31 March 2020

COVID-19 update for all media

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council communications team will be providing a daily media update with a round-up of any changes to council services arising from the Coronavirus. Please note – this information is correct at the time of publishing.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

 

Community translation videos – The Government’s information about staying at home for all but essential reasons, keeping your distance when you must go out, and washing your hands when you return is vitally important for everyone to know and understand to prevent the spread of the virus. Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council identified that there was a problem reaching some people in our communities with this message who may not have understood the important public health messages, either because they cannot read or understand English or because they cannot access translations.

As a result we have worked with people across our communities to produce video messages of this advice in other languages. Video blogs have been produced covering 29 different languages so far – with more being added every day – and these are available to view and share on our websites and on all our social media sites. People across our communities have been sharing the messages and we are asking other organisations to use them widely to reach as many people as we can.  Cambridgeshire Constabulary is already doing this.

Superintendent Laura Hunt, at Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said: “Working with our diverse communities to make sure they understand the very important ‘stay at home’ message is a critical part of our work at the moment. So the translation videos produced by the city and county council will prove very useful for police officers when they come across people who struggle to understand the messages in English.

 

“Our policing style is built on consent and having a positive relationship with the community. Therefore, enforcement will be the last resort and we will follow the four-step principles of Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce, which we hope will mean we only very rarely have to move to the adoption of an enforcement approach.

 

“We will continue to work closely with the councils and all our partners to ensure as many people as possible stay at home.”

 

Please help us to share the videos as widely as you can, helping to reinforce the message that people must stay at home unless for the reasons set out by Government. Take a look at the video blogs on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough websites.

 

Food boxes for shielded groups – Parcels of food and emergency supplies for the most vulnerable in our communities who are shielding from the Coronavirus are being delivered to residents across the county from this week.

 

 

The Government has promised that a national food distribution scheme will be up and running shortly to support 1.5million people nationally who need to be shielded from the virus for at least 12 weeks because of serious health and medical conditions.

 

Every one of those people is being contacted by the NHS to advise them of this, and to ask whether or not they have a reliable support network in place to make sure they receive food and medicines, and other supplies, to prevent them from having to leave their homes.

 

Those who don’t have such a network will be provided with food and medicines via a national scheme which is being developed with food wholesalers, supermarkets and community pharmacies.

 

In the period up until this national scheme is launched, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been working with the British Red Cross to ensure that those residents who need food, medicine and emergency supplies are supported.

 

During the weekend council staff telephoned 400 local residents who they knew were shielding and who had indicated they didn’t have support networks to check what help was needed and arranged deliveries. This work will continue as long as it is needed.

 

The council and British Red Cross have also been supported by a planner from the military and staff from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. More information and a quote from Rob Hill, assistant director for community safety for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council is available here for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

 

Domestic abuse and COVID-19 – We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them.

 

During the current coronavirus ‘stay at home’ situation, one of the concerns is that there will be an increase in reports of domestic abuse. Home is not likely to be a safe place for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and they will be increasingly isolated from sources of support.

 

The window of opportunity for anyone with an abusive partner to make a call and seek help is often very limited and that window is now likely to be even smaller. Research undertaken in China during the Wuhan lockdown revealed an increase of a third in reported domestic abuse incidents.

 

Councillor Mark Goldsack, White Ribbon ambassador and lead member for community safety and domestic violence at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “As a White Ribbon ambassador, domestic abuse of all kinds is constantly in my mind. Under current rules for COVID-19, families will be under new and different pressures which could put vulnerable people in a heightened risk of domestic abuse.

 

“We want to make sure that despite the conditions our support services are available for those that may need them. Please stay safe and contact specialist support services or the police if you are suffering any form of domestic abuse, sexual violence or coercive behaviour.”

 

Councillor Irene Walsh, Cabinet Member for Communities at Peterborough City Council, said: “Under the new ‘stay at home’ rules in place for coronavirus, families will be under new and different pressures which could put vulnerable people at a heightened risk of all kinds of domestic abuse.

