Spelthorne Borough Council is marking the 100th day of being on an emergency footing caused by the Coronavirus pandemic
Spelthorne Borough Council is marking the 100th day of being on an emergency footing caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Council closed its offices in March and rapidly moved to a virtual footing, successfully adapting our services to ensure residents have still been able to access the support they needed while maintaining 'business as usual' across our remaining services.
The Borough's Emergency Centre was put into operation on 13 March and has been meeting, virtually, on a daily basis throughout this period and will continue to do so until this pandemic has passed. The Council is focusing its efforts on the various recovery phases but also preparing for a possible second wave.
Over the past 100 days, the Council has been supporting residents and businesses in a variety of ways, which are outlined in our infographic and further details are given below.
- Customer Services are taking 1,900-2,500 calls a week. The team has received 846 requests to defer council tax payments and are working with residents to ensure they have the best support available to them
- the Community Hub, Support4Spelthorne is still running and the Council are continuing to work with residents who need support as well as signposting them to partner agencies
- 99.8% of all shielded residents have been contacted by Spelthorne Council, the highest success rate across all Surrey Boroughs and Districts
- 14,266 welfare calls, visits and emails have been made to residents
- the SPAN mobile personal alarm, which allows residents to get help in an emergency, is being upgraded
Food and welfare support
- a hot meal evening service has been launched for our Meals on Wheels clients and over 11,000 Meals on Wheels have been delivered since the crisis began
- since 23 March 2020, foodbanks have now delivered 228,390 meal equivalents which equates to 26,000 meals a week at the peak of the pandemic
- 312 prescriptions delivered to households
- Voluntary Support North Surrey have helped 1,000 households with half needing assistance with shopping and a quarter needing prescriptions picked up
- 920 Spelthorne volunteers have been recruited to help those in need since the start of the pandemic and the Council are now working with them to ensure support networks are set up in places which did not exist prior to the pandemic
- 80 people in Bed and Breakfast accommodation supported by the Council. This is a reduction from 95 at the height of the lockdown
- refuse and recycling collection services continued to operate as normal and refuse collectors have seen an increase in volume, collecting 9,690 tonnes of rubbish and recycling since mid-March
- 629 fly tips have been cleared since lockdown started
- parks have remained open and safe, flower arrangements for Spelthorne In Bloom are displayed across the Borough
- Staines Market continues to operate in a manner that is safe for residents, trades and customers
- the Council, working alongside partner agencies, launched its 'Shop Local, Shop smart, Stay Safe' campaign in line with non-essential shops opening
- £12.57million has been paid out to businesses in the Borough as part of the Government's small business grants package and the team are reviewing applicants for the Discretionary Grant fund and are hoping to be making payments by the end of June
- 1,126 business compliance checks have been made since the start of the pandemic. The focus is now on ensuring businesses are COVID-19 secure when they reopen and social distancing guidelines are being adhered to during lockdown the team has seen and responded to an increase in complaints, especially around bonfires, noise and other anti-social behaviour
Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader of the Council said "While the Council's focus is now primarily on recovery, we continue to remain on an emergency footing. I am proud of the work our staff have done over the past 100 days in providing support to residents who need it the most. All of us are grateful for the work of the NHS and key workers, which include all of our staff working behind the scenes. As we move into new recovery phases, we must continue to comply with government instructions especially around social distancing. If we continue to follow those instructions, we will be closer to the end than the beginning."