Update on Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook.
We continue to work within a well-established set of structures governing how agencies work together to respond to keep people safe and well-informed during a major incident. As we are in a relatively stable way of working, we now provide weekly updates on the last working day of the week.
Of course, should there be any urgent or significant news to communicate in the interim then this will be done via the Council’s news pages and social media channels. You can also keep informed on all Coronavirus (COVID-19) related developments in Stockton-on-Tees – including new Council support services and disruptions to some regular Council services – by visiting our dedicated webpage www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus.
I am also keen to remind people of the help and support that the Council is providing during this incredibly challenging time.
Following a virtual meeting of the Cabinet yesterday, all Council meetings will now resume on a virtual basis until further notice. Details of how to join the meetings are available on our Council Meetings and Papers webpage www.stockton.gov.uk/stockton-council/councillors-and-council-meetings-egenda/council-meetings-and-papers.
Our four Family Hubs – Billingham, Redhill, Stockton and Thornaby – will reopen for a limited range of services from Wednesday, July 1. We’ll bring you more details of timetables and arrangements nearer the time and you can keep up to date with what’s going on via their Facebook pages – Billingham, Redhill, Stockton and Thornaby.
Help for businesses
Applications for the first phase of the extended local business grants fund scheme closed on Monday. We are now assessing the applications received and have started to make payments to those businesses which meet the criteria. We are also developing arrangements for a second phase of the extended grants fund scheme. More information is available at www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/businesssupport.
Help for care providers
We continue to work very closely with all of the Borough’s care homes, domiciliary care providers and many individual personal assistants and informal carers, who look after some of our most vulnerable residents. They are doing an absolutely phenomenal job. We are in daily contact with many of the homes and care providers and are supporting them as they continue to operate in extremely challenging circumstances.
Help for parents/carers of children attending school
All our primary schools are open for children of key workers, vulnerable children and where possible for children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6. Secondary schools and colleges have also begun to invite in year 10 and year 12 pupils to have contact with a tutor as of this week. You can find details on school operating arrangements on our schools web page www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/schoolsandchildcare.
Help for people struggling to pay Council Tax
We appreciate that people may be struggling to pay their household bills and Council Tax. You can find out about the help and support available on our dedicated webpage www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/counciltax.
Help for the vulnerable and elderly
The ‘COVID Community Support Team’, a partnership between the Council, Catalyst and the Borough’s brilliant VCSE organisations, continues to support vulnerable and elderly residents. Help ranges from food deliveries, shopping and picking up prescriptions to making sure people who are self-isolating and may be worried or lonely get the right support they need. The team operates Monday to Friday and phone lines are open 9am to 2pm. You can email [email protected] for assistance or call 01642 524500 and find out all about it on the Catalyst website.
Armed Forces Week
Next week is Armed Forces Week and we would usually have been marking the occasion with a series of events on Stockton High Street, starting with the flag raising ceremony on Monday. Unfortunately it is not possible to hold the event this year, but I’m delighted that we have created a virtual replacement including a virtual Sounding of the Retreat by the Durham Army Cadet Force. There’ll be a series of posts throughout next week on our social media channels so please do take a look.
For updates on all Coronavirus (COVID-19) related developments in Stockton-on-Tees – including health advice and disruptions to services – visit the Council’s dedicated webpage www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus.