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Latest Covid Updates – 21/1/21

Latest Covid Updates

Additional Restriction Grants

Cornwall Council has launched the application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), aimed at businesses which have been forced to close or limit trading during the current coronavirus lockdown.

Cornwall has been allocated £11.5m to support businesses that are ineligible for other forms of financial support and have fixed ongoing costs such as rent or mortgage payments, loans or lease agreements for capital equipment or rental of workspaces.

Businesses have until 23.59pm on Sunday, January 31, to apply for a one-off grant. 

Those eligible include businesses which:

  • Have not previously received any form of coronavirus grant support
  • Are Cornwall based and owned
  • Have been forced to shut and are not business rate registered
  • Have been severely impacted by the current lockdown, but are ineligible for other grant support because they have not been mandated to close.
  • Businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 who were eligible but did not apply for an Additional Restrictions Grant in November.

Please share this information with businesses in your area. Full details can be found at www.cornwall.gov.uk/BusinessSupportGrant.

Facebook Live COVID-19 briefing

Cornwall Council will be holding an online COVID-19 briefing via a Facebook Live event on Friday 22 January from 2-3pm.

The session will include the latest COVID-19 data for Cornwall and a chance for you to ask questions. The speakers will be:

  • Cornwall Council Deputy Leader Adam Paynter
  • Councillor Sally Hawken, Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health
  • Councillor Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection
  • Assistant Director of Public Health Dr Ruth Goldstein
  • Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce of Devon and Cornwall Police

If you can’t attend the live session, you can access a recording of it afterwards using the link above.

One and All Race Equality Forum

Residents are invited to join Cornwall’s new Race Equality Forum so communities can come together and help create a more inclusive and anti-racist Cornwall. The first forum will take place as an online event on Thursday 4 February from 6-7.30pm facilitated by Cornwall Council.

The first session will include updates on the steps already taken and a discussion about how the new forum and core group could work and what the priorities should be. It will also include guest speaker, Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor of Bristol, who will talk about Bristol’s experiences in tackling race inequality head on, the lessons they learned, what worked well and their hopes for the future.

People will also be asked to make a commitment about how they would like to continue to be involved.

To sign up for the session, visit the Let’s Talk Cornwall website and answer a few short questions. A link to the online meeting will then be sent to participants.

Support with COVID-19 legislation webinars

Cornwall Council’s Business Regulatory Support team is running more free support webinars on COVID rules and regulations for businesses, town and parish councils, and voluntary and community groups in January and February.

The next session will be at 11am on Thursday 28 January, and you can sign up on Eventbrite.

You can also catch up with recordings of previous webinars online.

If you have any questions that you want to put to the team prior to the webinar, please email them to businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk.

Domestic abuse

The pressures, restrictions and anxiety as a result of lockdowns have led to an increase the risk, frequency and severity of domestic abuse for many people in Cornwall.

Please make sure that people in your community know they can still access safety and support during lockdown without fear of breaching COVID restrictions. Safer Cornwall’s video explains how to get help and support.

If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, call 999. 

Further information is available on the Safer Futures website or by ringing Safer Futures on 0300 777 4777.

Mental health support

January can be a challenging time for many with the combination of bad weather, long nights and the post-Christmas comedown. This year there are the added stresses and worry of the continued pandemic and lockdown.

There’s a range of support available for anyone who’s having difficulty coping, including:

  • 24/7 NHS mental health response line for support and advice. Call free on 0800 038 5300, any time day or night if you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health. The team behind our 24/7 open access telephone response line will listen to you and determine how best to help.
  • Mental wellbeing guides covering everything from childhood to old age, and pregnancy to suicidal thoughts.
  • Outlook South West, which is part of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has a range of talking therapy services available to people aged 16 and above in Cornwall who experience mild to moderate worry, anxiety and low mood. You can refer yourself to Outlook South West by calling on 01208 871905 or completing an online referral form.
  • Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has 12 free online self-help courses that anyone can take on the Silver Cloud platform.
  • Assistance from the Mhend project, which provides support with problems such as debt, finances, housing, relationships and mental wellbeing.
  • new grant programme launched by Headstart Kernow and Cornwall Community Foundation to support young people’s mental wellbeing.
  • Tips, support and advice on all things health-related on the Healthy Cornwall website.
  • Online mental health safety planning information including mental health safety plans and a list of apps providing support with mental health.
  • If you’re in crisis and need support, contact your GP or NHS Direct on 111. 

Free parking during lockdown

Parking charges in Cornwall Council’s car parks have been suspended from 16 January until the end of the current national lockdown, as part of efforts to further limit the spread of coronavirus and to support residents.

As many people have returned to home working arrangements in response to the latest national lockdown, there has been an increase in the number of vehicles parked on residential roads and residents unable to find a parking space near their homes. They will now have the option to park for free in a Cornwall Council car park.

Free school meals during half term

Cornwall Council will provide free school meals over the February half term after the Department for Education told schools they would not be providing funding. The Council will use the money from the COVID Winter Grant Scheme from Government to feed over 15,000 young people who are currently accessing the scheme in Cornwall. Schools will be provided with funding of up to £15 per eligible child to support their local families.

There’s more information about how to register for free school meals on the School Meals page on Cornwall Council’s website. Please share this with families in your area.

Online planning tool relaunched

Cornwall Council’s online planning tool a Day in the Life of a Planning Application has been relaunched. Developed together with the Cornwall Planning Partnership, the tool covers the planning process and the various stages of development from start to finish.

The tool is updated as legislation and policy change and allows local councils, the public, developers, agents and prospective applicant to access information about any stage of the planning process at the click of a button.

Work is ongoing to continue to improve the tool and feedback from local councils is very welcome. If you have any feedback or questions about this resource, please email nic.phillips@cornwall.gov.uk.

CIL self-build and the neighbourhood portion

Cornwall Council’s Infrastructure Team recently had to charge Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on a couple of developments that had previously been granted relief. This was due to discovering that the dwellings were being let out and/or being lived in as second homes instead of as main residences.

When planning permission for a residential development is granted, the CIL Regulations set out that if relief can be claimed the development doesn’t have to pay any CIL.

In these scenarios, the local council does not receive its 15% or 25% neighbourhood portion. CIL will become payable if anything happens that results in that relief being withdrawn. If CIL is then paid, the local council would then receive its neighbourhood portion.

You can learn more about how the self-build relief claim process works, and why the relief might be withdrawn, on the CIL Frequently Asked Questions page on Cornwall Council’s website.

Changes to clinical waste collections

Cornwall Council is restructuring its collection rounds for clinical waste to provide a more efficient service. This will involve a change of collection day for some customers, and the Council is contacting everyone who will be affected.

Customers receiving a regular clinical waste sack collection service will receive two letters informing them that their collection days are going to change, with clear dates to explain when this will happen.

Customers receiving a sharps box collection will be informed when they book their next collection.

Residents and care providers can also now register for the service online.

These are the first of a number of changes to services that will take place over the next few months as part of the new waste collection contract.

Weddings and civil partnerships

Following the announcement of the current lockdown, Cornwall Council advised couples hoping to get married or form a civil partnership, that as from 12 January 2021, ceremonies would be postponed in line with the General Registration Office and Government guidelines. Currently, ceremonies can only take place if there are exceptional circumstances, such as military postings overseas, terminal illness of a bride or groom or expiry of visas. The Council will continue to monitor and review this in line with the Government guidelines.

Important support

Please send all coronavirus related enquiries or issues to Cornwall Council’s dedicated email address covid19@cornwall.gov.uk. Residents can also ring 0300 1231 118 for any COVID-19 related queries.

You can see the latest COVID-19 data for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on Cornwall Council’s website.

There’s an information page on Cornwall Council’s website and a dedicated telephone line 0300 1234 334 specifically for residents who are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group.

Find out more about Cornwall Association of Local Councils at www.cornwallalc.org.uk or email enquiries@cornwallalc.org.uk.

Anyone who needs help can request a volunteer by ringing Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or emailing requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk.

Community volunteers can register with Volunteer Cornwall on their website or by emailing mid@volunteercornwall.org.uk. Volunteer Cornwall will match people who ring up needing help with the community volunteers in their local area – or, if they have more complex needs, with specialist services.

Support for those living with domestic abuse is available from Safer Futures. People can make a referral online, email saferfutures@firstlight.org.uk or ring 0300 777 4777. There is also refuge and support via the Cornwall Refuge Trust website and their 24 hour helpline 01872 225629.

There’s information about support for those facing hardship or redundancy, including help with food, benefits and council tax, on the Do you need a helping hand? page on Cornwall Council’s website.

