask people not to call the usual number. We encourage everyone who can use the online form if you can, so we can keep phone lines free for those with no alternative.

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

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

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

City Council Covid-19 briefing 06.04.20

Please see below the latest update from Brighton & Hove City Council. If you have any queries, please don’t hestitate to contact us.

In this briefing

  •  Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Appeal for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations
  • Homeless accommodation update
  • Food update
  • Youth activities during the pandemic
  • Message from Brighton & Hove Buses
  • Cleaning of communal areas in council properties
  • How to request help online if you need it

Latest update

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Dominic Raab MP, Foreign Secretary, spoke about the government’s efforts to bring people back to the UK from around the world.

He also said that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in hospital.

Professor Angela McLean, chief scientific adviser for the Ministry of Defence, explained efforts to stay at home are making a difference and should be continued.

The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.

Everyone should:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Anyone can spread the virus.

Stay home and save lives.

Service changes

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

Appeal for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations

Cllr Clare Moonan, chair of Health and Wellbeing board, today repeated calls for donations of unused PPE to help support our care workers and other frontline staff.

While we are doing everything we can to source additional supplies on top of the stock being provided nationally, we’re calling for help from local businesses such as tattoo parlours, health and beauty salons, construction, schools and colleges.

We’re looking for fluid replant masks, protective eye goggles, disposable latex gloves, and plastic aprons.

Donations can be taken direct to Hove Town Hall where our PPE distribution team will see that it gets to front-line staff. Please drop off donations between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday.

Thank you in advance for any suitable equipment you can give and please remember to maintain the 2 metre social distancing guidelines.  We will not be able to accept any homemade equipment.

Read more on our council newsroom

Homeless accommodation update

Following the securing of more accommodation to provide people sleeping rough with a safe place to stay, our outreach service St Mungo’s has been out in the city contacting people to help them move off the streets.

St Mungo’s are working with Arch Healthcare to make sure everyone being accommodated is checked for symptoms before allocating them an appropriate place to stay.

Volunteers co-ordinated by the council with support from St Mungo’s, The Passage and Galvanise are also going out delivering more than 200 parcels of sandwiches and water every day for anyone still on the streets.

As of this morning, we’ve helped around 90 people move off the streets and anticipate there are currently around 50 more in need of accommodation. Food and support is being provided for everyone accommodated.

We’re now prioritising efforts on getting all those people into safe accommodation. We are doing all we can to encourage people to take up this offer, but we cannot make anyone stay in a hotel.

The Streetlink service is currently very busy, so please contact St Mungo’s directly this week if you see anyone sleeping rough – email BrightonSOS@mungos.org.

We’re still working on providing more accommodation available to increase and improve the support on offer. We hope to secure these extra rooms in the next few days.

This information is also available online in a comment by Cllr Gillian Williams, Chair of Housing committee

Food update

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership has now achieved 90% of their crowdfunding target of £30,000 to raise money to bulk buy food and other essential items for food banks in the city.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign so far. The money raised is making a real difference to people’s lives in the city.

To donate to this campaign and help them reach their goal, please visit their crowdfunding campaign website.

In a separate initiative, Brighton & Hove NHS Foodbank is raising money to support NHS workers in the city. The money raised will go towards food deliveries for NHS workers in the city. For more information on this crowdfunding effort by the local community group, visit their crowdfunding page.

We have a new section within our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pages on the council website, informing residents about our food distribution efforts in the city. This page will be updated with any new information so please promote the link to people who need it.

Youth activities during the pandemic

If you’re a young person or know a young person seeking to break the boredom, connect with other teens or discuss more serious issues with someone, have a look at the support available while staying well and safe at home.

There are many services, clubs and activities for young people aged 11 years and older running in the city which have been adapted to meet the current restrictions to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. Check out the new directory which shows what’s available.

Across the city, the service offer for young people has been adapted in light of the social distancing guidance which is designed to slow the spread of the virus and keep everyone of all ages as safe as possible. 

The new directory has been brought together by Brighton & Hove City Council, local charities, community groups and businesses.

Message from Brighton & Hove Buses

We’ve been contacted by Brighton & Hove Buses with a message for residents about bus services:

At Brighton & Hove Buses we are working hard alongside the council to maintain a comprehensive bus service network for those who heavily rely on buses to travel around the city.

In a recent announcement, £167m of funding for the nation’s bus industry was made available to help keep core service levels going for as long as possible and will ensure no bus has more than 50% of the maximum number of passengers allowed on board.

