Corona virus update – 31st March 2020

Police advice on staying safe live video tomorrow (Wednesday)

At 1pm on Wednesday 1 April, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will be live streaming safety advice, along with colleagues from North Yorkshire County Council. Find out how to keep yourself and your family safe whilst staying at home and saving lives. The broadcast will also include advice for businesses. Watch LIVE on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_JZLQd6LYE

Public service monitor

Police appeal on gangs of youths

If you see people congregating in groups please contact Police on 101 as soon as you can so the Police can respond accordingly. This action is in relation to recent Covid-19 regulations and groups causing general ASB. #stayhome #staysafe

Waitrose moves to help vulnerable with home delivery priority

To support our elderly and most vulnerable customers, we have decided to give them priority access to our home delivery and Click & Collect slots.

These customers are being identified using data we currently hold. We are actively working with the UK government to identify further vulnerable and elderly customers.

We are working with the UK Government to identify customers who are vulnerable to Coronavirus. If you believe you should be considered vulnerable, please use the Government service website to identify yourself.

  • You can register for yourself or someone else
  • The government will share details of those who are registered with us in the coming days
  • We’ll be in touch to let you know when you’ve been added and can book slots

Register on GOV.UK

We’re doing all we can to make more delivery and Click & Collect slots available soon.

Home food deliveries

Sainbury’s will try to help any vulnerable persons who is unable to secure a delivery slot. The contact telephone number is 08000 525500

Morrisons have already announced a basic box of essentials delivery service https://www.morrisons.com/food-boxes/how-it-works

Coop reduces store opening hours

Coop opening hours are changing to 7am-8pm. Petrol stores will remain open until 11pm.

Some Coop stores are closing but none so far in York

Rough sleepers

The Council says that all rough sleepers accepted accommodation and stayed in it on Friday night. Using hotels and hostels, temporary and Housing First accommodation, we have enough for all known rough sleepers and can provide them with food too.

“The situation is very fluid regarding individuals who may choose to leave the accommodation provided: there is no enforcement around them staying in it”.

Council ready to process £40m coronavirus support grants to local businesses

 

Following further guidance from the Government, City of York Council will now distribute government support grants of up to £25000 to York businesses.

Many small businesses which receive small or rural business rates relief will receive a payment of £10,000.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, with a rateable value of under £51,000, will receive either £10,000 or £25,000 grants.

The council has created a short web form to gather the information required by the government, including VAT registration details.

The secure web form can be found at https://www.york.gov.uk/COVIDBusinessGrant . 

Any business wanting to find out more about the grant process should contact covid19.businessgrants@york.gov.uk.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

“The Council has been working hard to to deliver these support packages as quickly as possible, and to date, we have already applied the business rates holiday to over 4000 accounts and have now created a secure new system to process grants totaling nearly £40m across 2500 eligible businesses. 

“We have already created our own local support package totaling £1 million to support small and micro businesses in the city, on top of existing government support, and we will continue to act swiftly to support local businesses through these extremely challenging times.”

The council has written to all 2500 businesses it has identified as eligible for the grants.

With many business owners unable to access their premises, the council wants to reach as many businesses as possible through local media, social media and partners and representative bodies across the city.

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said:

“We’re determined to overcome these obstacles and get these grants to York businesses, and that is why we have contacted all 2,500 businesses identified as eligible for the grants.

“On top of delivering the government’s support, we’ve developed our package to help our creative and resilient business community through these difficult times,  including the deferral of rent for our commercial tenants and having made commitments to support our key suppliers.

“We’re also working with York BID, Make it York, the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships and other partners to speak up on behalf of our business community.”

“Any business can get up to date advice and guidance through our support page www.york.gov.uk/BusinessSupport.”

Which businesses are eligible?

  1. Small Business Grant Fund

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000, in line with the eligibility criteria.

  1. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property.

  • Eligible businesses with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000
  • Eligible businesses with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000

Corona virus update – 30th March 2020

Gangs of youths

Police request, “If any residents see groups of youths or any persons gathering in a location or not adhering to the government guidelines to please ring 101 at the time so that officers can attend the location asap and obtain the details of those involved and give appropriate advice etc. We’ve got extra patrols out on foot and cycles at this time”.

Supermarkets generally quiet

Most supermarkets in York are now quieter than they have been recently. Many now have stocks of toilet paper, eggs, spray disinfectant etc all of which have been in short supply. We are still pressing the authorities and businesses to use social media to highlight busy times, stock shortages, home delivery pipelines etc. For a City which prides itself on innovation and hi tech literacy this has been a bit of a letdown.

NB. No shortages in Waitrose York earlier today. Well organised by helpful staff

Corona virus update 29th March 2020

Roads and cycle paths very quiet today. Combination of health worries and cool weather?

