Waste tips to reopen. Green bin emptying and bulky waste removal services also to restart
Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member with responsibility for waste services said: “I’m pleased to announce that all of our waste services will resume over the next two weeks.
“Today we have agreed changes which mean:
• Household Waste and Recycling Centres will reopen from 11 May by appointment only to residents and commercial waste customers for essential use.
• Bulky waste collections will restart on 11 May
• Garden waste collections will start on 18 May.
“The decision we took back in April wasn’t one we took lightly, however it was crucial we were able to keep residents and staff safe. I would like to thank residents for their understanding and also our incredible staff who have continued to collect household waste and recycling in these challenging times.
“The wellbeing of residents and our staff has been our number one priority and following resident feedback, we explored options to restart all waste collection services, including garden waste collections. In addition, these services can now be opened safely as staff absences have stabilised and we have developed new ways of working.
“Following my letter to the Secretary of State seeking further support and guidance to resume our services as soon as possible, the government released updated guidance today. The guidance advises that journeys to tips must only be undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means.
“The household waste and recycling centres will also have social distancing measures in place in addition to our booking system. We will announce further details of the changes, including the booking system tomorrow.”
Confusion over grants to micro businesses
The City of York Council says it is gearing up to deliver a new government grant scheme aimed at local businesses, small charities, B&Bs and market traders.
It is unclear whether the grants will be in addition to any made under the Council’s own micro business grant scheme launched on 3rd April. The Council has not said how much of the £1 million, that they said they had put aside for those grants, has actually been spent.
York is set to receive around £2.2 million to support small and micro businesses that do not qualify for the existing grants or the self-employed income support. Council staff will work to ensure that the grants are received as rapidly as possible once details of the scheme are announced.
The figure represents the 5% ‘uplift’ promised to councils on the amount received through the coronavirus grants for small businesses and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Local authorities have to wait for final details from the government but the scheme aims to help:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces
- Science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
- Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment
- B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
- Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
It is available to businesses with fewer than 50 employees and facing ongoing fixed building-related costs. Applicants must have been trading since before 11 March, and able to demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning, said:
These are extremely challenging times for the people who run York’s businesses.
“From day one it’s been our priority to get relief into business’ bank accounts as securely and quickly as possible, with over £105 million distributed in a matter of weeks, nearly 90% of previous grant announcements. We’ll do the same with these grants, and are working with neighbouring councils to make sure that, as resources allow, there is as much consistency as possible.
We hope that the Government will provide regulations to councils quickly so that we can announce details of how to apply early next week.”
Because the scale of the financial award to local authorities has been fixed, but the number of qualifying businesses and charity properties will emerge and vary, the council cannot immediately say how much each grant will be worth.
Full details of the scheme are expected to be announced by the Government later this week. Grants will be distributed by an application process. It is acknowledged that it will take a little time to set up this process to ensure all the correct checks are made.
Almost 90% of previously announced grants have now been processed with City of York ranking 12 out of 314 local authorities for the quickest payments to local businesses. Officers are continuing to work through these, as well as the micro grants.