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Parish Council

YOUR PARISH COUNCIL: 
There are seven Councillors serving on the Parish Council and there are no vacant seats.

Julie Wisson          01767 677837    Chairman

Alan Geach           01767 677357    Vice Chairman

Larry Fitch            01767 677314

David Crabb          01767 677837

Samuel Topham     01480 880200

Jim Norris              01767 677373

Daniel Ashby          07525 780158


CLERK TO THE COUNCIL: 
Parish Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer
Katie Bates
Email: clerk@abbotsleypc.org.uk

Telephone: 07588 267140 
Bridge House, 27 Church Street, Buckden, St Neots, PE19 5TP


LOCAL PLANNING:
Planning notices for current applications that are due to be considered by the Parish Council, which can be commented on by the public, will be placed on the Parish Council Notice Board for the duration of the consultation period and are also detailed below.  Full details of all planning documents are available via Huntingdonshire District Council's (HDC) website: www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk.

  • 20/00902/FUL Barn conversion to annex for a carer at Wintringham Hall, Wintringham Road, Wintringham, St Neots, PE19 6SP. Comments to be sent to HDC by 22nd July 2020.

  • 20/01108/HHFUL Proposed first floor extension over existing bungalow at 6 Pitsdean Road, Abbotsley,  PE19 6UN. Comments to be sent to HDC by 23rd July 2020


These applications are to be considered at the Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council which is due to be held Thursday 9th July 2020 at 7.30pm by video conference.
The Agenda will be published on the notice board and village website no less than three clear days ahead of the meeting date.  Members of the public are welcome to join.

A link will be posted on the agenda when published. Links to agendas and minutes are found at the bottom of the page. Any resident wishing to join the meeting will be able to copy and paste the link into their browser to join.



Notification of works on construction access into Wintringham development - road closure and diversion

The Parish Council has been notified that the A428 between Cambridge Road and Barford Road will be closed with non-motorway traffice being diverted through Abbotsley for two nights: Sunday 28th June 8pm-6am and Sunday 16th August 8pm-6am. This is for the construction access from the A428 on to the Wintringham Development site. Anybody with any issues or concerns should ring the Hotline number to speak to the Project team on 01449 720282 or call the Wintringham team on 01480 413141.











NEXT ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING:
The next Ordinary Meeting of Abbotsley Parish Council is due to be held on Thursday 9th July 2020, at 7.30pm. The Agenda will be published on the notice board and village website no less than three clear days ahead of the meeting date.  Members of the public are welcome to join.  Any Agenda items to be considered at the next meeting should be provided in writing to the Clerk no later than seven calendar days before the next meeting.  We hope you can join us!
This meeting will be held by video conferencing via zoom on Thursday 9th July 2020 at 7.30pm.

A link will be posted on the agenda when published. Links to agendas and minutes are found at the bottom of the page. Any resident wishing to join the meeting will be able to copy and paste the link into their browser to join.


Please note that the Annual Parish Meeting that was due to take place on Thursday 23rd April 2020 has been cancelled, due to COVID-19. It is hoped that this will take place later in the year.

FUTURE COUNCIL MEETINGS:
Ordinary Meetings of the Council take place on the second Thursday of every month, with the exception of the month of August.  Extraordinary Meetings may be called by any Councillor to enable the Council to consider public consultations and any other urgent business.  The Annual General Meeting is held in May. This has been postponed due to government guidelines due to coronavirus and will be held at a future date.


Information regarding the Coronavirus can be found via the following links:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public - Government Website
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
 - NHS website


bluebell-19

Dear all,

Please pass this information on to your neighbours who aren't online

It's hard to believe it's only just over a week since we were all told to stay at home. It seems like a lifetime already, but we know many of you have been in self-isolation for much longer. We're novices!

We wanted to bring you up to speed with what we've been doing but firstly wanted to thank everyone for your offers of support. We have literally been blown away by the response and have already been able to match many of you with others of our neighbours who need assistance. That's great news! But, as you will have heard, things are likely to get worse before they get better and we plan to be here to offer support for the duration. To help us to do this it would be great if you are able to plan ahead wherever possible and give as much notice as you can for collecting prescriptions or getting essentials. Clearly there will be times when urgent help is required, but in order to best use our resources, it is helpful if we have a couple of days' notice. Please also keep shopping requirements to under £30 and it is also helpful if you could arrange to pay by bank transfer, if possible.

A big shout out to Waresley Garden Centre for the crates of lovely fresh food and goodies it gave to us to distribute through the villages last week – so incredibly kind and generous.

Two of our pubs are now doing take-aways and our volunteers could pick these up for you should you be self-isolating and unable to do so:

Abbotsley – The Eight Bells – speak to Ryan on 01767 677305 (please book early to avoid disappointment)

Waresley – The Duncombe Arms, call Chris on 01767 650764 (free delivery for orders over £30/£15min order)

Woodview Farm Shop is also helping the most vulnerable during the pandemic by taking orders for collection by email – info@woodviewfarm.co.uk Please make sure you include your name, phone number and address including postcode. Woodview do offer delivery to those most vulnerable but, as they are pretty stretched, we would be able to arrange collection for you. Please order four days in advance (excluding Sundays). They will call you to take payment over the phone on the day of collection. Please also note, its café is open for take-aways – visit its website at woodviewfarm.co.uk

We also aware of a few home-delivery companies that have started to deliver in our area (we are not endorsing these, just bringing them to your attention):

www.sticklebackfish.co.uk - fishmongers

www.kaleanddamson.co.uk – fruit and veg

The Refill Shop – online health food shop – order via its facebook page and collect in your village (days to be confirmed)

https://www.facebook.com/refillshopstneots/

www.abfruitsathome.co.uk – fruit and veg

Histon Produce will deliver to those classed as vulnerable – please see its Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/642677953192896/

If you know of any we have missed or know of any other groups we should be speaking to, please do get in touch with your village lead.

Safety Information

You may have seen in the media recently there are a number of scams at the moment. Please take note of the advice from the National Crime Agency https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/fraud-scams-covid19

Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It's ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you've fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at above link

Please stay safe!

With best wishes,

Marie and The bluebell-19 team



15.6.2020:

This has been shared by District Councillor Richard West. Whilst this is from Bedford Borough Council, this is extremely close by.

Muriel Scott, Director of Public Health for Bedford Borough Council, has issued the following message to Bedford residents:

With figures showing that Bedford Borough has the highest rate of Coronavirus infection in the East of England, Bedford Borough Council is urging local people to continue to stay at home as much as possible to slow the spread of the virus and save lives.

As we all know, coronavirus is highly contagious and can be spread even if someone doesn't appear to have any symptoms.

With lockdown easing you might think that the virus has gone away. It hasn't; the rate of infection in Bedford Borough is the highest in the East of England.

We are working with partners in the health sector to support the local rollout of test and trace and are calling on residents to continue the fight to slow the spread of the virus.

Please continue to stay at home as much as possible. If you do have to go out, try to limit contact with other people, wear a face covering – particularly indoors and on public transport and keep 2 metres apart from people. Regularly washing your hands with soap and water, or using a hand sanitiser when that's not available, remains key in slowing the spread.  

Bedford Borough has a spectacular community spirit, and we have seen so many examples of that over the recent weeks and months. We are asking everyone to continue to do their bit in helping to slow the spread of the virus and save lives.

Anyone with symptoms, including a new persistent cough, high temperature or a change or loss of taste or smell should immediately self-isolate and arrange a test via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 111.

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Please find below all of the relevant and up to date links and contacts issued from


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29.6.2020:

Reopening plans will build on lockdown innovation

Cambridgeshire County Council has outlined plans to begin re-opening Libraries and Archives from 4 July - in a safe, well managed way to ensure safety of visitors and staff - but wants to build on innovation developed during lockdown. 

A report which goes to the council's Communities and Partnerships Committee this Thursday (2 July) confirms a massive additional take-up of digital library services since the lockdown began with resources issued more than tripling to 40,000 a month, and a large increase of use in social media channels.

To support our shielded community, our library service, in partnership with Cambridgeshire Skills, City College Peterborough and Civic, designed and delivered a new website, 'Open New Doors', which provides a variety of activities, experiences and learning opportunities, and an expanded Libraries at Home service has also been delivering books to the doorsteps of the most vulnerable.

This experience and the tremendous uptake of the online offer means the Library service will look to expand by developing a business case for a bus sized vehicle which will take technology and assets into more isolated communities, giving  them access to more services, support and opportunities – usually only available from a library building.

From 4 July, nine libraries will begin to re-open by offering a new 'Select and Collect' service where books can be chosen in advance and collected at pre-booked times. To combat digital exclusion, libraries will also begin offer public access IT services based on 45-minute pre-booked appointments, with machines being cleaned between each user.

Mobile libraries won't be able restart immediately because of problems in maintaining social distancing in such small spaces.

Archives will also begin to reopen from July on an appointments only basis to begin with, and all documents must be pre-booked to ensure safety and to minimise risk.

For more details please see the Communities and Partnerships Agenda here  


Councils and schools support Armed Forces Week

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents and local schoolchildren showed their appreciation for men and women who are serving, or have served, in the military, to mark Armed Forces Week (22-27 June). 

Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and Cambridge City Council are among the signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant, a commitment from the public and private organisations to support the active and retired Armed Forces community.

Armed Forces Week is a chance to show support for currently serving troops, including reservists, as well as veterans, cadets and their families. Each day of Armed Forces Week saw different parts of the military highlighted, culminating in the 12th annual Armed Forces Day on Saturday, 27 June.

During the week the Armed Forces Day flag was raised 'virtually' across the county. Councillor Mac McGuire, Chairman of the Armed Forces Covenant Board in Cambridgeshire provided his thoughts in a video and Peterborough City Council organised a short virtual service.

Schools across the region, such as Castle Camps C of E Primary School in Cambridge, were keen to show their support for our service personnel, with several creating their own video montages, encouraging us all to #SaluteOurForces. Watch their fantastic and poignant video.

Videos were shared on the County Council's and Peterborough City Council's Facebook and Twitter accounts last week.

You can view Peterborough City Council's short virtual service here.

All three councils will be organising events in August to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day and the end of World War Two and announcements on those will be made nearer the time.


Parking enforcement in Cambridge

From this week (Monday 29 June), parking restrictions in Cambridge will return to normal. 

At the start of the lockdown in March, Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with Cambridge City Council, worked together to suspend parking enforcement in Cambridge. By relaxing the rules, the aim was to help critical workers – largely the only ones out and about - park where ever they needed to.

Now, as lockdown is gradually eased, our town, villages and cities are opening up again. There are more people getting out and about, so all parking restrictions in Cambridge will go back to how they operated previously,  helping the city economy to recover.

This doesn't affect the free parking permit scheme for the critical care workers who can still park their vehicles in all Resident Permit Parking Areas and on-street Pay and Display bays in Cambridge City, whilst carrying out essential duties, without having to worry about cost or time restrictions. For more information on this, visit our website.

In Peterborough, all council owned car parks remain free of charge until 13 July.


Schools invited to join safety improvement scheme

Schools in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being invited to join a new initiative aimed at creating a safe space outside their gates which encourages pupils to use active transport and maintain social distancing.

Following government funding aimed at encouraging cycling and walking, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council have written to all schools inviting them to take part in the 'School Streets' scheme.

By creating a school street, schools can temporarily close a road outside their entrance, enabling it to become a pedestrian and cycle/scoot zone during the school's opening and closing times.

This will also help to implement social distancing and encourage active travel, with the added benefit of reducing congestion and pollution at the school gates and improving safety for children on their way to and from school.

If adopted, the council will work to support school street schemes under a temporary traffic regulation order for up to 18 months.

Once a school street is in place, cones and signs will be put across the road to prevent vehicle accessing the area during school drop-off and pick-up time periods. The closure will need to be put up and taken down on a daily basis and will not apply at weekends and during school holidays. Access will be maintained for emergency vehicles.

Schools will need to put forward volunteers to help run the scheme and the council will provide full training and resources free of charge. The scheme will then be owned and operated by the school community, with support from the council.


Anglian Water joins forces with Community Foundations

In April, Anglian Water launched plans to establish a new £1 million community support fund to provide a cash boost for local communities to help fight the impacts of Coronavirus.

Over £50,000 of the cash has already been fast-tracked to front line organisations in the immediate response to battle the pandemic. Just a matter of weeks later, the company has revealed how the rest of the funding will be distributed to those who need it most. Anglian Water is working with 15 Community Foundations to allocate its £1million Positive Difference Fund. Community Foundations has extensive local expertise in getting money quickly to areas where it is most needed and has been working tirelessly in the response to the pandemic.