York – Selby cycle track (Saturday)
A64 southern by pass (Sunday)

Shops are also less busy

30 in a fast moving queue on Saturday lunchtime at Tesco Extra on Tadcaster Road. Sunday the queue is down to just 3 people.

Other local stores have short queues or none at all

No queue today at Tesco Express on Acomb Wood Drive

Seems to be a lot more people wearing face masks today!

Police act on anti social behaviour in west York

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Over the past few nights while we have been patrolling, we have come across a number of groups of young people congregating in our local communities and ignoring the Government’s advice to stay at home. Sadly our Force Control Room has also received calls reporting anti-social behaviour (ASB) in our local area.

This week our Assistant Chief Constable appealed to parents and carers to ensure their teenage children understand the risk the COVID-19 virus poses and encourage them to stay indoors. You can read his message here – https://bit.ly/3ahVIx2

The Government has made it clear that staying at home is one of the main ways we can stop the virus from spreading, so there should be no young people out on the streets.

We will continue to carry out our patrols and if we come across any anti-social behaviour or groups of young people in the area, we’ll be advising them to go home. We’ll also be using our ‘Be Informed’ text message service to inform local residents of the situation.

‘Be informed’ is a scheme designed to inform parents and carers, of any anti-social behaviour in the local neighbourhood that officers are attending. If their children are out at the time, parents and carers can then use this text as a trigger to contact their children, check their whereabouts and ask them to come home.

The ‘Be informed’ scheme is easy to join. All you need to do is email your mobile phone number and the name of the area you live in to Beinformed@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk – by emailing these details you are giving your consent to join the scheme.

To read more about the scheme you can visit the North Yorkshire Police website – https://bit.ly/39lcWbg

Be informed is delivered through North Yorkshire Community Messenger. For further information on what we do with your personal data, please visit www.northyorkshirecommunitymessaging.org

You may withdraw your consent to the service at any time by emailing Beinformed@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk and request to unsubscribe from the messaging service.

 
 
 

Corona Virus update – 28th March 2020

Aldi queue priorities for NHS & emergency services

Supermarket Aldi has said that nurses, police officers and firefighters will take priority in its queues.

In a statement, it said: “All day, every day, key workers in the NHS, police and fire service will take priority ahead of queues into our stores upon showing a valid ID.

“This is in addition to early access on a Sunday, where they can enter stores 30 minutes prior to opening.

Thank you from everyone at Aldi.”

York Council guidance updated

The latest council guidance can be found on this link.

Regrettably it still does not address the issue of “routine” food shopping, stock positions, “least busy time” advice  and the lack of delivery & contactless payment options (other than plans to use volunteers to help the needy – see below)

A national briefing on the position at supermarkets can be found here https://brc.org.uk/news/corporate-affairs/coronavirus-latest-retailer-announcements/

Financial support for residents

The York Council  have announced a details of emergency funds totalling £1.25m for residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents will be able to receive financial help from two funds, depending on their circumstances and how much help they need. The two funds are the:

  • Emergency hardship fund for residents affected by Covid-19
  • Council tax COVID-19 hardship fund

More information at at www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus

York Council community response and hubs

“We have invited people in need to contact us via the council’s standard number as well as via covid19help@york.gov.uk  Calls are being dealt with by the Customer Centre (now operating 7 days a week).  Any requests for help that fall outside of normal service requests are being forwarded to a unit that we have established to respond to individual need.   We are dealing with a wide range of requests for help.  We are responding according to the nature of the need, for example:

  • Referring to a voluntary organisation providing a relevant service
  • Sending a volunteer to do shopping for the individual
  • Arranging a delivery of food via the foodbank
  • Arranging delivery of food that we have procured
  • Arranging follow-up welfare calls using volunteers
  • Linking the individual into the local Facebook groups

To support this effort we are in daily contact with all the relevant voluntary organisations to understand their needs as well as what they have to offer.  We are working particularly closely with the foodbank to focus on food issues to understand demand and adapt our approach accordingly.

Our response will now be bolstered through the establishment of community hubs.  The hubs are part of the city’s co-ordinated response to the COVID-19 emergency. They are not open to the public and are at strategic locations around the city. In the first instance these respond to the government’s requirement to deliver food to the “medically shielded” (we will be provided with a list of who these people are) prior to a national door to door delivery system kicking in.  We expect our first delivery of food imminently to our central warehouse.  Our hubs will also provide a safety net for this system should any individual be missed. 10 hubs are now ready to pack food into boxes as soon as it is delivered.  A further 14 can be opened if required”.