We are responding with extra buses (and/or extra journeys being added to the timetables) where needed. Concessionary passes for older people and disabled people can be used at any time.

Information displayed on buses and audio announcements encourage passengers to sit well apart and stand back from the driver to help maintain social distancing. 

Driver’s cabs are being given added protection to complement their PPE. There’s also a big push to discourage cash transactions. Passengers are being asked to pay by contactless or mobile phone rather than cash, if possible, to reduce contact. If you can only pay by cash, please make sure you have the right change and put your money in the clear plastic bag the driver will offer to avoid direct contact. If you have any alternative to cash payment, please use it for the safety of all.

Cleaning of buses has been stepped up (in addition to the current standard of cleaning) with increased wipe downs of all surfaces and the introduction of cleaning products used in hospitals. Today sees this improved further with cleaning during the day in the city centre, while still observing strict social distancing rules.

The crisis has had an impact on the number of staff able to work right now. A number of people have been furloughed to protect jobs. We’re doing all we can to keep core service operating and will continue to do so

To find information on journey times please click on this link for bus information.

The council is playing a big part in maintaining the security of the city’s public transport through the crisis underlining the spirit of collaboration needed to meet the unprecedented scale of the challenges to buses and other services.

Brighton & Hove buses main website

Cleaning of communal areas in council properties

Communal areas in council blocks are being cleaned regularly to protect tenants from the spread of Covid-19. A revised cleaning schedule has been put in place with a focus on “touch points” such as lift buttons, door handles and handrails.

Staff are being sent out teams of two to meet social distancing guidelines while carrying out the cleaning. Advice has been provided to staff on how to protect themselves and others. For example, avoiding cross contamination from one block to the next by discarding gloves after finishing a building and using a new pair when entering a new block.

This service will be kept under constant review.

How to request help online if you need it

Any vulnerable residents with no other support can tell us directly if they need help during the coronavirus pandemic by filling in an easy to use form for themselves, or on behalf of someone else.

The form asks for details of residents who do not have support in place from family, friends or carers and need additional help with shopping, collecting medicines, emergency foodbank referrals or support to maintain their wellbeing. The information is treated in strictest confidence and used to help people as quickly as possible.

Our telephone switchboard is running on a reduced service and we ask people not to call the usual number. We encourage everyone who can use the online form if you can, so we can keep phone lines free for those with no alternative.

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

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

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

City Council Covid-19 update 03.04.20

Please see below the latest update from Brighton & Hove City Council. If you have any queries, please don’t hestitate to contact us.

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Do not visit Brighton & Hove
  • Homeless accomodation update
  • Housing benefit
  • Food update
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Childcare provision during the Easter Holidays
  • GCSE, AS and A-Level awarding Summer 2020
  •  BTN BikeShare free for NHS workers
  • Surge capacity and field hospitals
  • How to request help online if you need it
  • Government advice leaflet

Latest update

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP said it is vitally important to follow government advice to prevent the spread of the virus, stating these are not requests but instructions.

He said: “The only way to protect yourselves and others now is to stay at home… We’re set for a warm weekend in some parts of the country, but the disease is still spreading. And we absolutely cannot afford to relax the social distancing measures that we have in place, we cannot relax our discipline now. If we do, people will die”.

The Health secretary also announced that the capacity in the NHS is being expanded. He said people also need to stay at home to give the time needed to build more capacity in the NHS. 

The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.

Everyone should:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Anyone can spread the virus.

Stay home and save lives.

Service changes

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

Do not visit Brighton & Hove

Today Cllr Nancy Platts, leader of the council, repeated the call for visitors to stay away from the city during the pandemic.

Open spaces remain open for residents to use on their daily exercise. It is essential to follow social distancing guidance to reduce the spread of the virus.

There are also ways to enjoy the city from a distance as a virtual visitor. We can all do this to celebrate Brighton & Hove will staying safe at home whenever possible.

Read more on our website

Homeless accommodation update

All rough sleepers who need a place to stay safe from coronavirus now have somewhere to go. Today a second hotel has been arranged providing a further 51 separate rooms with en suite facilities.

Together with the spaces already arranged at the YHA, this now provides enough places for all in need. We are making sure appropriate provision is made for anyone who has symptoms to be able to self isolate. The accommodation available also means those without symptoms have somewhere where they can follow the stay at home and social distancing guidelines to keep them as safe as possible away from the virus. Everyone in the accommodation is being given food and support at this time. Again, food and support will be provided.