Find out more about the support available for businesses here: Business Rate Support and Growth Hub.


 

Cornwall Council is holding a live Covid-19 briefing at 2pm this Friday – January 22 – via Facebook Live.

Cornwall Council Deputy Leader Adam Paynter; Councillor Sally Hawken, Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health; Councillor Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection; Assistant Director of Public Health, Dr Ruth Goldstein; and Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce of Devon and Cornwall Police, will provide an update and take questions from residents and the media.

https://www.facebook.com/events/3111068785840686/

 


 

Additional Restrictions Grant

Today we are launching the application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme, aimed at businesses which have been forced to close or limit trading during the current coronavirus lockdown.

You can find a link to the media release here. It would be helpful for you to share this with your local networks.

Cornwall has been allocated £11.5m by the Government for the scheme, designed to support businesses who are not eligible for other forms of financial support and have fixed ongoing costs such as rent or mortgage payments, loans or lease agreements for capital equipment or rental of workspaces.

Businesses have until 23.59pm on Sunday, January 31, to apply for a one-off grant. Those eligible include businesses which:

·         Have not previously received any form of coronavirus grant support

·         Are Cornwall based and owned
·         Have been legally required to close and are not business rate registered

·         Have been severely impacted by the national lockdown which began on Tuesday, January 5, but are ineligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) because they have not been mandated to close. This will include a range of businesses who supply goods and services to the hospitality, retail and leisure sector; businesses supplying services to the visitor economy, such as holiday cottage management companies,

and; businesses from the event sector such as caterers and event venues.

·         Businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 who were eligible but did not apply for an Additional Restrictions Grant in November.

Full details of eligibility and the amount of grant support available can be found at www.cornwall.gov.uk/BusinessSupportGrant

 


 

Local Restrictions Support Grant

Cornwall Council continues to pay out vital grant support to businesses affected by changes in tier restrictions and the current national lockdown. The Council was one of the first local authorities in the country to pass on Government grants for Cornwall’s businesses during the lockdown which began in March 2020.

The Council has so far paid out £1.92m to more than 7,500 businesses which had to close when Cornwall moved to Tier 3 restrictions on Boxing Day. And around 12,000 businesses forced to close during the January lockdown will receive their first payments this week under the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme as well as a Closed Business Lockdown Payment (one off grants of £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000).

 


 

Weddings and civil partnerships

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister of a lockdown, we advised couples hoping to get married or form a civil partnership, that as from 12th January 2021, ceremonies would be postponed in line with the General Registration Office and Government guidelines. Currently, ceremonies can only take place if there are exceptional circumstances, such as military postings overseas, terminal illness of a bride or groom or expiry of visas. We will continue to monitor and review this in line with the Government guidelines and amend as needed.

 


 

Food map

During the pandemic people who have never had to ask for help before are finding themselves in a position where they need support. The latest feedback from foodbanks and community crisis groups in Cornwall shows a sharp increase in demand for support in the lead-up to Christmas this year. For many people it is the first time they have needed to access their community food banks for help. We have worked with community organisations to develop the Help with Food map, which you can find by clicking here.

 


 

Libraries

I’d like to update you on new measures being put in place at our libraries to help keep staff and customers safe. Libraries have been recognised as ‘essential’ by the government so have been able to continue to provide services to those who need them most. Cornwall Council-managed libraries will continue with a click-and-collect service however, in line with the current Government guidelines, we are restricting access to library buildings. Collections will therefore take place as close to the building threshold as possible. Where possible, members of the public will not be permitted to enter the building at all. Access to public network computers will be limited to those who are vulnerable and in need. Staff will use their discretion to manage access to the computers, and we will continue to deliver emergency triage support.

The mobile library service will continue to operate, supporting people to stay within their communities. During lockdown, we are encouraging people to use our online services. Cornwall Library membership allows free access to a huge selection of e-books, e-audio books, online newspapers and magazines.

Anyone can sign up to access these resources for free on the Cornwall Council website.

 


 

Important links

All coronavirus related enquiries or issues to our dedicated email address covid19@cornwall.gov.uk. This email address is monitored throughout normal business hours.

Anyone who needs help can request a volunteer by ringing 01872 266988 or emailing requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk.

Find out more about the support available for businesses here: Business Rate Support Council Tax Support and Growth Hub

 

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