Homeless support

We are aware of the government’s announcement about how council’s should be supporting homeless people. People sleeping rough in the city are among the most vulnerable in the city and it is important for their immediate and long-term health to get them into accommodation.  We have accommodation for those who are still outside. From there, we can provide them regularly with food and support for their other needs.The Government has asked us to triage people to different location according to any underlying health issues and we’re working on this. More information on our support we are offering was outlined in our  press release from earlier this week.

Business support

The business briefing includes how we’ve worked with Make it York, York BID and the LEPs to make the case for small employer support, and are raising some teething issues with over government-backed loans with the British Business Bank. Now we are asking businesses to tell us what other support their business needs by completing this short survey from Make it York – whether they are a member or not.

 Mental wellbeing

Public Health England has tailored Every Mind Matters to provide advice and tips on how to manage anxiety during social distancing and isolation. People can find guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain mental wellbeing while at home or are worried and anxious about the outbreak is the NHS site.

Service changes

Register office

 As of Monday 30 March, York Register Office is closed to the public following the Coivd-19 pandemic. Following Government guidance we are now asking people to register a death by telephone.  If you have been given a medical certificate of cause of death from a doctor, you will need to deliver this to the Register Office (post through the letter box) or post the certificate to us.

Before delivering or posting please ensure you add the following details, clearly, on the medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) envelope:

  • name of the person who will register the death
  • a contact number and email address for the person who will be registering the death
  • the name of the funeral director (if known)

Once we have received the MCCD we will call you to arrange the registration. If you have not received a MCCD from the doctor, please call 01904 654477 or email registrar@york.gov.uk. We apologise for any inconveninence.

 Changes to public transport

Following the Covid-19 pandemic City of York Council have worked with York’s bus and train operators to ensure key workers and people making essential journeys are still able to get in and around the city.

After the Government announced guidelines stopping all but essential travel the number of people using bus and train services in the city has dropped substantially. In light of this we have worked with operators to remove non-essential services. We are also reminding those who are travelling need to consider social distancing whilst they move around.

 Bus services:

Bus operators and the council have looked at bus usage over the past week after restrictions were put in place to assess what trips are required for key workers, essential journeys, and also to gauge demand levels so services can operate within social distancing guidelines. Most services are continuing to run, but on a less frequent timetable. Some services will stop where there are other options for travellers. Specific changes are:

  • Park and ride services from Askham Bar, Poppleton Bar and Grimston Bar will cease from Sunday.  FirstYork will take park and ride tickets on adjacent services on their town network (for example, service 12 for Askham Bar, service 10 from Poppleton Bar and Grimston Bar).  The park and ride services from the Designer Outlet, Rawcliffe Bar and Monks Cross will continue to run, although at a half hourly frequency.  The car parks at Grimston Bar and Poppleton Bar will be closed, although the car park at Askham Bar will remain open.   The Hospital Shuttle Bus from Rawcliffe Bar will continue to run.
  • “Local” services in York will run at a reduced frequency.  Most of First’s network will operate at a half hour frequency, with half-hourly services becoming approximately hourly.  Service 13 (Connexions) will run hourly.  Service 20 every 2 hours, with frequency reductions also on services 24/25/26.  Service 19 will cease to operate, although its stops in Rawcliffe and Clifton will be served by the Hospital Shuttle Bus.
  • CitySightseeing services will not operate.

Longer distance services are also effected.

  • Coastliner services are combined with Cityzap and will operate every hour.  Service 415 to Selby will operate every hour, services from East Yorkshire have also been reduced.  Services 22, 30, 40 and 412 will operate but at reduced frequencies.

Bus users are asked to check operator websites before they travel for the most up to date information.  These can be accessed via itravel York website www.itravelyork.info Whilst these temporary changes are in place bus timetable apps and screens will not be displaying the correct information.

 Rail services:

Train companies are now offering a reduced service – ensuring key workers are still able to travel as required.  Timetables changes will be introduced from Sunday and full details are available via the National Rail Journey Planner and train operating company websites

 Car parking:

A reminder that free car parking for key workers and food workers:

Key workers who work in the NHS or are health and social care related services or work in supermarkets and food outlets without parking (this does not include takeaways) will be able to park for free in council car parks to support the fantastic work they are doing during the corona virus pandemic. Our only ask is that they put in the windscreen a letter on their employers headed paper confirming that they are a key worker in one of the services mentioned above.

During the outbreak the council are mindful that people may not be able to move their car whilst they self-isolate some discretion is being shown to people who park legally provided they are not causing an obstruction or wilfully breaking the law. Any urgent enquiries on this can be sent to parking@york.gov.uk where officers will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please note Fossbank and Piccadilly car parks are currently closed.

Healthy child service

In line with government advice, a few changes have been made to our healthy child service offer.