Half of the fund is being made available immediately, with the remaining half released later in the year to meet emerging needs from the fallout from the pandemic. Eligible organisations will be able to apply to their local Community Foundation for grants of up to £5,000.

The money will help local charitable organisations deal with emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus. Organisations like food banks, outreach programmes and those helping the most vulnerable can ask for support from the Positive Difference Fund via the Community Foundations to help those shielding or suffering from financial hardship, homelessness, loneliness and isolation.

Other support, available from Anglian Water's Extra Care offering, includes discounted tariffs alongside affordable payment plans. More than 300,000 customers each year are already helped this way.

The water company also helps customers identify if they may be eligible for benefits they are not claiming. Anglian Water has already signposted customers to a potential £4.5m of unclaimed aid, with the average amount that customers may be entitled to far outweighing the cost of the average water bill.

It is also adding customers to its Priority Services Register faster than ever before, meaning they will get tailored help and special assistance should they need it.

Further information, eligibility criteria and how to apply for a grant from the Positive Difference Fund can be found here.

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26.6.2020:

Changes announced for shielded group

On Monday the Government announced that the 2.2 million people who have been self-isolating in England will no longer need to shield from 1 August. There will also be a gradual relaxing of the advice from 6 July.

Further details are available at www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Adrian Chapman, Service Director: Communities and Partnerships, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We know that the update from Government relating to the pausing of the shielding programme will be met with excitement and anxiety. "There will be many people who will need help and support to transition out of shielding and to move towards a new way of life, which of course will still include social distancing. For those people, the Countywide Hub will be there to provide that support. In addition, NHS volunteer responders will continue to offer support after the 31 July to those who need it, including collecting and delivering food and medicines.

"The network of district and city hubs will continue to provide support for all others who don't have help and assistance from friends, family or neighbours. This will be particularly important as part of NHS Test and Trace, to support people who may need help when isolating as a result of having symptoms of coronavirus or because they have been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case. "In addition, we will be keeping a record of people who are extremely clinically vulnerable in case the R rate starts to increase and there is a need for people to shield once again. "If you need support and you don't have friends, family or neighbours to help you, please visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 0345 045 5219."

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24.6.2020:


Beware of Test and Trace scams

Residents are being urged to be on their guard for a phone scam involving NHS Test and Trace.

Test and Trace has been launched to help track cases of coronavirus in our communities to limit the spread of the virus.

As part of it, contact tracers work with people who are confirmed to have the virus, to identify people they have had close contact with. Contact is then made with those people asking them to self isolate.

The council has been made aware of a scam operating which involves people being called and asked to pay for a test using their bank card. Contact tracers will never ask you to make any form of payment. They will also never:

  • Ask any details about your bank account
  •  Ask you for any passwords or PINS
  •   Ask you to download anything

Contract tracers will:

  • Call you from 0300 013 5000
  • Send you text messages from 'NHStracing'
  • Ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
  • Ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • Ask about the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing
  • Ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the 2 days prior to your symptoms starting
  • Ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

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22.6.2020:

Some families are finding they are now eligible for the first time, as their financial circumstances may have changed during the lockdown period – and the Council would encourage them to check their entitlement.

 For more information on Free School Meals and eligibility criteria, visit the Cambridgeshire website or Peterborough website.

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13.6.2020:

Scam Awareness Fortnight begins next week

Scam awareness poster

Scam Awareness Fortnight begins on Monday and this year the focus is on scams which take advantage of the uncertainty and loneliness felt by many during the Covid-19 outbreak.

During Scam Awareness Fortnight, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council will be sharing information about the types of scams which criminals are using amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Some of these include:

  • adverts of face masks or medical equipment at high prices
  • emails or texts pretending to be from the government
  • emails offering life insurance against coronavirus
  • people knocking at your door and asking for money for fake charities

The best way to protect your neighbours from being scammed is to spread the message. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 7 out of 10 (68%) of people targeted by a scam do not tell anyone about it and only around 5% of scams are reported.

Further information on coronavirus scams are available here.

You can access free downloadable resources for coronavirus and all types of scams on the resources webpage of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP).

You can follow us on Facebook @CAPASP19 or Twitter @CAPA5P.

For further advice on scams, please call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 0808 223 11 33.

To report a scam, please call Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040.

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10.6.2020:

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough bus passes

Bus passengers are being made aware that the times they can travel using concessionary passes will change from next week.

At the start of the lockdown in March, both Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council worked with operators to allow concessionary bus passes to be used before 9.30am. By relaxing the time limits, people were able to access supermarkets and the reserved shopping slots being offered to elderly residents at the time.

However, the introduction of national social distancing measures has since resulted in a reduction in capacity on public transport. To ensure that there is sufficient public transport capacity for key workers before 9.30am, it has been decided that bus operators will no longer accept concessionary passes before 9.30am from Monday 15 June onwards.

In addition, wearing face masks on public transport will become compulsory on Monday, 15 June. Further details are on the Government's website.

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29.5.2020:

test and trace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the launch of a nationwide NHS Test and Trace service this week, the network of COVID-19 coordination hubs will perform a crucial and wider role in supporting people who need to isolate and don't have support from elsewhere. 

As Test and Trace becomes more established it will lead to a reduction in the lockdown measures for all, but it will mean that individuals and their households will need to isolate if they have symptoms, or individuals who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive. 

People in that situation, who don't have a network of family, friends or neighbours, will be able to access support from the network of district and city hubs. 

Adrian Chapman, Service Director: Communities and Partnerships, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "The network of hubs has supported thousands of people in the past two months and will continue to do so as we enter this next phase in our fight against coronavirus. We have found that the support being provided for many people is absolutely vital and we have come across some who simply would not be able to access food and medicines without this support. 

"I would ask people to think about who they can call upon for help if they have to isolate at short notice and if they don't have a good support network in place, to remember that support is available. The hubs can help people to access food and medicine, can offer befriending services to beat loneliness and can support with essential home maintenance and repairs and in many other ways too." 

People are being urged to support the NHS Test and Trace programme, which aims to gradually replace the national lockdown with individual and household isolation for those who have been in contact with the virus. 

People are being asked to follow this three-step plan: 

Step 1 - If you have one or more of the symptoms of coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell – you and the people you live with must immediately self-isolate. 

Step 2 – You then must book a test on the www.NHS/coronavirus website and if you don't have internet access dial 119. Do not leave home for any other reason. If you test positive, you will then be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service within 24 hours. 

Step 3 – If you do test positive, NHS Test and Trace will help you establish who you have been in contact with and might have infected. This could be members of your own household already isolating or someone you have been within 2 metres of for more than 15 minutes. You will also be given clinical advice and support for dealing with the virus. NHS Test and Trace will then contact those contacts anonymously. If you are one of those contacts, you will be advised to isolate for 14 days, even if you don't have symptoms or feel perfectly well. If you developed symptoms, you would be required to get a test. Even if negative they still have to self-isolate for 14 days even though the household is not required to do so.  

People who need help whilst isolating should visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 0345 045 5219 

Click here to watch a video about the new Test and Trace service. 


Against Scams Partners continue to help people avoid Covid-19 scams

CASAP logo

The Coordination Hub is helping the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP) to prevent residents becoming the victims of coronavirus-related scams.   

Although anyone can fall victim to a scam at any given time, the increase in uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic makes everyone more vulnerable to becoming a victim. On top of this, people being at home makes them more likely to fall victim to opportunist doorstep and telephone scammers.  

As a result CAPASP, a county council-led county-wide partnership of public, private and voluntary sector organisations, has continued working throughout the pandemic to help stop scams and related crimes 

Since April, Charlotte Homent from our Think Communities team and the lead for CAPASP has sent email information about specific scams to the network of 400 community groups, volunteers and partners and reached 4,000 people on social media. Charlotte and her team also continue to make scams prevention resources available on the CAPASP webpage and update both councils' 'Beware of Coronavirus Scams' web pages to help keep people safe in communities - ensuring that information surrounding recent scams is easily accessible.  

In order to keep yourself and family safe from scams it is important to consider the following before parting with money regarding coronavirus:  

  • Coronavirus testing kits are only offered by the NHS, nobody will come to your door offering you one for any price.   
  • There is currently no vaccine or cure for coronavirus, so it is vital that you are not tempted by advertisements of treatments for any sum of money.   
  • Beware of the sales of overpriced goods that are claimed to protect you from the virus, such as anti-bacterial products or PPE. If you need these products, always purchase from a trusted pharmacy or supermarket.   
  • There are scams that are offering shopping or medication collection services for a price – avoid these! If you are vulnerable and in need of support, you should contact the Coordination Hub on 0345 045 5219 for free advice and assistance.   

During these uncertain times, it is vital that the public continue to have knowledge of ongoing scams; more information can be found for Cambridgeshire here and Peterborough here.   

If you would like to help to protect yourself and residents in your community from the financial and emotional harm of scams why not sign up as a CAPASP supporter to receive information about the latest scams and any relevant funding or training opportunities that arise? Visit the CAPASP webpage for more information  

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27.5.2020:

Library at Home host virtual 'bank holiday bash'

The Library at Home team supports more than 300 volunteers across the county who select, deliver and collect books and audiobooks for avid readers and listeners who are unable get to their local library.

Whilst the Library at Home service is currently on hold, the team have taken to hosting a range of virtual social events for their volunteersreducing feelings of isolation and loneliness during Covid-19 

Each meeting hosts up to 16 guests for the sharing of stories of life in lockdown and valuable time to connect with others during this difficult period. For many volunteers, these virtual social gatherings have introduced them to video conference calls allowing them to apply these digital skills to keep in touch with other friends and family.  

The team have been welcoming new faces almost every meeting and have just hosted a successful virtual Bank Holiday bash. 

For more information about the service or the events, please contact Fay Boans, Volunteer Coordinator for Library at Home (City, South and East Cambs) and Digital at Home, or Magda Kowalska-Cheffey (Fenland and Hunts) at volunteers@cambridgeshire.gov.uk. 

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20.5.2020:


Council leaders working with schools for pupils to return 'when it is safe to do so'

Education leads at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are working with schools, Academy Trusts and the Diocese from across the region to look at bespoke plans for the safe return of pupils – based on Government scientific advice which is expected to be released on 28 May.

While the final decision on when and how to open individual schools rests with their head teachers and the governing bodies who run them, the Government has encouraged schools to consider beginning to re-open education provision from 1 June. This will mean additional Primary provision for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils and Secondary schools working with pupils from Year 10 and Year 12 to ensure they are supported for important exams next year. Special schools will also begin to welcome more pupils.  In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough council leaders have confirmed, 'the safety of our children, their families and school staff is always our number one priority and we are supporting schools to make decisions based on their individual circumstances'.

Schools have said it will be difficult to maintain the two-metre social distance guidelines at all times, particularly very young children, leading to problems with the number of children allowed on-site. There are also concerns about staff and children who fall into the very vulnerable 'shielded' groups.

Clear in the knowledge that there is no 'one size fits all solution', council education leads have been working with schools to create bespoke plans specific to each one and their circumstance, which include revised cleaning regimes, sourcing appropriate PPE, and allowing for phased re-openings.

As part of the plans, schools which have remained continuously open since February for vulnerable children and children of key workers, may close to all pupils for next week's half term holiday – which includes bank holiday Monday.  This is to allow staff more time to plan for a phased return, including adapting their buildings to accommodate returning pupils.

The council has confirmed that – in line with government guidance – no penalty fines will be issued to any parent or carer who doesn't send their child to school between now and the start of the next school year.  Clarification is also being sought from Government about the extension of free school meals for eligible children whether in or out of school. 

Nursery and early years settings are also being encouraged to re-open from 1 June, and have been asked to prioritise places for three and four year olds – along with vulnerable children and those of key workers.

Please visit the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough council websites for more information.


First-ever website for those shielding launched

The Countywide Coordination Hub, in collaboration with Cambridgeshire Skills, City College Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Library Service, launched a new interactive website this week to help people who are shielding to combat loneliness during isolation.

The idea for the website was borne out of the fact that one of the challenges for people who are self-isolating is being able to keep busy in their own home, and offers a set of leisure, pleasure and learning opportunities for shielded people to take part in. Additionally there are skills and courses within the site that will help users improve their skill set in their own professional environment.

This will include aligning the food deliveries from the hub to a healthy eating class, either online or via recipe cards for those that don't have digital access. The food delivery from the hub will include all the ingredients needed to cook the meal that will be taught online or via the recipe card.

In addition, there will be sewing classes taught using instruction cards for those that have no internet access, which would be delivered with materials alongside the food deliveries.

