Reminder that support is still available as England moves into second lockdown
Great Yarmouth Borough Council is reminding vulnerable residents that support is still available should they need it, as England moves into a second national lockdown until December 2.
Meanwhile, Government grants will be available for eligible businesses. Officers are reviewing the national guidance and awaiting confirmation of local allocations, with a view to communicating with businesses and making payments as soon as possible.
The borough council is part of Norfolk's multi-agency operational response, with partners at Norfolk County Council and the voluntary sector, ensuring people continue to get the help they need during these challenging times.
While shielding is not a feature of this lockdown, the Government has asked councils to specifically support people defined as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to coronavirus, who are advised to take extra care in staying at home as much as possible and minimising contacts with others.
Those people will receive a letter later this week, setting out key guidance and support for them. However, support is still in available for all residents who might need help with accessing food and medicines, if they do not have support from family or neighbours. Call 0344 8008020 or complete the online form.
In addition, anyone struggling financially because of coronavirus, or who requires support to self-isolate, might be able to access a range of help through the Norfolk Assistance Scheme, including with food, fuel and other essentials. Call 01603 223392 (option 5) or find out more and apply at www.norfolk.gov.uk/NAS
Furthermore, the council encourages those on low incomes, even if their income has reduced for a temporary period, to get in touch with customer services or visit the website to check their eligibility for Council Tax Support and Universal Credit.
During the pandemic, the council has worked especially closely with local community-run foodbanks, providing financial and staff support, and is keeping in regular contact to ensure they are well stocked and have the assistance they require.
While most of the rough sleepers are now housed in either temporary accommodation or have moved into more stable housing, in light of the lockdown the council will make offers of emergency accommodation to any verified rough sleepers.
Cllr Carl Smith, the council leader, said: "Individuals and organisations right across our community pulled together really well during the first lockdown to support the most vulnerable in these difficult times.
"While some features of this lockdown are different, please be assured that multi-agency support is still available for those in need, and I would encourage people to continue looking out for one another and to get in touch if you need help.
"For businesses, the Government is making available relief grants, with allocations to different council areas expected to be confirmed this week. Officers are working through the guidance, and ensuring eligible businesses get paid as soon as practically possible is a top priority for the council."
Council services are essentially operating as usual, including waste and recycling collection, and the brown bin garden waste collection scheme. Bulky waste collection is continuing but there will be a longer wait for this service due to demand.
While the customer services receptions remain closed for face-to-face enquiries, staff are still available to help by calling 0808 196 2236 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Face-to-face appointments are only available for vulnerable residents or complex cases which cannot be dealt with via other means.
In line with Government guidance, playgrounds remain open, along with public toilets and car parks which are not subject to the usual seasonal closures. Sports facilities which are not already closed for the season, including the Wellesley Sports Ground, are required to close. More information for residents is available at www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/coronavirus.