New parents will still be offered a face to face visit from a Health Visitor when they have been discharged by the midwife. Health visitors will call before they visit to ask about symptoms of coronavirus in the household. Health Visitors can support new parents with feeding, help to understand baby’s communication cues and answer questions relating to baby’s health, safety and development.

Health visitors and school nurses can still be contacted by phone and are on hand to provide advice and support. Please do not come to the centres, we will contact you by phone and visit only if it is essential and safe to do so.

The team can support over the phone with behaviour, toileting, sleep, healthy eating, ideas for activities during isolation and lots more.

Young people can contact the school nurses confidentially by text or call on 07833 437363 Monday- Friday 08:30-17:00

Our health visitors and school nurses can be called (Monday to Friday 8.30am -5pm) on:

  • The Avenues children’s centre 01904 551760
  • Clifton Children’s centre 01904 552322
  • Hob Moor children’s centre 01904 555475

Contactless payments – how easy

How to make contactless card payment
Friday Five: Apple Pay is Easy to Use, Very Secure and ...

Government advice is that payment for goods and services should now be made by “contactless” cards or via a smartphone App.

This avoids any personal contact, and is in line with health advice.

Not everyone feels comfortable about giving their credit card details over the phone.

News in today says that the contactless card limit is being raised to £45. There may still be a £100 a day maximum spend on some cards.

National advice is that payment should be made via smartphone Apps such as Apple Pay for higher amounts.

Paypal is another option at some stores and for some takeaway deliveries..

Obviously a bank transfer can be made but this implies payment in advance.

The missing link in all this, is a list of stores and delivery options which allow the use of this technology.

The Council, supported by trade organisations and the media, in York should get on publish and maintain such an “on line” list. 

Corona Virus updates – 27th March 2020

York Council housing contacts

New First bus service timetables from Sunday

From Sunday 29th March, the following changes will take effect:

First York is moving all services to a Sunday timetable (bolstered by additional buses during peak times) to ensure key workers, including health service and emergency workers, can get to and from their places of work and those without a car can still collect medical prescriptions or do their essential shopping.

Summary below, please visit our timetable page (forthcoming section) for specific journeys.

York City services

1, 4, 5, 5A, 6, 66 – Will operate a revised timetable operating every 30 minutes during the, with early journeys operating Monday – Friday. Services will operate at hourly intervals during the evening, reduction to hourly intervals earlier on a Saturday and Sunday evening than present. Saturday and Sunday morning services have also been thinned out till approx. 9am.

10 – Will operate a Sunday timetable with additional early journey weekdays. Late journeys will continue to operate Monday to Saturday, to be reviewed dependent on usage.

11 – Will operate a special timetable with early journeys weekdays, service will operate every 70 minutes. Late journeys will continue to operate Monday to Saturday, to be reviewed dependent on usage, and whatever decision is made regards tendered services.

12 – Will operate a special timetable with early journeys weekdays, service will operate every 60 minutes, journeys after 1900 will continue to operate subject to patronage review.

200 – Will operate Monday to Saturday, the final journey will operate 10 minutes later.

HSB – Will operate normal schedule.

York Park & Ride

Service 2 – Will operate every 30 minutes as service 2A, observing all stops. Service will commence at 0700 Monday – Friday, and 0930 Saturday and Sunday. Evening service will operate hourly, these evening journeys terminate at Station Avenue. Return journeys will commence at Station Avenue.

Service 7 – Will operate every 30 minutes, Service will commence at 0700 Monday – Friday, and 0930 Saturday and Sunday. Evening service will operate hourly, these evening journeys will terminate at Rougier Street. Return journeys to Designer Outlet will commence from Clifford Street.

Service 9 Will operate every 30 minutes. Service will commence at 0700 Monday – Friday, and 0930 Saturday and Sunday. Last journey from City Centre 1900.

Services not operating (Grimston/Askham/Poppleton Park & Ride – closed)

66A, UB1, 3, 3A, 8, 59, 11S

At First Bus, your safety is our top priority. In the wake of the evolving impacts of coronavirus, we are working with the Government and wider industry to ensure we are following the latest advice to keep you safe on our buses. 

For our general information please see our main Coronavirus information page »


If there any key workers not able to get to work due to the changes, please let us know and we can look to try and make amendments. Contact us at: YorkCommercialTeam@firstgroup.com

“Which” advice on supermarket shopping and more

the “Which” consumer magazine has produced a guide on food shopping on its website https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/03/supermarkets-ration-essential-items-to-prevent-coronavirus-stockpiling/

Fire and Rescue advice

Community Hubs

The Council, has confirmed that it is establishing neighbourhood “community hubs”. Council staffed they will NOT be open to the public. They are planned to support residents identified as vulnerable or those who have been in touch asking for support, by providing them with essential, non-perishable foods.