There is a section of the website which supports families of pre-school children to help their children prepare to start school in September. Activities are aimed at creating quality family time as well as ensuring children have a good skill set ready to start school.

For those people who do not have access to a computer, information that is on the website will be sent through the post.

The councils have also made a bid for funding to set up a scheme where people can loan laptops or to supply those without digital access with tablets.

This will allow people to not only access the website, but engage with friends and family online and therefore limit feelings of loneliness with face to face contact.


Mental health helpline offers support to people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough throughout coronavirus outbreak

A mental health helpline offering support to people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has expanded its service to help more people during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Lifeline helpline, a free mental health support service, has been running for 21 years and was set up by local mental health charity Lifecraft. Due to the demand for support during the coronavirus outbreak, Lifecraft has joined forces with the local Mind charity - Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (CPSL) Mind - and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Foundation Trust (CPFT) to offer increased availability and longer access hours.

The service is now available for all adults in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough between 9am and 11pm Monday to Friday and 2pm to 11pm weekends and Bank Holidays. A trained call handler will offer support on the phone and can also link callers directly to other organisations specialising in areas such as bereavement, financial concerns, employment, drugs & alcohol issues and more.

You can access the helpline by calling freephone 0808 808 2121.

Charities such as Cruse, Change Grow Live, Citizens Advice Bureau, Richmond Fellowship and Caring Together are among numerous organisations supporting this initiative.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year the theme is all about kindness. The annual campaign is taking place from 18 to 24 May this year and just so happens to coincides with the 21st anniversary since Lifeline was set up. The purpose of the campaign is to get people talking about mental health and encourage action to promote good mental health for everyone.

The Now We're Talking campaign has been launched by Local Authorities (including Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council), NHS and charities and community organisations to get people talking and beat loneliness while self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The campaign directs people to other services such as Qwell, an online wellbeing support and Keep Your Head, a website which bring together all mental health support available across the country.

For more information on 'Now We're Talking' visit the Peterborough website here and the Cambridgeshire website here.


Dr Liz Robin vlog about new symptoms

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, explains the new symptom associated with having caught the coronavirus infection and breaks down what the other two main indicators are, plus what to do if you have any of these three symptoms.

(If you have any of these three symptoms you should use the online NHS 111 coronavirus service or call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online. NHS 111 will tell you what to do.)

Click here to watch today's Liz's latest blog.

_______________________________________________________________

4th May 2020:

Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) 
Cambridgeshire County Council has shared a press release today outlining plans with their partner Amey to re-open the County's HRCs from Monday 11 May 2020, following  decision to close sites on 24 March 2020. Plans include; a limit to vehicle numbers on sites - in the same way as limits on customers entering supermarkets, no more than two adults unloading any one vehicle, no staff assistance to unload vehicles, no vans or trailers that require a permit.
The guidance will be that visiting the facilities should be for essential reasons, including that the stored materials are part of a safety risk at home and it is important to stress this point so as to discourage non-essential travel.
Full details are on their website.

NHS Updates
For latest updates on case numbers please check on this page. 
Locally – by Upper Tier Local Authority
Peterborough – 223 confirmed cases
Cambridgeshire – 718 confirmed cases 


GP Bank Holiday Opening Hours
On Friday 8 May, GP practices should be open as usual to help residents with all of their health needs. Full details to be confirmed.
 
Pharmacy Bank Holiday Opening Hours.
On Friday 8 May, local pharmacies should be open from 2pm to 5pm. There may be some slight local variance in these opening hours. Opening hours of local pharmacies are online HERE
 

Testing or Swabbing for COVID-19
Testing or swabbing is an important part of the COVID-19 plans to ensure that people can return to work as quickly as it is safe to do so and take the appropriate actions if they test.
For all of the latest information about who is eligible to access a testing, and how to book a test at one of the national testing facilities located in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
. There are two drive through sites within the District but please note, all tests must be booked in advance and tests at One Leisure St Neots finish at 4pm daily.

Now we're talking - coming together in isolation
Organisations across the county have joined forces to launch a wellbeing campaign and additional mental health support for people during the coronavirus outbreak.
 
'Now We're Talking', encourages people to get talking to combat loneliness whilst self-isolating, and to seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.

 
The campaign, led by the local authority, NHS and third sector also directs people to increased mental health support available including:

  • Lifeline Plus - a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.

7 days a week, between 2pm and 11pm the same number is Lifeline, managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress: 0808 808 2121.

  • Qwell - an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to-peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop-in or scheduled online chat sessions. www.qwell.io
  • Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county - www.keep-your-head.com/now
  • Call 111 in a mental health crisis, if you, or someone you are worried about, is at risk of harm, the NHS First Response Services can help people of any age, at any time of day or night. Call 111 and select option 2.

Supporting People with Learning Disabilities During the COVID-19 Outbreak
People with learning disabilities face considerable health inequalities and this has the potential to be exacerbated during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Here are a selection of resources that are widely available for people with learning disabilities, their families, their carers, and other supporting professionals, (click on the underlined words to follow the links):

 
Accessible resources are available on a wide range of issues, including:

 Resources to support families and carers:

Comprehensive, reliable and regularly updated sources of information and resources can be found at the Learning Disabilities Health Network and Learning Disability England.
 
Infant feeding help and advice during COVID-19
There are lots of places for help and advice on breastfeeding during this difficult time. This is to support people who have been discharged from our maternity services.
We have a new page on our website with information about all the breastfeeding support available at the moment.
From Facebook chats, to texting for support, virtual support groups, to telephone helplines, we support to suit all needs. https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/better-births/coronavirus-advice-and-guidance-for-pregnant-and-postnatal-women/infant-feeding-help-and-advice-during-covid-19/

County Council works quickly with social care partner Lifeways to create emergency accommodation and relieve pressure on the NHS

Cambridgeshire County Council and a care provider have repurposed a building in Chatteris to create a rapid response unit for vulnerable adults, after government lockdown put a hold on the building opening as independent living apartments.

The pressure to increase the rate of appropriate hospital discharge and free up NHS beds is ever present, and something that has only been heightened by the coronavirus crisis.

Lifeways, one of the UK's market leaders in support services for adults with diverse and complex needs, was due to open Barber Gardens in Chatteris, earlier this year. But the opening of the 15 apartments and 3 bungalows, to support adults with learning disabilities and autism to live independently, had been temporarily put on hold due to the government lockdown.

Keen to do everything it could to help alleviate pressure on the system, Cambridgeshire County Council worked directly with Lifeways, and owners Triple Point and Inclusion Housing CIC, to repurpose the building as a rapid response accommodation space to safely house vulnerable adults during the crisis.

The flexible accommodation offers a lifeline for vulnerable people who otherwise might have remained in hospital occupying urgently needed hospital beds, or for anyone requiring support and currently living with their parents who are in a high risk category and need to be shielded. The individual apartments will also benefit those with a need to self-isolate.

The council has taken full responsibility for the service for an initial three-month period, to help during the peak of the pandemic, with Lifeways providing all the support, operational staff and resources for those moving in.

The first person, a young man with autism, moved in on Monday 20 April. Lifeways and the Council are working closely with social workers and NHS discharge teams to move more people in imminently.


National help: Take part in COVID-19 research

University College London is running a study into the psychological and social effects of Covid-19 in the UK.

The results are being used to understand the effects of the virus and social distancing measures on mental health and loneliness in the UK and to inform government advice and decisions.

They are looking for adults in the UK who are happy to take part and spread the word about the study. Participation involves answering a 10-minute online survey now and then answering a shorter follow-up survey once a week whilst social isolation measures are in place.

To take part, visit https://redcap.idhs.ucl.ac.uk/surveys/?s=TTXKND8JMK  


Safer Off the Streets partnership working night and day to help rough sleepers during Covid-19

Peterborough City Council and the Light Project Peterborough, supported by the city's Safer Off the Streets partnership has delivered around-the-clock services to rough sleepers while they are housed during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In March, the Government issued advice to councils that all rough sleepers should be given temporary accommodation as they are a vulnerable group, with many suffering from ill health due to their lives on the streets.

Within 24 hours, Peterborough City Council and the Light Project Peterborough had housed a total of 25 rough sleepers and then mobilised partners who are essential for supporting them, including drug and alcohol services, mental health support, medical and prescription services.

Volunteer groups from the Safer Off the Streets partnership and the wider community have supported the city council and the Light Project Peterborough to ensure all are given three meals a day, clothes are laundered and other essential supplies.

An army of over 60 volunteers have kicked into force, to help the former rough sleepers settle into their new temporary homes and self-isolate to protect themselves from the Covid-19 virus. This includes liaising with multiple food outlets and donors to co-ordinate over 1,500 meals per week for 80 former rough sleepers who are now housed.

Update meetings are held seven days a week with key partners to coordinate this effort.

Peterborough Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army and The 3 Pillars have also been active in supporting this to provide breakfasts and lunches, and when needed the Peterborough Foodbank has helped with supplies. Aspire has been able to engage with adults with substance misuse issues to provide drug and alcohol support.

The Garden House, run by Light Project Peterborough, continues to operate emergency service for anyone finding themselves homeless 10am-2pm Monday to Friday. Citizens Advice Peterborough and the Homelessness Prevention Team continue to provide advice and assistance to clients threatened with homelessness remotely.

  • Make a donation to the Safer Off the Streets partnership online.
  • Make a donation to the Light Project Peterborough's Coronavirus Emergency Appeal online.

The Safer Off the Streets partnership is closely following the Government's guidance in order to provide up-to-date advice to suit the needs of those affected by Covid-19.

Homelessness in Cambridgeshire is also handled by Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council and Huntingdonshire District Council. Please contact them for their details.


Foster for us - enquire today

Can you consider fostering in support of this year's 'Foster Care Fortnight', 11th – 24th May 2020?

There are around 1000 children & young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, particularly teenagers and children over ten, who need the love and support from foster carers. Anyone who is interested can find out more about the process by phone or video call and ask any questions they may have about becoming a foster carer and what's involved.

Foster Care Fortnight is the UK's largest foster care awareness raising campaign. It aims to show the positive impact foster care has made on children's and young people's lives.

We are encouraging people from all walks of life to consider fostering – and we want to hear from anyone who is over 21, has a spare bedroom and the passion and dedication to help children and teenagers thrive.

People should not rule themselves out because they have children, are single, married or partnered, work, unemployed, live in rented accommodation or want to foster past retirement age.

If you would like to register your interest, please call 0800 052 0078 or visit:  www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/fostering or www.peterborough.gov.uk/fostering

1st May 2020:



Welcome

adrian chapman

I have the very great privilege of leading the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough countywide hub, which is making sure that people who are at the greatest risk from the Coronavirus are protected from harm as far as possible.

This group of people need to be 'shielded' from the virus for at least 12 weeks, which means they can't leave their home and should have no face to face contact with anyone from outside their home. People who need to be shielded are formally registering to ensure they get the help and support they need, and so far we have details of around 15,000 people. This number is expected to continue to grow over the coming weeks.

We shared with you last week some of the work we're doing to support this group of people. I wanted though to share my perspective on this vital work. We have created the countywide hub from scratch at incredible pace, and I am so proud of the team that I have around me that have worked tirelessly - and continue to do so - to achieve this, and to make sure we do all we can to protect our residents.

The team of hub coordinators, case officers and call handlers has been drawn together from across different services in Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils to support this work. We all recognise the significant responsibility that rests on our shoulders, and it is humbling to be able to support people who are already vulnerable to stay safe and well.

We couldn't do this work though without the support of our partners, particularly the district and city councils across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who are delivering vital support services to their own communities. Between us, we are reaching tens of thousands of people every week.

I'm also humbled by the support offered to us by our voluntary, faith and public sector partners - around 35 different organisations coming together (digitally!) every week to consider what more we can do together to help protect people.

Thank you to those and everyone else involved in this critically important work. My aspiration is to make sure we take all of the features of our new ways of working into whatever 'new normal' emerges post-Covid-19. The ability to make swift decisions, to collaborate in ways we never thought possible, to share data quickly but safely, and to find very creative solutions to really tricky issues will be no less important beyond the current crisis!

Please, stay safe and well.

Adrian Chapman, Service Director: Communities and Partnerships, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council

Content table




Spike in demand for help from the Hub

Requests for help and support coming into the countywide hub have continued to rise over the past fortnight.

The hub has received a total of 2,101  telephone enquiries over the past four weeks.  The team has resolved a total of 5,856 individual requests for help and support, which include delivering urgent food supplies to 832 people. A further 129 people have been provided with more specialist food, for example that is suitable for people who are seriously ill.