Our outreach service, St Mungo’s and Arch Healthcare are working together to make sure everyone being given a room is checked for symptoms before accommodation is allocated.

Outreach workers are out now letting people know the rooms are available and food will be provided. We are doing all we can to encourage people to take up this offer, but we cannot make anyone stay in a hotel.

Cllr Gill Williams, chair of housing committee, said: “I’m very grateful to everyone who has worked tirelessly to help make this accommodation available to protect some of our most vulnerable residents. We now can make sure everyone in need can be inside this weekend. We will also be offering ongoing support over the weeks and months ahead.”

If you are concerned about someone who is rough sleeping, contact Streetlink with the details and the information will be passed on to an outreach worker who will make sure the person concerned knows there is somewhere safe to stay. You can contact StreetLink online at www.streetlink.org.uk or by calling 03005 000 914. If you think the person needs urgent medical care or they’re under 18 years of age, you should call 999.

Almost all the rooms being made available have televisions and we’re looking at making sure everyone has access to a television or device that can show broadcast programmes as soon as possible. Local campaign group Galvanise continues to collect donations of kindles, hand held game console or similar to help ease the extreme isolation faced by anyone who is being asked to make this move. Our outreach service, St Mungo’s, will distribute the electronics to people in need over the weeks and months ahead. If you can donate an item, please email hello@galvanisebh.org and a collection will be arranged from you to the St Mungo’s team.

We will continue to work with partners to provide suitable accommodation for all those who are rough sleeping in the city and those who are in shared accommodation who need separate space to stay safe during the pandemic. Additional spaces are being looked into in case more people are in need or we have to change plans at a later point in the pandemic. 

This information is also on our newsroom

Housing benefit

As part of its response to COVID-19, the government announced they’re making welfare benefits changes to support economically vulnerable people and households in the local area.

We’ve updated our Housing Benefits webpages with information on the changes and the financial support for private tenants.

Food update

Today we have created a new page for residents who need support and advice about food, this includes information on how to ask for help.

The new page is a one stop shop for all relevant information and will make it easier to find support or innovative ways to shop and eat.

We also have a call to volunteer, donate surplus food supplies or contribute to the crowdfunding campaign to raise money to support local food banks for our partners at Brighton & Hove Food Partnership.

Councillor Anne Pissaridou has today praised the community, partner organisations and everyone in the council involved with supporting those in need of food during these uncertain times. Read more here.

Councillor Pissaridou explains about the emergency food distribution system that has been set up with the help from our partners at Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. This is reliant on both volunteers and donations to run smoothly. It is a testament to the generosity of the city.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is vital in the council’s response against COVID-19 as well as continuing to provide other crucial services.

We know there’s widespread concern about whether there is enough PPE for all workers who need it according to the revised PPE guidance from Public Health England which were published Thursday 2 April.

The council is actively working to ensure that our staff who need PPE are properly protected and continue to have access to supplies. The safety and protection of our staff, many who are working with our most vulnerable residents, is our number one priority.

A new national scheme by private sector company Clipper will be distributing national PPE stock to Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care providers; places like residential care homes. We’re told that deliveries will begin from Tuesday 7 April and care providers have been asked to register via email.

We’re also procuring additional PPE stock and have established a new PPE distribution team by deploying staff from elsewhere in the council. They’re based in Hove Town Hall and a new triaging team is also now being put in place to handle requests for stock.

Please donate your PPE and help support our frontline staff

Alongside orders being made through the national supply chain, we are now also contacting bodies and organisations across the city who might be able to donate their no longer needed and unused PPE.

We have contacted all schools asking for donations of masks, goggles, gloves and aprons and we’ll also be contacting the construction industry to ask for their help.

Businesses like hairdressers and tattooists may also be able to help us. Anyone or any business in the city with PPE, such as fluid resistant masks, latex gloves, protective eye wear, and disposable plastic aprons, can bring their donations to Hove Town Hall from 9am Monday 6 April.  Please leave you donations in the lobby area as the main reception is closed. There will be sign indicating where donations can be left.

Thank you in advance for any suitable equipment you can give and please remember to maintain the 2 metre social distancing guidelines.  We will not be able to accept any homemade equipment.

new section on PPE has been developed on our website to provide information and advice to council staff and stakeholders. This is now being reviewed and updated in line with the changed national guidance, and from next week will feature an FAQ.

Organisations who are concerned about the supply of PPE can contact a national helpline:

The National Supply Disruption line
Telephone: 0800 915 9964Email: supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Childcare provision during the Easter Holidays

Today is the last day of a most unusual school term. Since Monday 23 March, nurseries, childminders and schools have been providing childcare for children of critical key workers and vulnerable children (such as those with a social worker and children with Education Health and Care Plans).

Most children have not been attending their usual school or childcare for almost two weeks.

In accordance with government guidance, the majority children are being kept at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Childcare will continue for eligible children who need it during the Easter holidays, which run from Monday 6 April until Friday 17 April.

The council’s Family, Children and Learning team has been co-ordinating with providers across the city. All providers have been flexible and done everything possible to care for children who still need to go to schools, nurseries or childminders. The professional and dedicated way in which monumental change has been implemented is widely acknowledged.

About 530 children are currently attending schools. This is 1.7 per cent of the usual school population. Almost all schools have managed to stay open despite pressures on staffing. Where it hasn’t been possible to stay open, local schools have co-operated together to make sure pupils have a place nearby.

There are also 40 early years providers offering care to eligible children and this is about a third of the usual number. All council run nurseries are open and this will continue during the Easter holidays, including one that is usually term time only.

We have researched the level of interest in childcare over the Bank Holiday Easter weekend. Take up of this offer is low but we are ready to respond if anyone eligible for care needs support.

Schools, nurseries and childminders have been contacting families directly about the arrangements available.

Families with queries about their childcare options over the Easter break should speak to their own school, nursery or childminder in the first instance.

Eligible families can contact the Family Information Service if they need help to find childcare for a child of any age over the Easter holidays. 

Families can contact FIS by email: familyinfo@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phone 01273 293545 and leave a message. 

GCSE, AS and A-Level awarding Summer 2020

The Department for Education has today released information for schools, students and parents on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020

Results days are expected to be earlier than the original August dates, although details have not been confirmed.

Our Education and Skills team will be looking at this new guidance and working with schools and colleges over the coming days to understand the implications. More information to follow as soon as it is available.

BTN BikeShare free for NHS workers

BTN BikeShare is being made available for free to NHS staff working in Brighton & Hove during the coronavirus pandemic.

Annual memberships, which include 30 minutes of free travel and no unlock fees, are also being offered to care contractor staff working for Brighton & Hove City Council.  These key workers offer support and care to some of the vulnerable people living in the city.

Eligible NHS workers should contact their site travel coordinator for information on how to take up this offer.  Care contractor staff working for Brighton & Hove City Council should contact their company travel coordinator.

Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Anne Pissaridou said: “I’m pleased we’ve been able to put this offer together for NHS workers during this crucial period.”

“We are living in unprecedented times and it’s vital we support our NHS staff however we can.  This offer will allow them free access to BTN BikeShare at a time when their role has never been so important.

“Being able to extend this offer to home care staff working for the council will also support those helping to care for some of our most vulnerable residents at this difficult time.”

Extra hygiene measures are also being introduced to BTN BikeShare with extra cleaning of bikes and new signage to remind users to wipe down bikes before and after use.

More information about BTN BikeShare can be found on their website.

This update is also available on our newsroom.

Surge capacity and field hospitals

NHS England and military planners at regional level are currently scoping the requirement for additional hospital capacity, over and above that already secured. Currently, no decision has been made on any potential sites in Sussex, but the assessment teams continue to review their best options to meet the expected demand over the coming weeks.

How to request help online if you need it

This is a reminder that extremely vulnerable residents with no other support can now tell us directly if they need help during the coronavirus pandemic by filling in an easy to use form on our website. People can also fill in the form for someone they know who is in this situation and can’t get online themselves.

The form asks for details of who needs help and what support is required. The information is treated in strictest confidence and used to help people as quickly as possible.

The telephone switchboard is running on a reduced service and we ask people not to call the usual number. We encourage everyone who can use the online forms to do so to keep the lines free for those who have no alternative.

Government advice leaflet

The Cabinet Office has today shared a copy of the government advice leaflet being sent in paper form to all UK residents. We’re told it should begin landing on doorsteps from today.

City Council Covid-19 Update 02.04.20

As your Councillors we have been sending updates on email and sharing them on Facebook and the Mutual Aid groups. We have chosen to copy the update here too so it can be conveniently sent around as weblink.