What’s App

The UK Government has launched a GOV.​UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

To use the free GOV.​UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.​UK pages as well as links to GOV.​UK for further information.

For more information, please click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-coronavirus-information-service-on-whatsapp

Public Toilets

Public toilets in the city centre will be closed until further notice.

Parks and open spaces

All council-run parks in the city will remain open for exercise but we’re asking visitors to ensure they adhere to social distance best practice. From this weekend, Rowntree Park will reopen following the flooding earlier this year.

Play areas will be closed from today and this includes basketball courts, skateparks, caged five a side areas and tennis courts. Notices are being placed in all play areas instructing the public of this decision.

To ensure we follow the government’s guidance on social distancing the York Bar Walls are closed.

York Emergency Fund to support residents

City of York Council has announced details of a new Emergency Fund totalling £1.25m to support residents facing hardship during the  Covid -19 pandemic.

With the funding in place, residents will now be able to receive financial support from two funding streams, depending on their circumstances and how much help they need.  The two funds are:

  • Emergency Hardship Fund for residents affected by Covid-19
  • Council tax Covid-19 Hardship Fund

Leader of City of York Council, Cllr Keith Aspden, said:

“The outbreak of Coronavirus has affected many residents across the city and as a council, we are working to explore all options to support residents and businesses to help them get through this challenging time.

“That is why I am pleased to announce our second local emergency fund, which has been designed to support those residents who have seen their personal finance significantly and negatively affected by the outbreak.”

“Our two new financial assistance funds will go a long way to supporting residents, alongside additional support for working aged residents, who claim Council Tax Support.  I would strongly encourage any resident or business facing hardship to get in touch with the Council.”

“It is also important to take the opportunity to urge landlords across the city and beyond to be accommodating to tenants who may be facing financial difficulties during this time.”

The first fund is an extension of the York Financial Assistance Scheme (YFAS). This provides help to local people in financial difficulties due to exceptional circumstances and crisis. Additional funding has now been made available to help people affected by Covid-19.

The Covid-19 Hardship Fund will see the Council provide Council Tax relief for the most vulnerable.  Working aged people who claim Council Tax Support will receive an additional award for £150 towards their total bill for 2020/21. This will reduce their monthly repayments.

You can find more information on both schemes below.

YFAS offers two types of assistance:

  • Emergency Assistance for a disaster or crisis
  • Community Assistance to help with exceptional pressures or financial difficulties

Applications to YFAS will be accepted from York residents. Previous annual income criteria will not apply. Applications will be considered by looking at a person’s individual financial circumstances. The scheme is open to all York residents.

Emergency assistance is provided in several key areas, including:

  • Supermarket vouchers

These are available to people who do not have money for food and other household essentials. Vouchers will be provided  electronically to be used in a specific supermarkets. If you, or someone on your behalf, are not able to go to the supermarket to collect your shopping, you should the Covid-19 Community Hubs who will arrange support for you.

  • Gas & electricity

If you have a prepayment meter and have no money to top up or have no way of topping it up contact you energy provider for assistance in the first instance. If you’re still struggling to pay your bill, you will receive support and no meter disconnections will take place.

  • Other heating costs

If you have other heating costs, such as oil and need assistance, please apply giving as much detail as possible. These will be considered on the basis of need.

Community Assistance 

This part of the scheme provides help with basic necessities.

Applications will be considered for essential appliances where people do not have a working cooker, fridge, freezer or washing machines.   Goods will be delivered to your home and Cookers and washing machines professionally installed.

To apply for a YFAS grant visit https://www.york.gov.uk/YFAS or call 01904 551550.

The Council will also be providing council tax relief for the most vulnerable.

Working aged people who claim Council Tax Support will receive an additional award for £150 towards their total bill for 2020/21. This will reduce their monthly repayments.

York residents who receive Council Tax Support will automatically be awarded the additional amount into council tax accounts.  The Council will be making these awards into people’s accounts over the coming weeks.

Residents do not need to do anything. If they are already receiving Council Tax Support the extra award will be added to their account and they will receive a new bill with revised monthly payments.

Anyone making a new claim for Council Tax Support will have the amount added once their claim has been assessed.

If you are struggling to pay your council tax:

Claim council Support online at www.york.gov.uk/CouncilTaxSupport

If you are already in receipt of Council Tax Support and your income has changed please tell us so we can check your claim at www.york.gov.uk/BenefitsChangeOfCircumstances

For the latest information on help and support for people affected by coronavirus visit www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus

Lots of volunteers, not much organisation?

The York Council has been criticised in the wake of its claim that 1400 people had volunteered to be local corona virus helpers. Critics say there are inadequate processes are in place to channel volunteers’ efforts into providing the right help for the right people in a timely way.