There are now almost 15,000 people on the registered shielded list across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and around a third of this group have told us that they have no support in place and will need our assistance.

Adrian Chapman said: "We believe the increase in demand is down to the fact that we have been contacting people who need to shield who have not yet registered – a nationally commissioned service has also been doing the same thing. In addition, more names are being added to the shielded group by local GPs and medical services.

"All shielded people are receiving regular telephone contact from our case officers to ensure their needs are being met. We are also contacting everyone less often by email or letter, to ensure they know we are here and that nobody is missed whose existing support arrangements break down.

"We now have a further 112 case officers trained who are now fully operational and able to help us with this work."

Around 5,000 shielded people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are receiving a national food delivery over the course of this week.


Reaching everyone who might need our help

Every day the government sends us details of people who have responded to the request to shield by NHS England or their GP.

We make contact with these people to find out if they have what they need and if they don't how we can supply those needs, discuss other issues and anxieties, and make arrangements for at least weekly telephone contact.

Every week we are supporting thousands of people to access food and medicines, to help them beat anxiety and loneliness caused by isolation and in many other ways. Some people may choose not to have a weekly call - we still make email contact every couple of weeks, in case their arrangements change.

In addition, there are others who have been contacted by either NHS England or their local GP or clinical lead who are advised to shield but haven't yet registered. The Government has set up a national hotline which is contacting these people to encourage them to register. We have some details of this group, although limited and not comprehensive, and we have written to them ourselves (about 12,000 people).

This week we have been passed the details of 6,000 people who the NHS believe should be shielding who have not yet registered, despite repeated contact being made.  We are now planning for how we contact these people to establish whether they need our support or have their own arrangements in place. This may include visits in person to addresses.

If you know someone who is shielding from the virus, who we have not yet been in touch with, please contact the countywide hub by visiting  www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus   

It can also be contacted Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1pm on 0345 045 5219. 


Shopping for people who are self-isolating – advice for volunteers

Many local volunteers are supporting people who are self-isolating so can't get to the shops for food and other supplies but able to pay for their goods.

However, finding safe and secure ways for people to pay for items without exposing themselves, or the volunteers, to risk of harm, is a national challenge.

To support this, the Countywide Coordination Hub has been researching a range of payment options, so they can advise people, and the volunteers who are supporting them, who can then choose the most appropriate method for them.

The payment methods include:

  • Supermarket 'click and collect' schemes – for customers with online accounts, however delivery slots are in high demand
  • Paying the shop over the phone by card –using a pre-agreed password when the volunteer goes to the till
  • Buying volunteer cards online from Asda, Marks & Spencer or Waitrose and sending to the volunteer to use
  • Buying gift cards from Morrisons, Sainsbury's or Tesco for the volunteer to use
  • Paying the volunteer with a cash machine via a bank card – using contactless
  • Paying the volunteer for the shopping via online banking
  • Using the Post Office 'Payout Now' to access cash

More detailed information will be shared with our partners across Cambridgeshire as this is not specific to the shielded group. For further information, please email communitycv@cambridgeshire.gov.uk


Now We're Talking - coming together in isolation

Organisations across the county have joined forces to launch a wellbeing campaign and additional mental health support for people during the coronavirus outbreak.

'Now We're Talking', encourages people to get talking to combat loneliness whilst self-isolating, and to seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.

The campaign, led by the local authority, NHS and third sector also directs people to increased mental health support available including:

  • Lifeline Plus - a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.
  • Lifeline - 7 days a week, between 2pm and 11pm the same number is Lifeline, managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress: 0808 808 2121.
  • Qwell - an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to-peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop-in or scheduled online chat sessions. www.qwell.io
  • Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county - www.keep-your-head.com/now

'Now We're Talking' comms toolkit to use for your own updates:

Following the launch of our Now We're Talking campaign this week, please find here a toolkit so you can share the details with your town or parish council colleagues. Please feel free to use the news article (short or long) and any of the images in your own newsletters, on your websites or social media.

now we're talking

Learn a new skill and help beat loneliness

We know that one of the challenges for people who are self-isolating is being able to keep busy in their own home.

As a result, the countywide hub is developing a set of leisure, pleasure and learning opportunities for shielded people to take part in.

This could include aligning the food deliveries from the hub to a healthy eating class, both online or via recipe cards for those that don't have digital access.

The food delivery from the hub will include all the ingredients needed to cook the meal that will be taught online or via the recipe card.

The hub is also considering putting sewing classes online, or taught through instruction cards for those that have no internet access, that again could, with the food deliveries, see a delivery of materials and instruction to learn how to sew.

This could take the form of, for example, learning to sew 'scrub' bags that can be donated to the NHS for their staff to use.

Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.


Spotlight on our partners

red cross

Jonathan Harwood is an emergency response officer for Cambridgeshire and Suffolk British Red Cross.

"A day in the life of an emergency response officer is usually very varied. Some days I am sat at my desk completing administrative tasks, whilst others I am training volunteers in emergency management, providing rest centre training to our local authority partners or, as at the moment, responding to major incidents.

The everyday emergencies that the British Red Cross can attend might be domestic fires or floods, supporting the National Crime Agency on modern day slavery incidents and attending power and water outages, but the key element to all our work is supporting people in crisis.

I am also the 3rd Sector tactical advisor to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Resilience Forum, working with the county's emergency planning teams in preparing for incidents, so that the voluntary and community sector can be at the heart of an incident to provide much needed supplementary support to our category one partners, both during an incident and as part of the recovery work, to return the communities to a sense of normality.

Covid-19 has seen a massive demand on the voluntary sector over the past few weeks. At the county food and PPE distribution warehouse we have seen the British Red Cross, Beds & Cambs 4x4 Response Group, Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue, Served by Emergency Response Volunteers, Raynet and Team Rubicon UK all come together to ensure the vulnerable people in our county are being fed and the organisations that need PPE are able to keep supporting our county's vulnerable people through the work we are completing in partnership.

Local voluntary and community sector groups such as the Peterborough and Cambridge CVS, Hunts Forum and Cambridgeshire Acre are taking a lead in the local volunteering efforts to ensure that local communities are supported, not just in food distribution, but are connecting people to ensure that community resilience is strong and that once Covid-19 is a thing of the past, we will be living in stronger communities with people who will be there for each other.

I would like to thank all volunteers for everything that they are doing to support the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Hold your heads up high and be proud that you are a volunteer because without you we wouldn't be where we are today."


Looking after the county's carers

A project to support people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who are carers to friends and family has seen hundreds of people contacted to enquire whether they need support.

Family carers are currently delivering unprecedented levels of essential care and support to people with care needs in the community who are impacted by the pandemic.

In response Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Council have re-deployed more than 30 staff who are unable to fulfil their usual role due to the Covid-19 outbreak, to contact those family carers currently known to adult social care, check that they are coping, provide preventative advice and connect them to sources of support where this is needed. 

In Cambridgeshire 1,557 carers were identified and are being contacted.  Of those contacted so far 56% or 429 carers have told staff that they are coping.

Feedback from staff making the calls is that carers have been extremely grateful to be contacted and have taken contact details in order to access support should this be needed in the future. One carer told us "I enjoyed chatting to you and both my husband and I are impressed with the initiative set up by the council. Thank you." 

So far 57 carers contacted by the redeployed staff have been referred for support as a result of the calls, examples include accessing help with shopping and medication collection, both for themselves and the adult that they support, and amendments to the care and support being provided to the cared for person due to changes in their circumstances.

The staff making the calls have had information regarding a wide range of preventative services and have also been able to connect carers to support from services like occupational therapy and the technology enabled care team, as well as raising awareness of help available through Caring Together, previously known as Carers Trust. 

In Peterborough the experience is very similar, more than 423 carers have been contacted and provided with information and advice to date and staff are working through a further list of 214 carers. 

Adrian Chapman, service director for communities and partnerships, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We know that many carers don't recognise themselves as a carer and may be reluctant to ask for help for themselves for many reasons. As a result we know we need to encourage this group of people to accept support. 

"It's essential that carers are supported appropriately in order for them to continue in their caring role and to ensure that this does not have a negative impact on their own health and well-being. But now more than ever, it is important carers know that support is available to them. 

"As a result, there is currently a great deal of work happening across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough to support those with a caring responsibility and this work continues to develop. If you are a carer and you would like to talk to us about the support on offer, please call the countywide hub on 0345 045 5219."


Grafham Water Centre supporting the community

grafham corridor

Instructors from Grafham Water Centre (GWC) have been adapting their skills and joining projects set up to support essential services.

The centre's outreach program has placed instructors in schools throughout the county providing outdoor education to those children attending school, delivering both education based and sporting activities, such as archery.

Elsewhere, instructors are using their experience working with vulnerable people at the GWC to provide much needed support for the homeless in Peterborough. From assisting with welfare checks to delivering food, the instructors are working hard as part of a Government project to ensure that some of the most vulnerable within the community are continuing to be cared for during this difficult time.

The success of both these projects highlights the importance of togetherness, particularly in this current climate, with the instructors demonstrating how the community can continue to work as a team whilst following the official lock-down guidance.



Leading regional housing association offers support to vulnerable tenants

Hundreds of vulnerable people across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire who live in social housing are being supported by Cross Keys Homes (CKH). 

CKH has contacted more than 900 residents aged over 70 who live in its general needs housing to make sure that they have support from family or friends. At their request, CKH colleagues are making welfare calls every week to around 150 of them. 

Regular calls are also being made to 190 tenants who are under the age of 24 with children and 200 other vulnerable residents who have asked for this weekly support. Of those living in CKH retirement housing and extra care schemes, in the region of 1,200 residents receive daily contact. 

As well as these welfare calls, the housing association has been supporting residents with food shopping, medication deliveries and providing craft bags to keep young children entertained.

CKH has also launched a £1million welfare fund to support residents experiencing difficulties with the impact of Covid-19. Its 'Be Kind' fund is ring-fenced exclusively to offer help to those living in CKH homes who have been impacted financially, socially or physically by the coronavirus crisis. 

If you're talking to CKH residents who need support please email their details to customerservices@crosskeyshomes.co.uk or refer them to apply for the 'Be Kind' welfare fund at www.crosskeyshomes.co.uk/be-kind.


Safer Off the Streets partnership working night and day to help rough sleepers

Peterborough City Council and the Light Project Peterborough, supported by the city's Safer Off the Streets partnership, has delivered around-the-clock services to rough sleepers while they are housed during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Within 24 hours of the government advising that all rough sleepers should be given temporary accommodation as they are a vulnerable group, the city council and the Light Project Peterborough had housed a total of 25 rough sleepers in individual hotel rooms to encourage social distancing and then mobilised partners who are essential for supporting guests in the hotels including drug and alcohol services, mental health support, medical and prescription services. Currently, support is being provided to 90 rough sleepers and homeless people.

An army of 90 volunteers have kicked into force, many of whom are redeployed council staff, delivering 24/7 services within hours to help the former rough sleepers settle into their new temporary homes and self-isolate to protect themselves from the Covid-19 virus. This includes liaising with multiple food outlets and donors to co-ordinate over 1,500 meal per week for 80 former rough sleepers who are now housed.

Steven Pettican, chief executive officer at the Light Project Peterborough, said: "Providing three meals a day has been a military operation – particularly for charities like ours who rely on volunteers and have effectively had their fundraising dry up during Covid-19. We've also been providing a listening service, encouraging them to reflect on their current situation and to ask themselves if they really want to return to the streets once they press 'play' on their lives again. The feedback we've received from individuals who genuinely want to turn their lives around has made this worth it."

Peterborough Soup Kitchen and The 3 Pillars have also been active in supporting this to provide breakfasts and lunches, and when needed the Peterborough Foodbank has helped with supplies. Aspire has been able to engage with adults with substance misuse issues to provide drug and alcohol support.

The Garden House, run by Light Project Peterborough, continues to operate an emergency service for anyone finding themselves homeless, 10am-2pm Monday to Friday. Citizens Advice Peterborough and the Homelessness Prevention Team continue to provide advice and assistance to clients threatened with homelessness remotely.



Huntingdonshire District Council.

13th June 2020:
Financial COVID-19 Support
Financial Support for Businesses (Discretionary Grants)

The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Funding scheme is designed for businesses that have not yet been able to access government funding and is predominantly aimed at supporting small businesses and micro-businesses with fixed costs or businesses that are crucial to the local economy.
 