You can, of course, contact us at About

Please continue to adhere to the public health guidelines and, above all, please stay safe.

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Praise for local shops and businesses
  • Thank you to our city’s community, voluntary and faith groups
  • How to request help online if you need it
  • Council tax reduction scheme
  • Ongoing tree works
  • Visiting cemeteries
  • Craven Vale

Latest update

Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP spoke at this evening’s Downing Street address.

He committed to an increase in the number of people who will be tested and set a goal of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April.

The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.

Everyone should:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Anyone can spread the virus.

Stay home and save lives.

Service changes

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

Praise for local shops and businesses

Councillor Nancy Platts, leader of the council, has praised local shops and businesses as they rise to the challenge of safely serving Brighton & Hove through the pandemic.

Read more on the council website

Thank you to our city’s community, voluntary and faith groups

Cllr Amanda Grimshaw, lead councillor for equalities, has thanked community, voluntary and faith groups for their work around the city.

Read the full letter on the council website

How to request help online if you need it

From today extremely vulnerable residents with no other support can tell us directly if they need help during the coronavirus pandemic by filling in an easy to use form on the council website. People can also fill in the form for someone they know who is in this situation and can’t get online themselves.

The form asks for details of who needs help and what support is required. The information is treated in strictest confidence and used to help people as quickly as possible.

The telephone switchboard is running on a reduced service and we ask people not to call the usual number. We encourage everyone who can use the online forms to do so to keep the lines free for those who have no alternative.

Council tax reduction scheme

More information is now available about council tax reductions available in Brighton & Hove.

Every working age household who receives a Council Tax Reduction in 2020/21 will receive an additional reduction to their council tax bill. This means they will either:

  • have nothing to pay
  • reduces their bill by a further £150

Any money left over will go to boost the discretionary funds that are being used to help households in hardship because of COVID-19.

More information is on the council website

If anyone is concerned about being able to pay council tax bills due to the impact of the coronavirus, please let us know as soon as possible. The best way is to contact us via the web site which has an online form or by phone on 01273 291 291. Please note that due to high call volumes we recommend using the online form.

Ongoing tree works

You may see these signs on display near where our arboriculture team is out managing safety related tree works in parks.

The team is also lining up some Elm disease control felling. This is to protect our city’s historic National Elm Collection before Elm disease season starts in May.

We hope the signs will help explain to residents why the work is continuing.

Visiting cemeteries

We’re asking for people to only go to the city cemeteries to attend a funeral or visit a grave.

Since the government restrictions on movement were introduced, there has been a rise in the number of people using the cemetery grounds for outings, exercise and dog walking.

We’re asking people to please use other areas for these activities. The cemeteries are places for mourning and remembrance. People coming to mourn need to be able to do so in peace.

More information is on our website.

Craven Vale – support for staff

Following a trade union statement issued last night, we’ve been looking into the concerns raised by staff at Craven Vale with their union reps.

Craven Vale is a residential care home for older people in Brighton & Hove, providing community short term services and respite care.

Reassurance and advice was given right away in a statement from Cllr Clare Moonan, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

In her statement last night Cllr Moonan said: “Our thanks go out to every member of staff working to protect all our residents. Our staff are hugely valued and are working incredibly hard in unprecedented conditions. We understand why they are very worried and concerned.

“We always want staff to raise any concerns with their managers so that where necessary immediate action can be taken. Throughout this crisis, advice and information has consistently been provided to all staff about best working practices and managers have communicated at length with their staff to reinforce that all concerns should be raised and discussed openly

“Staff at Craven Vale have access to all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) according to NHS guidance.  We are working through the Sussex Resilience Forum and NHS to source ongoing supplies.  If anyone has concerns, they should approach their manager as soon as possible.

“Social distancing measures are being implemented across all care homes and we are following national guidance on infection control.

“No issues have been raised with managers at Craven Vale but we will listen to any concerns raised by staff or the union representation carefully. We have no information at present about a second or third case of Covid-19 at Craven Vale.  There is only one confirmed case we are aware of and that person is being isolated within the centre.  It’s quite possible there may be other clients who may have some symptoms but nothing is confirmed at present. 

“Briefing meetings with staff are taking place today (Thursday) and the management team welcome staff raising issues with us. 

“We have offered a specific meeting with GMB and UNISON on the situation at Craven Vale and are flexible in making sure these meetings can take place at a time convenient with everyone.”

“However, we feel the level of testing available to the care home and home care settings is too low and we call on the government to address this immediately.

