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.
In line with national guidance the outdoor markets in Stockton, Thornaby and Billingham will re-open to all stalls from Monday (June 1). Social distancing arrangements and signage are in place.
Help for businesses
There has been an extension to the local business grants fund scheme aimed at small businesses that were not eligible for the original scheme. We are finalising our approach to how we distribute these funds and expect to be in a position to invite applications from next week. You can keep up to date on this on our dedicated webpage www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/businesssupport.
Help for care providers
We have now received Government guidance on the additional funding of £2.5million for infection control in care homes in the borough and are busy working through the detail so we can pass funds on to care homes as soon as possible. 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
The vast majority of schools in the Borough have remained open for children of key workers and vulnerable children since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic and it is expected that 25 primary schools will start admitting more pupils from next week. All primary schools have undertaken risk assessments to inform their decisions on whether they feel able to admit more pupils and meet Government guidance. Further details will be available from next week on our webpage www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/schoolsandchildcare
Help for people struggling to pay Council Tax
We appreciate that people may be struggling to pay their Council Tax. If you are, please get in touch. We will explore all possible options with you. Please email [email protected] and include in your email your name and address, telephone number, your preferred email address, your Council Tax account number, and a brief outline of your circumstances. If you are unable to email please call 01642 397108 instead. You can also find out more 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 Saturday and phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays and from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. You can call 01642 524500 for assistance or email [email protected] and find out all about it on the Catalyst website.
‘Dear Diary’ local history project
We are still welcoming contributions to our ‘Dear Diary’ project, which exists to capture your experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic. You can submit your own pictures, videos and stories to the Heritage Stockton website by visiting www.stockton.gov.uk/deardiary and clicking the ‘Contribute’ button at the top of the page.
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