Many had expected that an “online” system would be available by now which minimised human contact while allowing the vulnerable to order and pay for food and medicines remotely.

With many supermarkets closing their “click and collect” services, and home delivery slots booked up for many weeks in advance, an alternative approach using local taxis and courier cyclists is needed.

The latter groups have seen their income eroded by the crisis. Some local businesses, including taxi drivers, have said that they would be happy to cooperate with such a system.

Any online system must allow customers to

  1. Choose their shopping remotely
  2. Have it bagged
  3. Pay for it – inclusive of delivery – “online”
  4. Have it delivered to their doorstep?

At the moment only a few small independent shops seem to be addressing this demand.

NB. The Council has not yet responded to a request that it publish a regular monitor of the food supply chain from “field to doorstep”. Such information as has been published, for example regarding stock availability at local stores, has been researched by sections of the media.

Job availability on farms (and even for key worker vacancies like refuse collectors with the Council) is also difficult to find online.

Corona virus updates – 26th March 2020

Self employed get help

Rishi Sunak announces Govt will pay self-employed people a taxable grant of up to 80 per cent of of their average profits over the past three years, up to £2,500 a month. The Chancellor says this will be available to anyone with profits up to £50k, and is only available to those who make the majority of the income from being self-employed

Community support

We understand that both the North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council are setting up local volunteer hubs. These will co ordinate the provision of services within local neighbourhoods.

In York there are expected to be 20 “hubs” spread around the City with the first starting work before the end of the week. The hubs will not be open to the general public but will direct volunteer efforts on food and other deliveries.

In North Yorkshire 23 community support organisations will be the single point of contact for the county and district councils and working with the local voluntary sector.
People needing help will contact the County Council’s customer service centre on 01609 780780 which will direct them to the contact point in their area. The role of the community support organisation in each locality is as follows:
• The single point of contact for those who are alone and isolated by the pandemic
• Signposting to what local support is available in the community;
• Act as local hub for individuals and groups wishing to volunteer in the community response;
• Provide information on local shopping options and trusted suppliers who are delivering directly to those who are self-isolating;

The Community Support Organisation will work with local voluntary sector groups to arrange:
• Collection and delivery of shopping using local volunteering resources. Shopping will be delivered in line with the safety guidelines and left on the doorstep or in a safe place, in order to avoid close physical contact;
• Collection and delivery of prescriptions using local volunteers. Prescriptions will be collected by a nominated person or organisation with the agreement of the GP or pharmacist;
• Caring for pets, for example walking a dog.
• Regular social contact via telephone, FaceTime, Skype or other methods that avoid physical contact with an individual in self-isolation.
• Delivery of books and magazines or materials to support hobbies, such as wool or knitting or art materials
The first thing people wanting to help should do is to think about and talk to family, friends and neighbours who may need help. The county council is also urging them to contact local voluntary groups already known to them mindful that the Government’s regulations must be observed at all
times.
Volunteers must follow the Government’s safety guidance on keeping a two
metre distance from people and the regular washing of hands.
“If volunteers have specific or specialist skills to offer, again they should be in contact with local groups. They can also contact the county council customer service centre which can direct them to their local community support organisation which can process their offer of help.”

The county council is working with the community support organisations to bring in North Yorkshire Volunteer ID cards in line with Government guidance.

Funerals

Information from City of York Council, “Whilst the Prime Minister announced the closures of places of worship and social events, however they did make an exception for funerals attended by immediate families. We are in close and regular contact with funeral directors and are following the latest government advice.

As part of steps to manage the impact of Coronavirus, and taking into account national guidance relating to social distancing, City of York Council has announced a number of changes relating to York Crematorium.

From immediate effect funeral services will still go ahead but with only 10 (ten) mourners to being allowed inside the White Rose Chapel and 5 (five) inside the Ebor Chapel. This is restricted to close family only (spouse/partner, parents/carers, brothers/sisters and children and their partners). This is to minimise the number of people gathering.

The council will seek to provide a recording free of charge and within 72 hours of the service the funeral director will receive the recording in an mp4 file format ready to pass onto to the family”. 

 Roadworks

Stonegate completing – all others postponed

We have taken the decision to close down the active work site at Monkgate which is still more than a week away from completion.

The site will be made safe and works will not recommence until such time central government indicate it is safe to do so. Temporary traffic signals will still be in place at the junction but hopefully the network will still remain quiet as people avoid travel wherever possible.

Council leaflet

Information about volunteering and community support is being distributed to all homes in the city. These leaflets have already begun distribution.  “The delivery teams are working flat out, are working safely and within Government guidelines and the leaflets, as COVID-relevant council information, have been prioritised for delivery.” The information is the same as has already been widely distributed on social media.  

 The Council says that they are also producing postcards for each ward (with ward members contact details) and stay safe stay home information will be sent by royal mail early next week.

Current Available Mental Health and Wellbeing and COVID-19 Resources

Please find below a list of current resources that are available online to support Mental Health & Wellbeing as part of COVID-19 Response.

Mental Health & Wellbeing and COVID-19 – Adults

Looking After Your Mental Health during the Coronavirus Outbreak – The Mental Health Foundation

Coronavirus and your Wellbeing – MIND

Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak – WHO

Coping with Stress during the 2019 n-Cov Outbreak – WHO

How to stay active while you’re at home – Sport England

Coronavirus Guidance – Carers UK

Easy Read guide to Coronavirus – PHE

Mental Health & Wellbeing and COVID-19 – Children & Young People

Helping Children Cope with Stress during 2019 n-Cov Outbreak – WHO

Talking to your child about coronavirus – Young Minds

Supporting schools & colleges: A guide to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils and students during periods of disruption

There are also three videos, one for school staff, one for parents and one for children and young people which may be useful.

General Health & Wellbeing Resources

Every Mind Matters – NHS and PHE

Mood Assessment and Mental Wellbeing Audio Guides – NHS

Tips for Everyday Living – MIND

Scam advice

Police advice

York Council service changes

The safety of the public and staff is paramount, therefore we are ensuring  social distancing guidance set out by the Government is followed where ever possible. This has led to widespread changes to the services we offer.

This includes:

Volunteering

So far, 1,400 residents have signed up to volunteer which is a wonderful response. We’re still looking for more, so please sign up

Parking and Car Parks including free parking for key workers and food workers

  • Key workers who work in the NHS or are health and social care related services or work in supermarkets and food outlets without parking (this does not include takeaways) will be able to park for free in council car parks to support the fantastic work they are doing during the corona virus pandemic. Our only ask is that they put in the windscreen a letter on their employers headed paper confirming that they are a key worker in one of the services mentioned above. They will not need to pay.
  • During the outbreak the council are mindful that people may not be able to move their car whilst they self-isolate some discretion is being shown to people who park legally provided they are not causing an obstruction or wilfully breaking the law.
  • Any urgent enquiries on this can be sent to parking@york.gov.uk  where officers will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • Please note Fossbank and Piccadilly car parks are currently closed.

Public Toilets

Public toilets in the city centre will be closed until further notice.. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Parks and open spaces

All council-run parks in the city will remain open for exercise but we’re asking visitors to ensure they adhere to social distance best practice. From this weekend, Rowntree Park will reopen following the flooding earlier this year.

Play areas will be closed from today and this includes basketball courts, skateparks, caged five a side areas and tennis courts. Notices are being placed in all play areas instructing the public of this decision.

To ensure we follow the government’s guidance on social distancing the York Bar Walls are closed.

Roadworks

We are suspending all non-essential roadworks across the city, including replacing traffic signals on Monkgate, following the government’s advice on social distancing. If possible we will remove cones and temporary traffic light to ensure the minimum amount of disruption is caused for those making essential journeys. This also ensures that we are able to redeploy staff if necessary to ensure essential services, such as refuse collection, continue to run.

Bulky Waste Collections

Our bulky waste collection services, which collections bulky items from households has now temporarily stopped. This is to ensure we can continue providing essential services across the city, including collecting your household waste (black bins).

Household Waste Recycling Centres

Our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), including Hazel Court and Towthorpe, are now closed.

This is on the basis that a visit to the HWRC cannot be considered essential – in line with recent national advice

We will be keeping Hazel Court open for commercial use – e.g. small builders, as they are currently allowed to continue to operate whilst adhering to social distancing. They will be required to produce a ‘duty of care’ transfer note on arrival.

Register Office

Unfortunately all ceremonies have been postponed following the governments advice. We have contacted everyone who has made a booking to look at rescheduling for a later date. The Register Office is currently only open to register a death. We are asking people to only go to the register office if they have a pre-booked appointment and are not showing any symptoms. We’re are also asking for only one person to attend each appointment to ensure social distancing guidance is followed.

Crematorium

From immediate effect funeral services will still go ahead but with only 10 (ten) mourners to being allowed inside the White Rose Chapel and 5 (five) inside the Ebor Chapel. This is restricted to close family only (spouse/partner, parents/carers, brothers/sisters and children and their partners). This is to minimise the number of people gathering.

Adult social care

In partnership with the NHS, we are prioritising the safe and supported return home of people currently in hospital.

We’re closely working with care home providers to monitor capacity in care homes across the city.

We’ve shared updated Govt advice on shielding online to protect the most medically vulnerable residents.

Fraud prevention

Advice from Trading Standards on how to spot or avoid scams can be viewed here https://www.york.gov.uk/FraudPrevention

Housing

We’re contacting all vulnerable households and tenants aged over 65 to check on their needs.