 

“We want to make sure that despite the current circumstances, our support services are available for those that may need them. Please stay safe and contact specialist support services or the police if you are suffering any form of domestic abuse, sexual violence or coercive behaviour.”

 

Find all the contact details and read more here on our news pages at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Dr Liz Robin vlog – Today Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health, reminds us the measures we are taking will help to beat the spread of coronavirus and give us five simple tips that you can do every day to improve your mental and physical health.

Click here to watch today’s video blog.

 

Dr Liz Robin is available for down the line interviews about the current COVID-19 situation or the contents of today’s Vlog.  Please contact the Communications team if you would like to set one of these up.           

Support for businesses in Peterborough – From tomorrow (Wednesday), businesses in Peterborough will begin receiving financial support from the city council, following a package of measures announced by Central Government last week to support businesses which have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

12 month Business Rate Holiday – This applies to any retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and also non-local authority childcare providers. These businesses will have nothing to pay from tomorrow (Wednesday, 1 April) for 12 months. The collective saving for these city businesses is £33m and revised bills – with zero to pay – will be sent.

 

Small Business Grant Funding – All businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief (over 2,000 businesses in Peterborough) will automatically receive £10,000. The collective payment for Peterborough businesses is £22million. We are getting in touch with these businesses and will make the payments over the next two weeks.

 

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funding – This affects almost 640 businesses in Peterborough who will each receive £25,000. The collective payment is £16million. We are getting in touch with these businesses and will make the payment over the next two weeks.

Support for city residents – Central Government has now provided the council with further clarification over which households should receive a slice of a national £500million Hardship Fund to help ease financial worries during Covid-19.

Over 7,700 city households will be eligible for a £150 payment. Residents across the city will collectively receive £1.6million. This will appear as a credit on their April council tax bills.

Businesses in Cambridgeshire – the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Combined Authority (CPCA), working with the County Council and Peterborough City Council, wants to ensure businesses across Cambridgeshire are fully aware of the various financial support measures being made available by Government and that as many businesses as possible secure the support they are eligible to receive.

The CPCA have set-up an email address to receive and respond to general business queries – business@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk

Further support and advice for businesses can be found on our websites: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

 

Please note a correction following yesterday’s ‘Trading Standards supporting local businesses’ story –  

The line: ‘After the Government last week ordered the immediate closure of all businesses that are not providing essential services’ was incorrect.

Correction: The Government has ordered the immediate closure of a wide range of businesses as one way of preventing the spread of coronavirus and saving lives, and the extent of the closures has continued to expand.

 

We would urge any business who is unsure as to whether the legislation applies to them to contact Trading Standards for advice as a matter of urgency. All advice on this matter will be free of charge.

 

The Government advice to business is at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus              

 

Junction 18 (Rhubarb Bridge) works complete in Peterborough – The works are now complete, the bridge has been strengthened and traffic can flow at the main roundabout. The contractors will return as soon as possible to put the finishing touches to the pedestrian crossings, which then means they can be used. In the meantime the footbridge is open as usual.

 

 

Children in school are all smiles – While the current situation may be difficult for many of us, it is certainly not holding back those children attending Cherry Hinton Primary School in Cambridge. Not just content with keeping the positivity to themselves, they have been helping those passing by the school keep in good spirits too!

 

 

Bin collections in Peterborough – City residents are being asked not to overload bins and to ensure that recycling, general waste and food waste is in the correct bins. Crews are noticing some residents are having non-essential clear outs at home and are filling bins with many more items than usual. This means crews are taking longer to complete their collections and could place strain on the teams if workers begin to fall sick and are unable to come to work during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

For more information about what should go in your bin, visit our website.

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

 

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Coronavirus: what you need to do

  • 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

Anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

 

30 March 2020

 

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council communications team will be providing a daily media update with a round-up of any changes to council services arising from the Coronavirus. Please note – this information is correct at the time of publishing.

