Protecting and caring during the coronavirus pandemic 21 – 28 March
Council leader Shaun Davies' week's round-up
Events have moved very quickly over the last week, so here’s a quick reminder of what’s happened in Telford and Wrekin.
Free School Meals
We’ve delivered around 27,000 packed lunches to children eligible for Free School Meals around the borough.
Thank you for everyone’s understanding - these meals are only for those eligible for a Free School Meal due to financial circumstances.
Check if you’re entitled based on your income
Council Tax Holidays
More than 8,000 households have asked to take a two month council tax holiday and we’re processing these as quickly as we can.
The two-month payment break is to help ease the financial burden people face caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It will mean the bill can be paid over the remaining 10 months of the financial year.
If your financial circumstances have changed and you’re struggling to now pay your council tax bill, you can apply for help through our council tax reduction scheme. Visit www.telford.gov.uk/benefits or by calling 01952 383838 (9am-5pm weekdays).
Supporting residents and businesses
We’ve written to every borough household and business explaining the support available and dealt with approximately 1,060 requests for support from businesses alone and many more from residents.
We’ve also launched our own scheme to recruit volunteers to support vulnerable residents and for vulnerable residents to register for get that support – you can do this online here
Our residents’ helpline 01952 382030 is open 9am to 5pm Monday – Friday, 9am to 1pm over weekends
We’ve also kept people informed through regular website, video, social and other media updates, receiving more than 4,000 messages from residents via social media alone.
Our businesses helpline 01952 383838 is open 9am to 5pm Monday - Friday.
Grants to Telford Crisis Network and homeless charities
We’ve given £80k of emergency grants to charities that work to support the homeless and rough sleepers and Telford Crisis Network, who run the borough’s main foodbank, to help them cope with the coronavirus outbreak, while we’ve also helped to accommodate eight people who were rough sleeping.
Supporting Operation Shield
We’re ready to support Operation Shield., the Government scheme to get food parcels and other necessities to help the most vulnerable in the community isolating at home with no friends, family or neighbours to support them.
The first delivery of supplies are expected to arrive early next week at our food distribution hub where they will be packed and distributed by council staff and partners . But we’ve not waited for this to arrive, we’ve already starting contacting the most vulnerable and, with the help of partners, have started delivering some food parcels to those self-isolating and in greatest need.
If you need such help, contact our residents’ helpline number 01952 382030 (9am to 5pm Monday – Friday, 9am to 1pm over weekends)
Helping to observe the lockdown
Our Public Protection officers have gone out every day, including at night, this week to follow up on reports of businesses that should be closed staying open. Earlier during the week, they visited 20 reported premises. They also checked all of Wellington, Dawley and Newport town centres.
This government list states which businesses must be closed. These must remain closed. We have officers, backed up by the police out throughout the borough to make sure they stay shut.
Play areas and council buildings
While our parks are open so that people can exercise while practicing social distancing, we’ve closed all play areas to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading. All our buildings are now also closed to the public unless you have a pre-booked appointment.
Supporting discharges from hospital
We’ve switched extra resources to help reduce the time taken to transfer patients out of hospital to care homes or to a care provider – it was 48 hours and in the last week we’ve been working to reduce it to 2 hours –This will help free up beds in our local hospital. We have also set up a dedicated support line for PRH and other Health and Care businesses in the borough and are supporting on daily basis all our care providers.
The superb NHS services rightly take centre stage in the response to the coronavirus pandemic and deserve our unstinting gratitude and support.
But councils like Telford & Wrekin play an absolutely key part supporting the community and making sure that everyone can help play their part in reducing the spread of the virus and easing pressure on the NHS. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen.