4th May 2020 – 12.1 County Council Report Cllr Clayton

Waste Recycling centres

It is expected that there will be further Government guidance this week (4th May) regarding the possible re-opening of waste recycling centres. SCC is working with the police to find a suitable way forward. Bonfires have caused a number of complaints locally.

PPE

SCC have funded 70% of all the PPE required for our care homes, Domiciliary workers, Pharmacies and Doctors surgeries. It is currently costing £546k per week. It is hoped that now the Chinese market is opening up again that may reduce to £200K per week.

A brief update on progress of the Community Resilience cell is below.

The cell includes representation from all District Councils, the County Council and Somerset NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline – 0300 790 6275.

As of Thursday 30th April 2020, the Helpline had taken 2755 calls. There was a spike in calls over the last week to coincide with the sending and receipt of the amber letter to those residents identified as potentially being at risk. The letter advised recipients to ring the helpline if they required any additional support. Whilst this exercise had been invaluable in identifying a handful of residents who had been previously undetected it also provided an opportunity for a number to re-engaged and be given first-hand assurance that Councils are there to assist should their own support networks around them fail. Key reasons for the calls continue to be about food supply, delivery of prescriptions, financial questions, homelessness and opening of waste recycling centres.
In addition to the circulation of the amber letter the District Contact Centres have now manged to undertake 1035 call outs to those on the list with over 663 saying they are ok. 194 households have now been contacted 3 times at different points in time with no success. There are also a number where the contact centres have addresses but no telephone number. Currently Districts are exploring visiting these households to undertake welfare checks and potentially using the Fire Service who have offered to assist in this task. It is worth noting that 98% of those contacted thanked the Councils for making the call and checking on them.

Brokerage work

is continuing to contact people on the shield list to check welfare and to reach out to other people at risk in Somerset. Feedback from these welfare checks reveals that people are largely well supported by family, friends and neighbours. All were grateful for the call. Brokerage has contacted all the community food banks and is developing data and processes to ensure we are supporting these important community resources. In the last week we have helped supply community groups with sanitary and toiletry products, clothing and food to supplement central government shield boxes and local emergency boxes and ensure those with dietary requirements have their needs met.

Joint Business Intelligence Group

have been continuing to develop the Community & Resilience dashboard with updated number and a detailed contacts tab will be added next week. Work also continues on blending the contacts information and ensuring the list of vulnerable is updated following updates from those on the shielding list.

Distribution Hubs

continue to operate well, and emergency food supplies are now available for vulnerable people should they not be able to access food through existing support networks. Processes and resources have now been put in place to deliver food supplies from 4 District based hubs. To date 497 food parcels have been distributed through the Distribution Hubs.

Safer and Stronger Communities

are prepared should there be an increase in reports of domestic abuse if and when it should occur. Cell have been working with the Police and Crime Commissioner and participating in ongoing communications to make sure people know how to get in touch if they need to. Cell also continues to promote Mindline, 333 call were received last week with 1,122 call over the last 5 weeks. Majority of callers are new to Mindline with people generally wanting general emotional support, help with anxiety and family issues. An example of the great work being done by Mindline can be evidence by an elderly lady who felt unable to cope as she received a letter from the council about her rent, by the end of the call she was laughing and said she felt a lot calmer and ready for her tea.

Volunteering and Voluntary Sector support

is evidenced by close working with Spark Somerset to help join up the County approach to volunteering through using https://www.corona-helpers.co.uk/ to promote volunteer opportunities and enable individuals to register if they wish to help. We would advise partners to make full use of local schemes and to encourage anyone who has signed up to NHS Responders to make themselves known to Spark Somerset who can be contacted via 01460 202970 or SUPPORT@SPARKSOMERSET.ORG.UK. In addition to the online resources for groups to help them manage COVID-19 support groups safely and effectively, Spark Somerset are delivering a free programme of webinars for Somerset voluntary and community groups. To support groups in identifying funding opportunities, Spark have launched a one-stop shop for all things funding which is free to access. Visit www.sparksomerset.org.uk/somerset-funding-portal to browse hundreds of funding opportunities by category. You can also join Spark Somerset’s Facebook Group for Somerset Fundraisers.

The Somerset Coronavirus Appeal

established by Somerset Community Foundation to raise funds for local charitable groups that are supporting the most vulnerable people affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has now raised £565,000 and have awarded 119 grant totalling £300,000 across Somerset. Grants of up to £10,000 are available and to apply groups need to complete a short application form via: www.somersetcf.org.uk/coronavirus. For information on how to donate to the appeal visit: https://www.somersetcf.org.uk/appeal . You can now explore an interactive map which shows the grants they have awarded, the different types of projects they are funding, and gives a sense of how donations have been focused in the most affected communities. Explore the map here

Support for Community and Social Enterprise.

Community Council for Somerset (CCS) in addition to delivering frontline work through the Village and Community Agent teams are supporting community and social enterprise. Their specialist Community Buildings and Village Halls advisory service has been adapted to run remotely and more information about the range of support on offer can be found here https://ccslovesomerset.org/community-buildings/ and there is specific support for halls eligible to apply to the government retails, Hospitality and Leisure grants https://acre.org.uk/cms/resources/guidance-on-eligibility-for-government-support-for-halls-2.4.20.pdf

CCS has also contacted all 27 existing Community Shops in Somerset to ensure they have access to appropriate supply chains and brokered arrangements where they had indicated they have problems. A free webinar is being offered to Community and Social Enterprises on the 1st May as part of the Enhance programme in the Heart of the South West LEP area to support businesses with e-commerce, further information here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-webinar-get-your-social-enterprise-or-community-shop-trading-online-tickets-102676351732. CCS is a member of the ACRE network (Action with Communities in Rural England) and senior staff at ACRE are in discussion with DEFRA ministers regarding additional resource to help support rural communities who face additional challenges at this time.

Homelessness group

continuing to work house rough sleepers to ensure that all been offered accommodation. The group have also been linking in with probation services regarding prisoner releases and are working with them to ensure referrals are received earlier to avoid instances of prisoners being released with very little notice to Districts to accommodate these individuals.

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