Monday, 30 March 2020

 

Refuse collectors praised in Peterborough – City residents have been leaving messages of support for our Aragon Direct Services bin collection crews. The drawings and messages appeared on wheelie bins last week, which have been welcomed by the crews who are key workers doing a vital job. The crews are sharing pictures of these message with each other, and they are even being printed and put on a “Wall of thanks” at the depot to keep everyone’s spirits up.

 

The structure and nature of the duties carried out by key workers means there are times when they need to be in closer proximity to people to carry out their work, as is the case for doctors, carers and police officers. For example, crews must travel together in the same refuse collection vehicle. As detailed in this media briefing last week, extra safety steps are being followed by the crews to limit the likelihood of spreading Covid-19 as much as possible, while ensuring they can still provide an essential service to residents.

 

Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member for waste at Peterborough City Council, said: “The overwhelming support that our Aragon refuse collectors have seen from city residents is very much appreciated by the crews. They are key workers doing a fantastic job during the Covid-19 outbreak and it’s great that they are being supported so much by their local community.”

 

 

 

Supporting local businesses – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards offering free advice.

 

After the Government last week ordered the immediate closure of all businesses that are not providing essential services as a way of minimising the spread of the Coronavirus.

 

Trading Standards in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are offering free advice to support local businesses who have been affected.

Any business that is unsure whether the rules apply to them should contact Trading Standards urgently for advice free of charge.

 

Councillor Steve Criswell, Chairman of the Communities and Partnership Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is understandably a difficult and uncertain time for businesses but it’s essential that we follow the Government’s advice and do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus. I urge any local business, large or small, that is unsure if the mandatory closure applies to them to contact Trading Standards as soon as possible.”

 

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities at Peterborough City Council, said: “No part of our society is unaffected by the Coronavirus. We need to make sure that we all help to stop its spread, including those businesses who have sadly been instructed to close until the virus is under control.

 

“Please contact Trading Standards as a matter of urgency if you’re not sure whether the new rules apply to you.”

 

You can read more on our news pages at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Visit our websites for more information, support and advice: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough or fill out a Trading Standards contact form:  www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/regulatorycompanion

 

Consumer concerns, increase prices – There have been reports that some businesses have been increasing the prices of goods during the Coronavirus outbreak. Whilst local businesses are free to set their own prices, the Competition and Markets Authority has set up a taskforce to examine the scale of the issue and are asking people to report instances via an online reporting form or via email to covid.monitoring@cma.gov.uk

 

Schools ensure the show goes on for our vulnerable children and those of critical workers – While the majority of children across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are now at home, many of our schools are still pulling together and adapting to cater for our vulnerable children, and those of critical workers.

 

 

Whilst they may have less staff on site, everyone is working hard to ensure the children attending are safe, and have an environment that is as familiar to them as possible. This means everyone is digging in and helping out – teachers, cooks, office staff and in the case of Little Paxton Primary in St Neots, even the school dog!

 

Please note – those in the picture were adhering to social distancing, which may not seem apparent due to the camera angle.

 

Play areas reminder in Peterborough – All play areas, skate parks, outdoor gym spaces have been closed and messages are clearly displayed at the entrances. Please can we remind all residents who are using the open spaces, not to meet in groups and adhere to safe social distancing of at least two metres/six feet apart from others.
Cambridgeshire Customer Services Contact Centre – in order to re-direct our resources to critical services, the Library and Trading Standards phone lines closed on Friday (27 March). This will allow us to focus and prioritise critical services which need to remain open.

 

Bus Services in Peterborough – Service X4 Northampton – Kettering – Corby – Peterborough has reduced to a Sunday service. This changed yesterday (Sunday 29 March).

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Peterborough – https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/healthcare/public-health/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services

Cambridgeshire – https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

 

Coronavirus: what you need to do

  • 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

Anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others