All housing landlord services will be run online or by phone to protect tenants, their families and our staff.

No face-to-face appointments can be run at the moment and tenants are being asked to use online and phone services only.

We’re reminding tenants that they must continue to pay their rent, but any who are struggling with their rent should contact their Housing Management Officers (HMOs) as soon as possible. We’re taking a flexible approach on enforcement.

We’ve shared details of benefits advice and where to make new claims or update existing ones is people’s circumstances change.

Housing adaptations

The priority areas are for minor adaptations to residents’ homes to enable safe hospital discharge and to fit key safes to enable carers to support them at home.

Homelessness services

In addition to our established hostels, we are working with private providers to place single homeless people with lower support needs in single rooms. These can be used to self isolate if needed. We are currently sending food to these customers and plan to use volunteers to support staff doing this.

In our hostels we are mitigating risks with extra sanitising measures and using social distancing. We are staffing hostels at levels which meet residents’ welfare needs and protect staff.

Rough Sleeper services are operating in the same way: for a bed, please go to 63, Lawrence Street or call them on 01904 416562

We are continuing with our services for people concerned about being homeless, and these will be done online or by phone. Anyone concerned about homelessness should call City of York Council on 01904 554500 or visit www.york.gov.uk/homelessness/housing-options.

Noise nuisance

We ask residents to show tolerance and consideration for neighbours at this difficult time and as we get used to new ways of living: it’s important that we all work together.

We are asking people to think about what they can do to live with levels of noise from neighbours, such as using a room in a quieter part of the home or using headphones to help concentrate. If this doesn’t work, in most cases, being neighbourly and considerate can resolve the majority of problems.

Our service is here to investigate criminal levels of noise nuisance and activate legal enforcement. If you do not think that what you are experiencing needs this, please consider safe contact with your neighbours to reach an agreement.

Stray dogs

Our stray dog service is currently suspended.  If you find a stray dog or have lost your dog please phone our Dog Warden on 01904 552299 who may have had contact from owners and finders and can put you in touch.

Free parking for NHS staff and other key workers at York Council car parks

  • Key workers who work in the NHS or are health and social care related services or work in supermarkets and food outlets without parking (this does not include takeaways) will be able to park for free in council car parks to support the fantastic work they are doing during the corona virus pandemic. Our only ask is that they put in the windscreen a letter on their employers headed paper confirming that they are a key worker in one of the services mentioned above. They will not need to pay.
  • During the outbreak the council are mindful that people may not be able to move their car whilst they self-isolate some discretion is being shown to people who park legally provided they are not causing an obstruction or wilfully breaking the law.
  • Any urgent enquiries on this can be sent to parking@york.gov.uk  where officers will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • Please note Fossbank and Piccadilly car parks are currently closed.

£1m business emergency fund to protect York  businesses and jobs during coronavirus outbreak

City of York Council today announced a £1m local emergency fund to support businesses in dealing with the impacts of Covid-19.

The fund will target a range of support at around 1000 small and micro firms, who are not set to benefit from the recently announced Government support packages.

The council is working closely with partners to make sure the fund delivers the most effective support and targets those who are least likely to benefit from existing measures.

In addition to the creation of a business support fund, the Council is also taking a series of action to alleviate pressures on local businesses during this difficult period.

These include:

  • All 350 council commercial rents deferred for three months.
  • Supporting key suppliers, including: 
  1. Paying those providing services to council and maintained schools, and bus providers for tendered routes and concessionary fares
  2. Paying in advance where possible, and for planned annual activity.
  3.   Exploring the potential for short-term loans
  • All planned increase in fees and charges are suspended (unless set by the government)
  • A license fee ‘holiday’ for businesses which can’t use them
  • Suspending debt recovery efforts

Councillor Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said:

“These measures are designed to protect jobs and help local businesses who are having to adapt to extremely challenging circumstances and fall outside the remit of any government support.”

“In addition to the £1 million emergency fund for business, there will be a separate hardship fund of £1.25m to support residents, which we’ll announce details of soon. In the meantime, any resident facing financial difficulty should apply to our hardship scheme immediately.

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy, said:

“We want to get help to businesses as quickly as possible to assist them at this critical time. We would encourage other property landlords to take the same approach.

“We’re also working with the York BID, LEPS and other partners to connect businesses to all the available advice, guidance and support, so we’d urge any business to visit www.york.gov.uk/BusinessSupport to see what is available to them.”

The council is engaging with business support services and partners to make sure the fund delivers the most effective support, with full details to be announced in the coming days. 

Any resident facing financial difficulty can see all the available support, and apply for the York Financial Assistance Scheme, at https://www.york.gov.uk/COVIDFinancialHelp