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East Hants District Council News

 

Know anyone that needs support? We are here to help

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak a huge effort has been made by councils, community groups and volunteers to make sure no-one is left without the supplies they need.

East Hampshire District Council trying to make sure no-one is missing out on the available help.

If you know someone that might need help please give them the coronavirus hotline – 0333 370 4000.

If they don’t have the support of friends or family they can phone this number to ask for help, such as having emergency food or medicines delivered.

Lockdown conditions can be very difficult to cope with, especially for those living alone. Mental health is a big issue for those struggling with isolation but there is help out there.

Befriending services are on hand to give people the chance to have a chat and enjoy the kind of social contact they have been missing during the coronavirus crisis.

Cllr Richard Millard, EHDC Leader, said: “Don’t struggle on alone. There is a network of council workers and volunteers working hard to help anyone that’s finding things difficult.

“We know some people don’t like to feel like they are being a nuisance but don’t worry. We are here to help you and that’s what we want to do.

“If you need food or medicine, or if living in social isolation is getting you down, we can help you.

“If you, or anyone you know, are alone and don’t have anyone to help please make sure you phone the helpline.”

Information about groups that can help with mental health can be found on EHDC’s website https://www.easthants.gov.uk/mental-health-support

Support is also available for people who may be worrying about their benefits, employment, housing or money. For this and other practical concerns please contact Citizens Advice East Hampshire on 0300 330 9028 or email digital@caeasthants.org.uk


 

Grants update 

So far, East Hampshire District Council has paid out 1,933 small business or retail, hospitality and leisure grants – a total value of £23.5million (17 May 2020).

Applications to the Local Government Discretionary Grant Fund will open soon, providing grants to support as many small businesses as we can that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic but were not eligible for other coronavirus-related grants. Keep an eye out for future bulletins with more information.

For the latest information on the support available to businesses, visit our webpage: www.easthants.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support

Also in this bulletin...

•     Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

•     The Future Fund

•     Fast Start Competition

•     BEIS working safely webinars

•     Pick for Britain

 

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The government’s new Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on Tuesday 26 May.

The scheme will enable small and medium sized employers with fewer than 250 employees to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay. Tax agents will also be able to make claims on behalf of their employers.

HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

The Future Fund

The Future Fund, which provides government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, is now open to loan applications.

The Future Fund was developed by the government and is being delivered by the British Business Bank.

There is more information on the British Business Bank website.

Fast Start Competition

In addition to the Future Fund, the government has allocated £40million through the Fast Start Competition to drive forward new technological advances, and to support innovative start-ups, including a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform.

This will give companies a vital boost, fast-tracking the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis.

Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

BEIS working safely webinars

Following on from the government's recent publication of workplace guidance, produced in consultation with industry, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be hosting a series of free webinars to help businesses make their workplace coronavirus-secure.

The webinars cover a range of types of workplace settings that are allowed to be open. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of the guides/webinars as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

Webinars start from Wednesday 27 May and will run until Tuesday 2 June - for more details and to sign up, please follow this link.

Pick for Britain

The Environment Secretary has launched a new ‘Pick for Britain’ website to address the fact that we are likely to only have about a third of our normal labour force for this year's harvest.

As such, we will need to rely on workers to lend a hand to help bring that harvest home. Opportunities are available across the UK for those seeking a second job, particularly those that are furloughed.

Visit the Pick for Britain website to find out more.

 

 

  New helpline launched for vulnerable people 

 

A new helpline has been launched for frail and vulnerable residents to call if they need help during the Coronavirus pandemic.

East Hampshire District Council has joined forces with Hampshire County Council, voluntary groups and other district and boroughs across the county to set up the Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline.

The line can be used by residents who do not have support from families, friends or their local community, and who need urgent assistance with essential food or household supplies, collection of medication, or who are at risk of loneliness.

The number - 0333 370 4000 – will be manned seven days a week, from 9am-5pm.

It is available only for Hampshire residents, while those in Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight have alternative arrangements.

As well as providing advice and information the call centre will co-ordinate requests for practical help, passing them through to the appropriate local authority.

EHDC Leader, Cllr Richard Millard, said: “Help us help those most in need in our community. If you, or someone you know, is struggling to cope during the Coronavirus outbreak, please use this number and we will help.

“The more we work together the better we will come through this crisis and the stronger we will bounce back afterwards.”

 

EHDC approves two per cent Council Tax increase to boost welfare work

East Hampshire District Council will put money raised by a two per cent increase in Council Tax towards supporting the district’s most vulnerable people.

The increase was agreed by the council at its meeting on Thursday 27 February. It will amount to 5p a week for the average household but would contribute around £215,000 to the council’s Welfare Fund.

The council has previously made clear that residents’ wellbeing is one of its top priorities, with a particular focus on social isolation and mental health in young people.

EHDC Leader, Cllr Richard Millard, said: “I am extremely proud of this budget and what it stands for.

“As a council we have a responsibility to look after everyone, especially those who are not in a position to help themselves. That is why we all became councillors in the first place.

“This Council Tax increase will go a long way to providing services and opportunities for some of the district’s most vulnerable people.”

This is the first time in seven years the council has raised its share of Council Tax.

Cllr Charles Louisson, EHDC Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “This budget seeks to balance the need for prudence with our visions as a council.

“We are running our finances like any family budget - if we can’t afford it, we won’t do it – while seeking efficiencies that allow us to provide better services at lower cost. Savings don’t have to mean cuts. This delivers a secure financial position with strong reserves.

“Robust finances allow us to support vulnerable residents through our welfare agenda to make a real difference to the people who need our help the most.”

Alongside the two per cent increase the budget also puts money aside to support other council priorities.

A fund of £50,000 has been earmarked for environmental projects as part of the EHDC’s commitment to fighting the climate emergency.

Councillors will once again have £4,500 to spend on local initiatives in their own wards. As part of the new budget, £1,000 of this allocation must be spent on green initiatives.

The budget includes £250,000 for Enhance East Hampshire, a strategy to improve key parts of the district.

A further £500,000 has been allocated to the council’s property portfolio to cover maintenance or voids. EHDC has turned to property investment to replace income lost from dwindling Government funding over the last decade. The council’s portfolio currently provides 33 per cent of the council’s total income, and this reserve will help protect it.

For the first time, the council will review the budget in six months to assess its progress.


 

Businessman fined as part of fly-tip investigation

Fly-tip 

The owner of a flooring company has been fined for failing to provide documentation to East Hampshire District Council as it investigated a fly-tip in Liss.

John Draper, of Castle Flooring, Portchester, was fined £440 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £44 and costs of £155.

Investigating officers from East Hampshire District Council asked Draper to provide documents in relation to a fly-tip of carpet and flooring materials found in a lay-by on Farnham Road on 26 March 2019.

Cllr Ingrid Thomas, EHDC's Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Quality, said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on East Hampshire’s valuable countryside, is a pollutant and is dangerous for our wildlife.

“We take instances of fly-tipping very seriously and will always investigate where possible.

“Residents and businesses must understand that they have a responsibility to ensure their waste is properly disposed and that they have the required paperwork.”

For more information on how to properly dispose of waste go to www.easthants.gov.uk/fly-tipping

 

Fly-tip leads to £900 fine for livery yard owner

The owner of a horse livery yard in Surrey was saddled with a £900 fine after East Hampshire District Council investigated a fly-tip at Whitehill Cemetery.

Emma Wickerson (26), of Horsham Road, Surrey, pleaded guilty at Basingstoke Magistrates Court to failing to ensure her waste was removed by a licensed carrier.

The waste, one ton of bags stuffed with equestrian items and household refuse, was subsequently dumped at Whitehill Cemetery in January 2019.

East Hampshire District Council investigated the tip and officers were able to trace it back to the livery yard.

Wickerson was formally interviewed and accepted she paid a carrier £80 to remove the waste but had not checked to make sure the carrier was licensed. The carrier could not be traced by officers.

She was fined £900 and ordered to pay a £90 victim surcharge, £100 costs and £440 compensation to EHDC.

Sonja Reames, EHDC environmental officer, who conducted the investigation, said: "The law is quite clear on this subject - a person has a clear duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of properly.

“The only way to ensure this duty is discharged is to use a licensed waste carrier and to demand a written waste transfer note from them before the waste is removed.”

Natalie Meagher, Head of Service for Neighbourhood Support at East Hampshire, said: “The illegal dumping of waste is unfortunately a story that we are all too familiar with. Fly-tipping on all levels is a blight on the landscape in which we live and work.

“In response to this, EHDC’s Neighbourhood Quality team has worked hard over the last couple of years to develop effective, responsive processes to ensure that, wherever possible, investigations into fly-tipping are undertaken and prosecutions brought to court.”

 

 


 

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