“Levels of PPE across the care setting should be increased to protect all residents and staff throughout the pandemic but we are concerned that there aren’t the suppliers to do this.

“We need to be able to support our care homes and home care services, who are supporting the most vulnerable in our community, failure to do this will only lead to increased admission to hospital.”

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

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

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

City Council Covid-19 update 1.4.20

As your Councillors we have been sending updates on email and sharing them on Facebook and the Mutual Aid groups. We have chosen to copy the update here too so it can be conveniently sent around as weblink.

You can, of course, contact us at About

Please continue to adhere to the public health guidelines and, above all, please stay safe.

Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date: Wednesday 1 April 2020
Briefing number: 21  

Purpose of the briefing This briefing is to keep you updated on the evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions being taken in the city. This information can be shared widely.  

Who does it affect?

  • Residents and visitors to the city
  • Brighton & Hove City Council staff including school staff
  • Childcare and education providers in the city  

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • DoNotVisitBrighton
  • Small business grants
  • Accommodation, food and support for rough sleepers
  • Wood burning and bonfires
  • Cityclean
  • New drug and alcohol support service
  • Free school meals
  • Council tax help

Latest update  

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Business Secretary Alok Sharma MP spoke about the money which has been given to local authorities to go to local businesses and that some businesses have already started to receive grants.  He also provided more information about increases in testing.  

Professor Yvonne Doyle also said that there had been a rise in motor vehicle traffic that was ‘concerning’ and again urged people to stay at home.   The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.  
Everyone should:  
Stay at home
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home) Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Full guidance on staying at home and away from others Anyone can spread the virus. Stay home and save lives.  

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

DoNotVisitBrighton Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee has spoken about the need for visitors to stay away from Brighton & Hove, but also highlighting the opportunities to be a ‘virtual visitor’ to the city.  

Coast to Capital small business grants Coast to Capital has set up a Backing Business Grants Fund of £2 million to help small businesses and social enterprises in the region. If you have a business in the city with a workforce of between five and 50 and have been trading for more than two years with a turnover of under £10 million you may be eligible for a grant of between £5,000 to £25,000. More information on how to apply.  

Accommodation, food and support for rough sleepers Councillor Gill Williams, chair of Housing, has written about what we’re currently doing to support rough sleepers and the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes securing 106 units for people who are sleeping rough with an aim of securing 219 more in the coming days.  

Wood burning and bonfires We are asking residents to think twice before using wood burning stoves and open fires, and to not start bonfires during the coronavirus crisis.  

Cityclean The government has published advice on waste disposal for people with possible or confirmed coronavirus. Personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.  These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.  Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. Read more about waste and recycling service changes.  

New drug & alcohol support service From 1 April 2020, drug and alcohol support services are being provided by The Brighton and Hove Recovery Service. They offer advice and support to adults, their families and carers of those struggling with alcohol or drug misuse. Provision was previously provided by Pavilions Drug & Alcohol Service. Due to COVID-19 restrictions face-to-face sessions are not available but appointments and support will be provided on the phone or by their online team. Find out more or access the service at: www.changegrowlive.org/brighton-hove-recovery-service

Free School meals The government has introduced a national voucher scheme for free school meals. It applies for pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Schools can order vouchers worth £15 per pupil per week from Edenred – the company running the scheme for the government. Schools then pass the vouchers on to eligible parents, who can redeem them in a number of supermarket chains. We have written to all schools to let them know what they need to do. We want as many local people as possible to benefit from this scheme. Parents who have not already applied for free school meals or who are not sure whether they qualify should visit the council’s school meals webpage or email freeschoolmeals@brighton-hove.gov.uk. More information about the scheme is on the government website

Council Tax help 
If anyone is concerned about being able to pay council tax bills due to the impact of the coronavirus, please let us know as soon as possible. The best way is to contact us via the web site which has an online form or by phone on 01273 291 291. Please note that due to high call volumes we recommend using the online form. Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

We can help

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to grow across the country, we wanted to write as your councillors to wish you well and outline the support you can access at this time. We know that a number of our residents will be in need of help and we are happy to provide it.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time on:

Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Cllr Hannah Clare hannah.clare@brighton-hove.gov.uk

You can also access help through:

Best wishes,

Cllrs Phélim Mac Cafferty and Hannah Clare

P.S. Our ward surgery tonight at the Cornerstone Community Centre is also cancelled but we are available to help on the details above.