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.
How you can mark VE Day from home
It won’t quite be how anyone imagined it would be, but there’s no reason we can’t still mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day tomorrow. We just need to do it from our own homes and our doorsteps. If you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve produced this little guide – 7 ways to mark VE Day 75 from your own home – to give you some ideas for how you can mark the occasion.
‘Dear Diary’ local history project
You may recall that we launched our ‘Dear Diary’ project last week and I’m delighted to say we’ve already had some lovely contributions from local people, including photographs of a wonderful mural in Billingham and of how someone has found an ingenious way of delivering food to a friend who is shielding. You can see these – and find out how to submit your own pictures, videos and audio stories – at the website www.stockton.gov.uk/deardiary.
Help for businesses
We are awaiting details of the extension to the local business grants fund scheme announced by the Government last weekend. The announcement indicated that there will be an additional five per cent of funding and that the exact amount will be confirmed to local authorities. We have not yet received the details of how the scheme can be applied but as soon as do we will develop an approach to allocating the money. In the meantime we continue to make the original business grant support payments to eligible businesses in the Borough, and have now paid most of these. You can keep up to date on the business support available on our dedicated webpage www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/businesssupport.
Help for people struggling to pay Council Tax
We appreciate that people may be struggling to pay their Council Tax. If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax due to the pandemic, 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 seven days a week and phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays, from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and 10am to 12noon on Sundays. The phone lines will be open from 10am to 4pm for tomorrow’s Bank Holiday Friday. You can call 01642 524500 for assistance or email [email protected] and find out all about it on the Catalyst website.
Help for parents/carers of children still attending school
The vast majority of schools in the Borough remain open for children of key workers and vulnerable children. If a school does need to close and you need help arranging alternative provision then the Council’s School Support Service can help. For more details visit www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/schoolsandchildcare
Help for care providers
We continue to work very closely with 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.
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