There is over £1.6m worth of funding available for one-off payments, ranging from £3,000 to £10,000, available to businesses that are eligible and apply. Businesses can check their eligibility by visiting www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/covidgrantfunding. Due to the limited funds available and the speed at which support is required to be shared locally, the scheme will be run on a first-come, first-served basis until the funding pot is exhausted. Therefore, it is recommended that businesses assess their eligibility first and proceed to submit their application, along with the required supporting documents as soon as they are able.

The scheme will be open until Friday 31 July 2020, however due to the limited funding available it is likely to close sooner, once the grant funding has all been allocated and distributed.

Community Chest COVID-19 Grant Funding
 
23 community groups have so far been awarded grant funding from the district council, money that will be used for initiatives such as; paying towards staff cover, replenishing stocks of PPE, improving stocks used for food parcels, providing hot meals for vulnerable people and purchasing supermarket vouchers for those in need.

The Community Chest fund has been expanded to £50,000 and repurposed to offer small community projects and support organisations the opportunity to bid for funding that will help them continue to support their local communities during the pandemic response period.

If you know of or are part of a community-led resilience initiative, you can apply for Community Chest funding from the District Council by visiting: www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/communitychestfund

Reopening of Town Centres
 
As Huntingdonshire begins to reopen its town centres, we're asking our community to share their thoughts in a new residents survey this June. Your participation will help us gain a sense as to what residents across Huntingdonshire are thinking and feeling in this current landscape. And each insight will form a huge part of our continuing work to make your visits back to our town centres completely safe and welcoming for you. Access the survey through the button below.
Click here to take the Reopening Town Centres Survey
Visit our dedicated webpages on the reopening of Huntingdonshire and what we are doing to support local high streets and keep residents safe, below.
Reopening Huntingdonshire: Information for Residents

Changes to Outdoor Markets
 

On 20 June, the Huntingdon Saturday market will be partially relocated to the Market Square until further notice. From 15 June, the St Ives Monday and Friday markets will be relocating to Cattle Market car park (PE27 5BW), along with the Farmers Market operated by St Ives Town Council. The reopening of markets in St Neots is being operated by Wendy Fair Markets.

This move aims to support social distancing within the town centres by providing more space for pedestrian movement as retailers begin to reopen and utilise larger areas for our markets to create safe space for traders and the public alike.

Following updated Government guidance permitting the reopening of outdoor markets (other than for essential trade) from 1 June 2020, we are finalising plans to reintroduce more traders into our markets.

________________________________________________________

8th June 2020:

markets reopening in huntingdonshire


Fresh food and essentials have continued to be sold at markets across the district throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, however following updated Government Guidance permitting the re-opening of Outdoor Markets (other than for essential trade) from 1 June 2020, Huntingdonshire District Council is finalising plans to reintroduce more traders into our markets. The plans and measures to be put in place to safely reopen more stalls in Huntingdon and St Ives will be discussed with traders directly with the goal of supporting public safety through social distancing during these unprecedented times. The re-opening of markets in St Neots is being operated by Wendy Fair Markets - http://www.wendyfairmarkets.com/st-neots-market.html.

 

On 20 June, the Huntingdon Saturday market will be partially relocated to the market square until further notice. From 15 June, the St Ives Monday and Friday markets will be relocating to Cattle Market car park (PE27 5BW) along with the Farmers Market operated by St Ives Town Council. This move aims to support social distancing within the town centres by providing more space for pedestrian movement as retailers begin to reopen and utilises larger areas for our markets to create safe space for traders and the public alike.

 

Executive Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, Councillor Ryan Fuller, said: "We welcome the news of outdoor markets being able to re-open but in order to ensure  the  safety of the public, traders, and council staff, a number of changes to the operation of each market will apply."

 

"Collaboration with local partners; Huntingdonshire Businesses Against Crime (HBAC), Huntingdon Business Improvement District (BID), County Council Highways and the Town Councils has enabled us to safely announce the reopening of the markets in new temporary locations."

 

We hope all those involved understand the new measures are in place to support creating safer town centres as we all get to grips with a 'new normal'."

 

Businesses and employers in  all industries can access the latest information and guidance on how to safely reopen by visiting the Council's dedicated COVID-19 website: wearehuntingdonshire.org.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

21st May 2020:

scheme launched for working age council tax support





Huntingdonshire District Council has today launched a scheme to provide additional council tax help during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative, supported by almost £500,000 of Government funding, is designed to offer a reduction in council tax payments which will initially be aimed at people who are in receipt of working-age council tax support.

Those in receipt of working-age council tax support will receive an additional reduction to their council tax bill of up to £150. There is no need to apply as the reduction will be applied to bills automatically and bills will be re-issued to reflect how much is left to pay following this.

Executive Leader of the Council, Councillor Ryan Fuller, said: "We are acutely aware that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause a multitude of problems for some of our residents, which is why we have committed to provide as much support as possible to the people that most need our help. The Government has provided us with additional funding to provide council tax reductions for those who already utilise council tax support.

"Alongside our council tax deferral scheme that we designed and launched in March, this next step with the help of the Government should provide some additional assistance to anyone who is financially vulnerable.

The reductions will be automatically applied to new claims for council tax support as well as those that already exist.

Government has given local authorities across the country this additional funding to help support local people, aiming to reduce the council tax liability of working-age people in receipt of council tax support.

8th May 2020:

Fly-Tipping: 
With Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) set to re-open from Monday, please can we ask you ensure messages around Fly-Tipping are cascaded into your local communities and groups. With long queues expected people maybe tempted to fly tip what they cannot drop off at HRCs under their new operating guidance.

Reporting fly-tipping:

Fly-Tipping is illegal and if you witness someone in the act, call the police on 999 and report it as a crime in progress. All instances should also be reported to the district council and include as much details as possible – outlined below.

 

DO NOT put yourself at risk. If you witness fly-tipping in progress, keep yourself safe by staying out of the way. DO NOT confront the perpetrator(s). DO NOT touch the waste.

Household Recycling Centres:

Household Recycling Centres across Peterborough & Cambridgeshire will be once again collecting waste from Monday 11th May. In our district there are three sites which will be reopening to the public, Bluntisham, St Neots and Alconbury.

This is big news for residents, as many will have waste and recycling built up over the past few weeks that they will be keen to get rid of. Despite what may be seen as a reopening of the centres it is important that we acknowledge and spread the message that they are open for only essential visits, which means that the storage of waste within the home is causing health and safety issues; there will also be restricted access, no assistance for those disposing of waste and of course, social distancing protocol and risk of spreading COVID-19 still exist.

The following restrictions will be in place:

No vans/trailers that require a permit allowed

Alconbury
Parking bays limited to 5 cars at a time
Opening times 08:00 to 17:00hrs 7 days a week.

Bluntisham
Parking bays limited to 6 cars at a time
Opening times 08:00 to 17:00hrs 7 days a week.

St Neots
Parking bays limited to 6 cars at a time
Opening times 08:00 to 18:00hrs 7 days a week.

Please share this information into your local networks and ask for residents to be careful when disposing of waste and employing individuals to do so on their behalf. Please point residents in the direction of our social media channels where possible as we will be sharing further information regarding fly-tipping and any further restriction information as it is released.

Long queues are expected at all sites. Full details are on CCC's website.

___________________________________________________________

18th April 2020:

Supporting Vulnerable Residents

Our teams are continuing to assist the HDC Community Resilience Hub in contacting potentially vulnerable residents, packing and delivering food parcels as well as assisting local Pharmacies with delivering prescriptions to residents. Phone calls to vulnerable residents are ongoing, please note our teams are using their personal phones to make these calls, so it is likely that the calls will come up as withheld to residents. Up until today, have delivered 335 emergency food parcels and collected and delivered 297 prescriptions for vulnerable people. The District Council will not be asking for any financial or bank account details.

 __________________________________________________________

10th April 2020:


HDC's dedicated website for COVID-19 related support and guidance: www.wearehuntingdonshire.org.

What we've been doing so far ...
  • Delivering over 200 food parcels to our most vulnerable residents across the district
  • Making over 3,000 phone calls to vulnerable residents to check on their welfare
  • Collecting over 150 prescriptions and delivering them to residents who are unable to collect from their local pharmacy
  • Introduced a two-month council tax deferral scheme. We've already received applications for this scheme from over 2,000 households, click here for more information or to apply.
  • Supporting local businesses through grant funding schemes, click here for more information
If your income has reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic you may be entitled to claim Universal Credit and/or Council Tax Support

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7th April 2020:

coronavirus grants – 203 payments to hit businesses' bank accounts today


Following the Government announcement regarding the launch of a package of financial measures to provide support for businesses, Huntingdonshire District Council has written to all those in the district who we believe are eligible for the funding, inviting them to provide their bank account details to enable us to make the payments to them.

 

Over 500 businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry and approximately 1,800 businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief will receive Government grants.

 

Small businesses who receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief are eligible for a £10,000 grant and there is grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

 

Cllr Ryan Fuller, Executive Leader of the Council, said; "Supporting local businesses is a key priority for us right now. As soon as we received clarity on the guidance from the Government, we began contacting businesses straight away – to obtain their details to ensure we could release the grants as soon as possible. Officers have been working around the clock to ensure processes are in place to make this happen at pace. We have already processed 203 payments to eligible businesses – awarding £5.075m worth of grants.

 

Although we have directly reached out to thousands of businesses, we know there may still be more who are eligible for funding that we don't hold details for.  I urge businesses to go online and look at the support packages. If you believe you meet the criteria – don't delay in filling out our online form or contacting the council."

 

Eligible businesses are asked  to fill out an online form.

1st April 2020:

We all need to play our part in reinforcing the government's message to stay at home so please cascade the attached via your appropriate local channels.

We also need your help in capturing existing support and information out there, as well as distributing new information and support services to our communities throughout your ward. Please be advised that our teams are contacting the most vulnerable by telephone to gauge support required; we are aware that there are sensitivities to this direct approach, but to avoid causing any anxiety please advise local people that the Council will not be asking for any financial or bank account details.

Supporting Vulnerable Residents

Over the weekend, One Leisure teams assisted the HDC Community Resilience Hub in contacting over 900 residents across the district who we have been identified as potentially vulnerable, successfully speaking to over 630 of those residents. 6% of those spoken to did not have food or basic supplies and as a result of this, our team are packing and delivering  emergency food parcels to those households most in need. 29% of residents contacted do not have access to a local shop and 12% of residents contacted do not have any friends, family or community support. There is lots of help from all levels of government and from the voluntary and community sector; we want to make sure that we do not  duplicate efforts but perhaps more importantly, we do not want to miss anyone in genuine need. Please find photos attached of our teams packing and distributing the parcels.

www.wearehuntingdonshire.org

Where appropriate, HDC staff are being redeployed in order to keep essential services running and prove services to the community. Examples of this include our One Leisure Active Lifestyles team who are currently assisting our Operations team as well as local pharmacies in making their deliveries. Please find photos attached.

Scam letters

Further to yesterday's briefing regarding the letter circulating to residents in the Bluntisham area claiming to be from HDC, explaining that they have failed to obey self/isolation and social distancing procedures. Cllr Jon Neish spoke to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire yesterday, his interview is at 3h10 on the programme found here. These letters are not from the District Council. A sample of this letter is attached, please be advised that these letters should be disregarded.

One Leisure

There are now 200 subscribers to the One Leisure YouTube channel. The One Leisure team have been working hard to make available online exercise programmes to help keep our communities fit and well, more videos are being added daily and cover a broad range of exercise abilities. One Leisure began the year asking their customers 'What's your One Leisure?', they are now asking their customers 'What's your stay at home leisure?' encouraging customers to share what they're doing to keep active at home.


HDC continues to update the dedicated webpage to keep customers informed of Council services.


Pathfinder House Services

HDC Staff Our teams remain exceptionally busy supporting residents, such as our Revenues and benefits team, who have had a considerable surge in work linked to requests for changes to payments of Council Tax and also the business support packages.

Department of Work & Pensions NO CHANGE new claims to be made online.

Citizens Advice Bureau NO CHANGE call centre 0344 245 1292.

Muir Housing NO CHANGE

NHS NO CHANGE

Eastfield House

Office staff NO CHANGE

Waste & Recycling NO CHANGE

District Councillors response

We would ask that you spend some time sharing any information, practices, support or great news stories that you might be aware of! This will aid our co-ordination of existing support and information. The survey can be found here.

Please ensure that you are practising social distancing and adhering to Government advice. We do not want you to put yourself at risk in the distributing of this information.

Local services

Chorus Homes NO CHANGE emergency repairs contact repairs@chorushomesgroup.co.uk

Cambridgeshire County Council NO UPDATE existing campaign page

Local Government Association NO UPDATE existing guidance

Support for businesses NO UPDATE existing information here.

____________________


HDC Services

  1. HDC COVID-19 dedicated webpage:
  • Please use this webpage for the latest updates on how the district council services are running, this page is being updated regularly throughout the day. The webpage can be accessed here: https://huntingdonshire.gov.uk/serviceupdate
  1. Information for local businesses:

·        There is a dedicated webpage for local businesses to access information about business rate relief, access to support and other measures that have been introduced by the government. It can all be found in one place here: https://huntingdonshire.gov.uk/investhuntssupport

·        The Council are also issuing letters imminently to every business ratepayer in the district which will contain information on how to access new guidance and support that the government has announced.

  1. Impact on waste services:

·        Due to the coronavirus outbreak and potential increases in staff sickness levels, some recycling and waste services may be impacted. This may result in general rubbish being prioritised, other services being suspended at short notice, such as organic waste, recycling or bulky waste collections.

·        Services offered and operating hours may also change at Recycling Centres. We are working hard to minimise the impact on your recycling and waste collections and we appreciate your understanding if services do change. We are monitoring the situation closely but should the situation change we will be altering the service accordingly. Currently, all collection crews are deployed so services are running as normal.

·        Any individuals asked to self-isolate, either as a precaution or because they are confirmed to have coronavirus, should follow this advice to get rid of their household waste to ensure the virus is not spread via personal waste. Individuals should place all personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, securely in a plastic bag or bin liner. This plastic bag should then be placed in another plastic bag and securely tied. These bags must be stored separately to other waste for at least 72 hours before being placed in the general rubbish collection. After 72 hours outside the body, the virus is no longer viable and the double-bagged waste can be put in the general rubbish collection as normal. Only heavily contaminated waste, such as tissues that have been coughed in and disposable cleaning cloths need to be treated in this way. Regular household recycling and waste should be treated as normal. Please note, individuals who are self-isolating should not visit any recycling centre.

National Advice

  1. Key worker definition:
  1. Guidance for charitable organisations:

Other useful links

Thank you for your cooperation in this these unprecedented times.

Jane Gadsby

Communications Executive

Huntingdonshire District Council

Telephone: 01480 388009

Mobile: 07590 827684


Cambridgeshire County Council:

30th April 2020:

Further support for children affected by domestic abuse

Cambridgeshire County Council is delighted to have been awarded Home Office funding to support children affected by domestic abuse.

A total of £3.1 million nationally will go to specialist services for children who have both been directly and indirectly affected by domestic abuse. This will include one-to-one and group counselling sessions to improve the mental health of children affected and early intervention schemes. 

The funding comes at a crucial time as the Covid-19 lockdown has seen increased calls to national domestic abuse helplines and also an increase in children calling specialist helplines about abuse at home. 

Just over £400K funding will be coming to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to ensure a number of much needed services are delivered including trauma based therapy for children who have experienced domestic abuse, dedicated children's workers in refuges and support to help women and children remain safely in their homes.

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership website (www.cambsdasv.org.uk) has all the local contacts for anyone living with or experiencing domestic abuse to use, along with information for friends and family of victims as well as information for professionals.


Dr Liz Robin vlog about the NHS being open for business

Dr Liz Robin's, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, has released another video blog which has been shared on our YouTube and social media channels. She talks about the NHS still being open for business, and advises that we should still seek urgent medical attention and treatment from GPs and Emergency Departments when we need it - as not doing so can pose a long term risk to our health, both mental and physical.

Watch today's vlog on YouTube.


Keeping everyone connected

 The Covid-19 outbreak has made us all more reliant on phone networks and internet services to keep in touch, which is why they are designated as 'critical' services by the Government. It's vital that people can keep connected especially at a time when we are being asked to stay at home and practise social distancing.

Mobile phones or landlines are particularly essential for vulnerable people who are self-isolating, and those without internet access, to get food, medicines and other support they need. Many people are also facing financial uncertainty and the more vulnerable members of our communities may need a bit of extra help.

The UK's major mobile and internet service providers have responded to this by offering a range of support for all their customers, including concessions for NHS frontline workers, the most vulnerable and people in financial hardship due to the Covid-19 situation.

Connecting Cambridgeshire, the digital connectivity programme led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is working with telecoms operators to improve broadband and mobile coverage across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and has put together a Quick Guide to help available from the mobile networks which is summarised below.

Help for everyone to stay connected:

  • All phone users can get free access to all NHS UK online websites with data allowances unaffected, and free calls to NHS 111 and the Non-Emergency 101 service to the Police
  • NHS frontline staff, who are existing customers, can get mobile data access, voice calls and texts at no extra cost when using their personal mobiles for work
  • Vulnerable patients can get generous data allowances to use their mobile phones for video consultations with doctors and health staff
  • People finding it difficult to pay their phone bill as a result of Covid-19 can get support if they inform their provider
  • Vulnerable people – such as those who are Shielded - can get generous mobile and landline packages to ensure they remain connected, including data boosts at low prices and free calls from their landline or mobile, whether on contract or 'pay as you go'.
  • All providers will remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services.
  • Vulnerable customers or those self-isolating will receive alternative methods of communication where possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out.

Visit the Connecting Cambridgeshire Getting Superfast webpage to check if you can get superfast broadband, and follow the steps to upgrade, or find out about the options available if you can't get it yet.

____________________________________________________

29th April 2020:

We have listened to feedback and this update will now be issued twice a week on a Monday and Thursday as the Covid-19 Communities Update - sharing news and information to support the work of our local councils, residents associations, community networks, volunteer groups and others helping vulnerable people. The team also produces a newsletter for the hubs network which is issued on a Friday.


Cambridgeshire Workplace Chaplaincy Helpline launched 

A helpline has been launched to support people who are finding life difficult at the moment.

The day-to-day adjustments that many are having to make due to a stressful job or juggling working from home, coupled with responsibilities at home, are very stressful for many of us.

Maintaining and enhancing the emotional and mental health of everyone is critical during these turbulent times. 

Therefore the Cambridgeshire Workplace Chaplaincy (CWC) has launched a free helpline for anyone in the workplace who needs help with stress and wants emotional support. 

All calls are anonymous. The service is available during the hours of 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday plus an out-of-hours voicemail if you would like a chaplain to contact you at a later point.

CWC's multifaith chaplains are a diverse group who are happy to provide support regardless of whether you're spiritual or religious – their aim is to listen and comfort.

Please call 0800 246 5193 if you need support.


The Library Presents ... in your house

The Library Presents sadly had to postpone the planned spring programme due to COVID-19, but Cambridgeshire County Council has now launched The Library Presents... in your house to allow residents to join in online events.

There is something for all ages across a range of art forms including; music, storytelling, theatre, radio drama, visual art, magic, animation, poetry and craft. Over the coming weeks there will be a mixture of live streamed performances, live workshops, videos, downloads for families and a collaborative activity where everyone can participate.

The programme is not only for the technology savvy! Some of the activity will be using radio and postal deliveries; a number of events are inclusive and are signed or subtitled these are clearly marked on the website.

To find out more about The Library Presents... in your house programme, visit the council's website or Facebook @TheLibraryPresents.

The timetable will be updated weekly with events from the digital programme. 


Larkfields working creatively

Staff at Larkfields, a day service for adults with learning difficulties run by Cambridgeshire County Council, have been putting their skills to good use to help key workers and service users.

Staff have set up a production line to make PPE for front line workers and they've also sewn and supplied masks in fun fabrics to encourage service users to wear them, if needed.

Alongside this, they are supplying activity packs to service users and have created entertaining activities for them to watch on YouTube on subjects including meditation, cooking and exercise.


Innovative campaign for vulnerable people in Bainton and Ashton

In conjunction with Peterborough City Council's on-going efforts to support communities since the coronavirus outbreak, Bainton and Ashton Parish Council recently launched the Bright Ribbon campaign.

Residents of the two villages donate non-perishable food items by placing them on their doorsteps in shopping bags tied with brightly-coloured ribbon. Within the first week of donations, 170kg of items were collected.

This was then delivered to the Peterborough Foodbank where it could be passed on to those in need. Donations are currently being directed towards parent-carer families who have been affected by the current crisis. Local suppliers, Plants Eggs, have offered a sizable donation of fresh eggs towards the scheme.


Cambridgeshire Music's first Virtual Orchestra

Cambridgeshire Music, the county council's music and arts hub has been inundated with rhythmic additions to its Virtual Orchestra since it launched this opportunity on 17 April.

Over 50 musicians have sent across video and audio files of themselves playing along to the theme tune of the hit US TV classic, Hawaii Five-0, which has now been turned into a musical montage online.

One participant was a former Cambridgeshire Music student getting in touch all the way from Los Angeles to play his part. Instruments ranged from saxophones and flutes to cellos and drum kits – as well as some interesting implements from a kitchen cupboard.

Plans are now in place to do it again and the team is already thinking about which musical piece to cover next. Add some sunshine to your day by watching the performance on YouTube.

_____________________________________


Now we're talking - coming together in isolation

Organisations across the county have joined forces to launch a wellbeing campaign and additional mental health support for people during the coronavirus outbreak.

'Now We're Talking', encourages people to get talking to combat loneliness whilst self-isolating, and to seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.

The campaign, led by the local authority, NHS and third sector also directs people to increased mental health support available including:

  • Lifeline Plus - a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.
  • 7 days a week, between 2pm and 11pm the same number is Lifeline, managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress: 0808 808 2121.
  • Qwell - an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to-peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop-in or scheduled online chat sessions. www.qwell.io
  • Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county - www.keep-your-head.com/now

Search for #nowweretalking on Twitter and Facebook.


Mobile library helps distribute food to rough sleepers in Cambridge

Cambridgeshire Mobile Library staff are maintaining their strong community spirit during Covid-19 by helping with the distribution of food and other essentials to rough sleepers in Cambridge.

Thanks to their highly effective teamwork, mobile library staff are distributing around 55 meals daily along with toiletries, clothes, books, magazines and jigsaws as requested. This is part of a wider network of organisations who have risen to the challenge of providing for the homeless in the city.

The service had initially offered its helpful staff and fleet of three mobiles to support local foodbanks in their efforts to deliver food to those in need.

Staff were then approached by agencies in Cambridge to support a joint venture aiming to deliver hot meals to rough sleepers housed in temporary accommodation during the lockdown.

Meals are freshly prepared by volunteers from the Wintercomfort day centre and Sally Ann's charity and other local church groups. They are then loaded onto the Mobile Library for delivery to three hotels providing rough sleepers with temporary accommodation.

Meals include curry and rice, baked potatoes with chilli con carne, sausage casserole as well as sausages mash and gravy. Rough sleepers also get a bag with sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, yogurt and cereal to last them the rest of the day.

Library staff are able to adhere to social distancing guidance whilst at the hotels by wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including plastic aprons, gloves and face masks. A team of volunteers remain inside the vehicle and distribute the meals from the back, while another volunteer stays outside to check the names of meal recipients, note who has received food and record any other welfare-related queries, which are then fed back daily.

For updates and information about digital services offered by your local library, visit:


School helps ensure 'the sew' can go on for frontline workers

Keen to play their part in supporting our critical frontline workers, staff at Queen Katherine Academy in Peterborough have been the latest to put their skills to good use by creating some much-needed PPE.

Teachers combined the old with the new, with Mr Shirley using modern machinery and technology to create face visors, while Mrs Shirley showed her handwork with a good old-fashioned sewing machine to produce cotton facemasks and scrub bags.

The pair have now produced over 80 individual masks, bags and visors, which have been distributed to palliative care nurses, a GP surgery and local pharmacy.

If you'd like to be involved in similar community projects, please contact your local hub:

To contact the countywide hub visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus   

It can also be contacted Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1pm on 0345 045 5219

________________________________________________________________________________


14th April 2020:

Urgent appeal for foster carers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

A campaign to urgently boost the number of people fostering to support children across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough during the coronavirus crisis has been launched.

The number of people enquiring about becoming foster carers has dipped, with the immediate need being for teenagers, children with additional needs and sibling groups.

Both Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are launching a 'Call for Action' urging people who can help to change the lives of children and young people to become foster carers and provide loving, supportive homes as demand for the service increases.

During COVID-19, we are taking all the necessary steps during the fostering process to follow the government advice, for example, we can conduct initial visits virtually and have made arrangements to do so. If your application progresses then we will discuss the next stages with you which will include a face to face visit as part of the assessment process, this will adhere to the social distancing rules at all times.

People who believe they can make a positive difference to a child's life are encouraged to contact both council's today. All carers receive training, 24 hour access to support, along with allowances. As a foster carer you need to have the time, patience and determination to support and help vulnerable children and young people who are living away from their families. You will need to be over 21 and have a spare bedroom in your home.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council encourage you to find out more about fostering, visit: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/fostering email fostering@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or call 0800 052 0078

Visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/fostering email FosteringandAdoption@Peterborough.gov.uk or call 0800 328 8433.


Trading Standards warns about Coronavirus personal protective goods

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards Service are asking local residents to report any online products claiming to protect people against coronavirus that haven't been provided by a reputable supplier or nationally approved. This could be home-made sanitisers, genuine looking face masks claiming protection and coronavirus swabbing kits. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. This is a time when unscrupulous criminals will attempt to make illegal profit and prey on the fears of the most vulnerable in our society.

In addition to cracking down on such products, you might also be interested to read the latest Public Health England blog about personal protective equipment (known as 'PPE') and what is being recommended for the necessary excursions we are having to make. For the vast majority you will find in fact the recommendation is to use no PPE but instead to adopt thorough hand washing practices and social distancing.

Members of the public can contact the Trading Service via the Citizens Advice helpline on 0808 223 1133


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8th April 2020:

Countywide Covid-19 Coordination Hub - Bank Holiday weekend availability

The Countywide Covid-19 Coordination Hub will be open as usual - every day except Sunday - over the Bank Holiday weekend as follows: Friday and Monday (8am to 6pm) and Saturday (9am to 1pm). Some City/District Coordination Hubs may be closed over the weekend, so please check your local council's website for information.

To help manage demand, staff will be taking emergency calls only on 0345 045 5219.

Non-urgent contact can be made via the online portals  which can be found 24/7 at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus


_____________________________
7th April 2020:

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough leaders send their best wishes to the PM

Following last night's admission of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intensive care after his Coronavirus symptoms worsened, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough leaders have extended their best wishes to the Prime Minister and his family.

Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We are all thinking of the Prime Minister and his family. I'm sure he will be heartened to see all the messages of support that have gathered online overnight when he makes a full recovery."

Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: "Like many of us, I was shocked when I heard the news last night that Boris Johnson's symptoms had worsened. My thoughts and prayers are with the Prime Minister and his family and I wish him a full recovery."

_______________________

Cambridgeshire/Peterborough Together Against Coronavirus

6th April 2020:

Additional donations of vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to NHS frontline staff

A donation of additional PPE, including visors and thousands of protective masks, is being given to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough hospitals to help frontline staff stay safe during the fight against coronavirus, from two entirely difference sources.

Schools across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are using their Design and Technology Departments to make basic facial PPE visors for NHS staff.

Jack Hunt School and Arthur Mellows schools have already started making and delivering more than 650 protective visors to assist key workers and emergency services as they take to the frontline in hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes. The visors are already in use in Peterborough Hospital.

And a further 12,000 masks are being donated from China this week,  as a result of contacts made by Cambridgeshire County Council leader Cllr Steve Count, who over the past few years has been working  to build links between foreign investors in China and businesses in the county. 

Cllr Count, and County Council chief executive Gillian Beasley have been working closely with Martin Garrett of Cambridge Cleantech and Dr Chenguang Sun from UK Cambridge Education Centre  to develop a strategic agreement which encourages local companies and investors to collaborate with Chinese companies and investors and vice versa – boosting economic opportunities for Cambridgeshire. And it was thanks to Dr Sun's direct intervention that the additional donation is being made to help the county's battle against the disease.

The donations from China - which are most useful in clinical settings - are being passed onto Addenbrooke's Hospital. They will then be distributed to frontline staff and medical professionals battling Covid-19.

Cllr Steve Count, Leader at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "I am extremely grateful and thankful to our Chinese partners - and particularly Dr Chenguang Sun for his support in sourcing and donating 12,000 masks which will help to protect our incredible staff and NHS workers.

"The masks will be a welcome addition to those already being used across our health and social care system, and we are making sure they get to the services that need them as quickly as possible."


Local doctors advise residents to stay in this Easter

Local medical and health experts have joined forces to tell the public that we can beat coronavirus if we stick to the battle plan.

 With Easter just round the corner and summer on its way, many people may want to start seeing family and friends again.

But to successfully tackle the virus, the doctors say we must continue following advice by staying at home and practicing social distancing.

Feature versions

  • CUH – Cambridge, East Cambs and South Cambs click here
  • Hinchingbrooke – Hunts and Fenland click here
  • Peterborough City Hospital -  click here

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3rd April 2020:

Our councils are today (Friday 3 April 2020) asking communities to pull together to reach out against Coronavirus.

Cambridgeshire/Peterborough Together Against Coronavirus is helping people stay connected during self-isolation, particularly those at risk of feeling lonely.

While many of us are finding innovative ways of keeping in touch with the outside world – from regular phone or video calls to family and friends to online exercise classes – self isolation can lead to increased feelings of loneliness for people living on their own. These may be people living with disabilities or other vulnerable conditions, elderly people or those who are isolating for 12 weeks due to chronic health conditions.

There are already some great examples of people offering support in their communities, but we are now asking you to help us reach out to those who may be struggling to stay connected with the outside world.

Whether it's offering to deliver food supplies or pick up prescriptions, or regular phone calls checking on their wellbeing, there are many ways we can all keep an eye on people, without the need to make physical contact.

So what can you do to help?

  • Share your stories of what you are doing to help people on your social media pages using the hashtags #ReachOut #PeterboroughTogether or #CambridgeshireTogether
  • Share your tips on beating loneliness
  • Download the campaign poster and other visuals on your social media pages or in your window to show what you are doing to help people in your neighbourhood
  • Help us remind people about the importance of staying at home

Your stories will help us remind people that help is at hand.

If you are shielding from the Coronavirus and are in need of food, medicine or other supplies, please contact us via our website www.peterborough.gov.uk/coordinationhub or www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coordinationhub or by calling 0345 045 5219


Library service changes in Cambridgeshire

Following Government guidance, all Cambridgeshire County Council library buildings closed on Monday 23rd March and will remain closed until further notice. During this time:

  • Overdue charges have been suspended and return dates have been extended throughout the closure period
  • Reservations for stock will not be accepted at this time. Any existing reservations will be satisfied when libraries re-open.
  • A number of digital services will be provided. To browse our eBooks, eMagazines, eNewspapers and three suppliers of eAudiobooks, visit our Online Library webpage
  • To stay up to date with the latest Cambridgeshire County Council library news, sign up the our e-newsletter
  • Further information about the library closures is on our website

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites - www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus 


Schoolchildren encouraged to out-do the grown-ups by 'creating their own community'

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough education teams are setting down a challenge for children – encouraging them to create their own town and community from scratch to win an iPad.

The competition, open for all Cambridgeshire and Peterborough infant, junior and primary school children, combines many areas of the curriculum including Maths, Art and Geography and requires those taking part of carry out research, explore their own creativity and make some really big decisions, perhaps the biggest being what to name their new settlement. Towny Mc Townville is the best we can come up with!

You can find out more about the challenge on our new online learning hub which was launched yesterday.


Changes to bus services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

As Government social distancing during the Covid-19 outbreak continues, a number of bus companies across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have announced changes to their timetables.

  • Call Connect in Peterborough – Call Connect has decided not to operate its services on Good Friday, Easter Sunday or Easter Monday. Bookings will still be taken for the Saturday service from 8.30am to 4pm (Welland) and 9am to 4.30pm (Lincolnshire). Visit the Call Connect website
  • Stagecoach timetable changes in Peterborough and Cambs – Updates to bus services – Further temporary changes to Stagecoach bus timetables will be introduced in Cambridge and Peterborough from Sunday, 5th April. Critical routes will be maintained wherever possible. Visit the Stagecoach website
    • Cambridge – Changes to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 13A, 13B and 13X, 16A, 18, 19, 25, H, X8 and 39.
    • Peterborough - Changes to services 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. 

Some revisions to the Busway A, B and D timetables have also been made.


National Express temporarily suspending all bus operations

National Express is temporarily suspending all its coach operations from 11.59pm on Sunday (5 April). The closure will be continually reviewed in line with government policy and services will restart when possible. Until Sunday, the Emergency Timetable has been reduced. For more information, visit the National Express website

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2.4.2020

Network of coordination and response hubs launched  

A network of COVID-19 Coordination and Response Hubs has been launched across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

This includes the countywide co-ordination hub, which has been in operation now for almost two weeks, and local hubs that are being led by the district/city councils.  

The countywide hub is focussed on supporting residents who have been identified as shielding and being of the highest risk. It will ensure that critical services across the public sector, such as care for the elderly, can continue through the support of staff who have been redeployed from other council services and partner organisations and the support of volunteers.  

This work includes ensuring our most vulnerable residents have access to food, medicines and other important supplies, as well as ensuring broader social needs are met as far as possible, to minimise anxiety. 

The district and city hubs will provide more local support, for residents across their communities and will respond to individual offers of help or requests for support. They will also connect with and support mutual aid and other community-led initiatives. 

Working closely with the countywide hub, they will also respond to individual requests for help and offers of assistance that fall outside the scope of the support being offered to those who are identified as being of the highest risk. 

Each of the district and city councils will have information on their websites from tomorrow about the local hubs including how people can get in touch and access help and support. We will provide more details of each hub in a follow up email to all subscribers of this Update.

To contact the countywide hub, people are being asked, where possible, to do so online at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus  

The countywide hub can also be contacted Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1pm at communitycv@cambridgeshire.gov.uk  or on 0345 045 5219 


Community Fund

The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund is offering grants to help Parish, Town, District, City and County Councils, along with local charities and groups to deal with issues affecting older and vulnerable people in our community as a result of the continuing threat of COVID-19.

Grants between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for projects that aim to tackle the impact of financial hardship, potential for hunger, lack of shelter, health issues, loneliness, isolation, etc.

Cambridgeshire County Council has contributed to the fund and several local groups have already successfully applied.

You can find more information about the fund and how to apply here:

https://www.cambscf.org.uk/cambridgeshire-coronavirus-community-fund.html

Please also spread the word about the appeal, which has had a fantastic response and is aiming to raise £300,000. You can find more information here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Coronaviruscommunityfund


Council staff doing essential work

Some people have questioned whether Council staff should be working in communities or in our offices when we are being asked to practice social distancing.

Please remember that, as well as health workers and police officers, many council staff are on the Government's critical worker list because they are providing essential services so need to be out and about.

For example, health and social care workers supporting vulnerable families, carers and homeless people; school staff providing child care for key workers; refuse and recycling crews emptying bins and keeping our neighbourhoods clean; and bereavement services supporting people who have lost loved ones.

Other Council staff have been re-deployed to carry out critical co-ordination and complex planning work, which cannot be done from home, such as responding to vulnerable people through the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Coordination Hub, which is providing food, medicines and other supplies.

Key worker cards are being made and distributed to staff doing critical work in case there is a challenge from a member of the public or police. At all times, key workers are being advised to work at a safe distance to prevent the spread of infection.

Wendi Ogle-Welbourn, Executive Director, People and Communities, Cambridgeshire County Council, says: "Where at all possible we want Council staff to work from home; there are however some situations where this is not possible and people need to physically come into work and practice social distancing.

"Everybody is working incredibly hard and also adhering to social isolation or social distancing to protect the most vulnerable people in our community. We all have a part to play and we need to understand that the parts we have to play are all different, but equally valued."


Council's new online learning hub is one stop shop for parents and children

There is no doubt parents are inundated at the minute, with online learning resources being offered from all angles. Rather than trying to add to the noise, the Education Team at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council has created a 'one stop shop', giving parents and children a single 'go to' place for a whole range of interactive lessons, projects, challenges and activities for children of all ages.

The 'Home Learning Hub' has been created by the collective brainpower of the Council's Education Team, which includes Maths and English advisers and subject leads from many other areas. It offers interactive learning materials that will really get you thinking and keep your brain and body active, as well as covering important topics such as safety online, and links to content.

The team are continually adding to the Hub and are taking on board feedback from parents to ensure new content is really valuable – and fun! Click here to have a look and see.


Sport England to dish out funding to help local clubs and community associations 

We know there are many sport clubs and community associations in both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that are worried about funding during the Covid-19 outbreak. Sports England has just announced it will be launching a £20million Community Emergency Fund.  Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available for grass roots organisations to bid for.  Find out more - https://www.sportengland.org/news/195-million-package-help-sport-and-physical-activity-through-coronavirus



COVID-19 scam alert

We have been informed by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board of a scam doing the rounds. People are calling claiming to be from Public Health England, asking residents if they had received their letter from the government and then asking if they have support from family and friends, etc. and trying to obtain personal details.  Please warn your family and friends and do not give out personal details over the phone.

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to services:


Prime Minister's Statement on Coronavirus

On 16 March, the Prime Minister made the following statement:

  • If you or anyone in your household has one of two key symptoms, a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, then you should stay at home for fourteen days.
  • That means that if possible you should not go out even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others.
  • If necessary, you should ask for help from others for your daily necessities. And if that is not possible, then you should do what you can to limit your social contact when you leave the house to get supplies.
  • Even if you don't have symptoms and if no one in your household has symptoms, you should stop non-essential contact with others and stop all unnecessary travel.
  • We need people to start working from home where they possibly can. You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues.
  • We should all only use the NHS when we really need to. Please go online rather than ringing NHS 111.
  • This advice is particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions.


In light of the Prime Minister's announcement last night, all recycling centres across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be closed from Tuesday 24th March 2020 until further notice. The decision to close sites has not been taken lightly but it is essential to encourage residents to stay at home and limit the spread of Coronavirus. 

If you were planning to visit a recycling centre, please hold on to the items you were planning to take until they are reopened.

During this time, residents are asked to act responsibly and not place items such as DIY waste, garden waste, or recycling into their kerbside general rubbish collection. This will take up space in the collection vehicles needed for general household rubbish. Try to limit your food waste by home composting and using your freezer. If you have food waste it can be disposed of in your general waste bin or in Peterborough, people should put food waste in their food waste caddys as normal.

For more information please visit the website: Cambridgeshire


Every other day there will be a video blog from Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health, explaining the public health advice. She will also be available for down the line interviews, please contact the newsdesk to check availability. https://youtu.be/khAI7ZOB1u

Latest Government guidance can be found here                                 

Support for schools

Despite the difficult circumstances, schools and early years settings across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have already begun adapting to new ways of working, often with the support of parents and members of the local communities. It may not quite be business as usual, but the show definitely goes on.

Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils are also supporting home to school transport providers to make sure they are not disadvantaged and during this challenging time are paid for any service disruption. Across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, both councils have committed to continue funding transport operators up to Easter and post Easter we are going to fund 85% of the contract value as providers will not be incurring fuel costs on the routes. This will be until the end of June at which point the position will be reviewed further.

Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council buildings

Following the Prime Minister's announcement last night, the decision has been taken to close all CCC and PCC buildings to the public from Tuesday 24th March 2020. People can still get in touch, please visit the website for more details – Cambridgeshire

In an emergency people can call Cambridgeshire on 0345 045 5200.

Archives - Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archives search rooms will be closed to the public until further notice. We regret that we will be unable to offer our usual enquiry services during this period but we will continue to monitor and respond to emails as far as the available staffing allows.

Health and Personal Care volunteers

A campaign encouraging people with experience of adult health and personal care to volunteer to provide additional support has been launched across social media. This is to support out domiciliary care service, which assists older and vulnerable people who still live in their own homes, but require additional support with household tasks and personal care. More than 30,000 people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been reached so far since the campaign launched, and more than 310 have filled in a survey capturing their skills so far. This is part of COVID-19 Coordination Hub Cambridgeshire and Peterborough councils launched last week to help those most affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Services for older people and those with learning disabilities

Day services that support older people and people with Learning Disabilities closed Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice. Alternative home-based care provision has been arranged for clients of the day services who need this, and staff from the service are actively being redeployed elsewhere in the Council to support vulnerable people in the community. 

Support for adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism at the Kingfisher Centre, Industrial Hub and City Centre Hub in Peterborough has been scaled back, providing support for the most vulnerable.

Cambridgeshire Customer Contact Centre

In order to re-direct resources to critical services, the Greater Cambridge Partnership, Parking Policy and Park & Ride phone lines are now closed and the Trading Standards phone line from close of play on Friday 27th March 2020. This will allow the Authority to focus and prioritise critical services which need to remain.

Registration services

Following the update from the Prime Minister last night, as of today all ceremonies are cancelled until at least the end of April. A number of other changes have also been made to the registration services being offered by both councils to ensure the government advice around social distancing is being followed. Measures have been put in place for birth and death registrations. More information can be found here on the website:

Cambridgeshire County Council  https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/births-deaths-and-marriages    

31st March 2020:

Council provides essential supplies for most vulnerable shielding from Coronavirus

Parcels of food and emergency supplies for the most vulnerable in our communities who are shielding from the Coronavirus are being delivered to residents across the county from this week.

The Government has promised that a national food distribution scheme will be up and running very soon, to support 1.5million people nationally who need to be shielded from the virus for at least 12 weeks because of serious health and medical conditions.

Every one of those people is being contacted by the NHS to advise them of this, and to ask whether or not they have a reliable support network in place to make sure they receive food and medicines, and other supplies, to prevent them from having to leave their homes.

Those who don't have such a network will be provided with food and medicines via a national scheme which is being developed with food wholesalers, supermarkets and community pharmacies.

In the period up until this national scheme is fully operational, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been working with the British Red Cross to ensure that those residents who need food, medicine and emergency supplies are looked after.

During the weekend council staff telephoned residents who they knew were shielding to see if they needed help and then arranged deliveries of items to those that did.

Yesterday (Monday) a team of council staff and British Red Cross volunteers packed tens of boxes with emergency supplies which have been delivered by the Government, which will be delivered to residents who are shielding at home in the coming days and weeks.

The council and British Red Cross have also been supported by a planner from the military and staff from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A warehouse facility has been secured in the centre of the county, from which distribution of the parcels will take place via the local hubs network.

Residents are asked to note that they will NOT be asked for payment or bank card details, either at the door or by any other contact.

If you are at home and shielding because of serious health or medical conditions and we have not been in touch, please visit the Council's Coordination Hub page or call on 0345 045 5219

Please visit the Cambridgeshire or Peterborough websites for further contacts details.


Shielded Patients List

NHS Digital has published the shielded patients list (SPL) which is enabling partner organisations across government to support and protect those who need shielding at this time.

People who have not yet received a text or letter from NHS, can self-register (or register a family member) if they are extremely vulnerable and think they should be on the NHS Shielded Patient list https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

People who believe they have been included in error on the list can ignore the communication provided they have checked the list of identified conditions does not apply to them, and may wish to contact their GP or clinical specialist for advice.


Domestic abuse and COVID-19

We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them.

During the current coronavirus 'stay at home' situation, one of the concerns is that there will be an increase in reports of domestic abuse. Home is not likely to be a safe place for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and they will be increasingly isolated from sources of support.

The window of opportunity for anyone with an abusive partner to make a call and seek help is often very limited and that window is now likely to be even smaller. Research undertaken in China during the Wuhan lockdown revealed an increase of a third in reported domestic abuse incidents.

Councillor Mark Goldsack, White Ribbon ambassador and lead member for community safety and domestic violence at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "As a White Ribbon ambassador, domestic abuse of all kinds is constantly in my mind. Under current rules for COVID-19, families will be under new and different pressures which could put vulnerable people in a heightened risk of domestic abuse.

"We want to make sure that despite the conditions our support services are available for those that may need them. Please stay safe and contact specialist support services or the police if you are suffering any form of domestic abuse, sexual violence or coercive behaviour."

Councillor Irene Walsh, Cabinet Member for Communities at Peterborough City Council, said: "Under the new 'stay at home' rules in place for coronavirus, families will be under new and different pressures which could put vulnerable people at a heightened risk of all kinds of domestic abuse.

"We want to make sure that despite the current circumstances, our support services are available for those that may need them. Please stay safe and contact specialist support services or the police if you are suffering any form of domestic abuse, sexual violence or coercive behaviour."

Find all the contact details and read more here on our news pages at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Sharing Parish Updates

You can acccess more information from the Parish Update.

You can subscribe to receive updates from Cambridgeshire County Council by registering and selecting 'Parish and District Updates' from the list under Covid-19. 

Alternatively:


Contact:

parishesCV@cambridgeshir.gov.


Community Fund offering grants

The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund is offering grants to help Parish, Town, District, City and County Councils, along with local charities and groups to deal with issues affecting older and vulnerable people in our community as a result of the continuing threat of Covid-19.

Grants between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for projects that aim to tackle the impact of financial hardship, potential for hunger, lack of shelter, health issues, loneliness, isolation, etc.

Cambridgeshire County Council has contributed to the fund and several local groups have already successfully applied.

You can find more information about the fund and how to apply here.

Please also spread the word about the appeal, which has had a fantastic response and is aiming to raise £300,000. You can find more information here.


Huntingdonshire district council

offers to defer council tax payments by two months for residents


Huntingdonshire District Council has offered to change the way that residents are paying council tax by providing a two-month payment deferral for the months of April and May. Residents can request to push back the start of their council tax payments until June to offer financial assistance to those who are being affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

The council has created an online form which allows residents to request for their payments to be deferred until the summer, offering a break at a time when many people's finances are likely to be altered due to reduced or abnormal working caused by the virus outbreak.

Executive Leader of the Council, Councillor Ryan Fuller, said: "These truly are unprecedented times for residents and local authorities alike, but it's our responsibility as a council to find new ways to do all we can to support our communities.

"The repercussions of the Coronavirus outbreak should not rest solely with the residents of Huntingdonshire when local authorities can step up, and I have already been clear that the District Council will do everything it can to help our communities. We are therefore offering council tax payers the opportunity to defer the start of their council tax payments until June.

"It's important to remember that HDC collects council tax on behalf of the County Council, Fire service, Police and town/parish councils. I had hoped to reach an agreement with these other authorities that would have allowed every household within Huntingdonshire a two-month payment holiday. However, for cashflow reasons of their own some were unable to agree to this so HDC will step up and provide its own two-month payment deferral for those residents that need it, whilst ensuring that we continue to pass payments to the other local authorities.

"As council tax funds the essential frontline services and support that we, and other authorities, are currently delivering I would ask those residents than can continue to pay council tax from April to please do so. For those that require additional support at this time please rest assured that HDC is there to help you."

Direct debit customers whose income is temporarily affected and wish to suspend their Council Tax payments for April and May can do so by starting their payments instead from June, with the additional option to extend your instalment plan until March 2021.

Equally some people may wish to spread their payments over 12 instalments rather than 10. Residents are encouraged to visit www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/ctdelay, to read all available information and to request the deferred start in their Council Tax payments for the 2020/2021 year.

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Vacancies exist for the role of Clerk within various local Parish Councils. If you are interested please visit the website of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils (CAPALC): www.capalc.org.uk and search for Parish Council vacancies.


AGENDAS / MINUTES / FINANCES & ANNUAL AUDITS, INCLUDING CIL REPORT / NEWSLETTERS / PRIVACY NOTICE:
Please use the links at the bottom of this page to view the Parish Council's statutory documents and other information.

NOTICE OF CONCLUSION OF AUDIT
The audit of accounts for Abbotsley Parish Council for the year ended 31 March 2019 has been completed and the accounts have been published on the Parish Council Notice Board and on this website via the link below to 'Finance and Audits' documents, where you will also find full details of this notice.   The Annual Governance and Accountability Return is available for inspection by any local government elector of the area of Abbotsley Parish Council by application to the Parish Clerk.

PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS:
1. Proposed change of speed limit in Abbotsley (see map attached at the bottom of this page)

CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL - (VARIOUS STREETS, ABBOTSLEY) - (20MPH SPEED LIMIT) ORDER
The Cambridgeshire County Council proposes to make an Order under Sections 84 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 ("the Act") and of all other enabling powers, having given public notice in accordance with subsection (2) of that section and after consultation with the Chief Officer of Police in accordance with paragraph 9 of Part III of Schedule 9 to the Act the effect of which will be to impose a 20mph speed limit in the village of Abbotsley.

This Order shall supersede any previous speed limit Order relating to the lengths of roads specified in the Schedules to this Order.

The draft Order, together with a map showing the road and length of road concerned and a statement of the Council's reasons for proposing to make the Order, may be examined at Reception, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge, CB3 0AP or at the office of the undersigned during normal office hours or go to http://bit.ly/cambridgeshiretro

Objections to the proposal, together with the grounds on which they are made or any additional comments, must be sent in writing to the undersigned or by email to policyandregulation@cambridgeshire.gov.uk by 2nd August 2019 quoting reference PR0554.  If you require further information regarding this proposal please telephone Karen Lunn in the Local Projects Team (0345 045 5212).


Links

 
Agendas, Finance and Audits, Statutory Documents and A428 Response




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Parish Council Abbotsley,
15 Jul 2019, 03:49