Bude Stratton Town Council (BSTC) have been following the latest government guidance at all times on the outbreak while also doing our upmost to support the local community through this difficult time.
- We suspended all but the most essential services, taking that action just ahead of the Government “lockdown” announcement. For the safety of the community and staff, we are supporting the “stay at home” policy as far as is practicable.
- The Library followed The Parkhouse and The Castle in being fully closed.
- The Facilities Team have been cut back to essential duties and building safety /security duties.
- The public toilets have also been closed to deter visitors to the Town.
- Office based staff are working from home with the occasional single person visiting the office for certain tasks.
- Governance With council meetings currently suspended, BSTC Town Clerk, Keith Cornwell is acting under delegated powers. Firstly, with consultation of the BSTC Emergency Action Team (BEAT) – comprising Mayor Bob Willingham and Councillors Peter Moores, Peter La Broy and Tony Gibbs – with whom regular online meetings are held. Emergency legislation has now been passed and came into force on 4th April 2020 that allows Councils to hold virtual meetings online.
- In the coming weeks we will be looking to hold some committee meetings remotely via online virtual platforms, this will also allow the public to ‘sign in’ and participate in the public consultation section of committee meetings as normal. Details of such will be announced in due course.
- The new regulations also remove the requirement for The Annual Council Meeting in May and for the existing governance to remain in place until the next Annual Council Meeting either in May 2021 or at a rescheduled Annual Council Meeting, whichever is sooner. This means that the current committee chairs, vice chairs, Mayor and Deputy Mayor will continue in office until the annual meeting takes place.
Information and Comumunication:
- Communications and Actions Since the outbreak of Covid-19, BSTC has been working hard to keep the community supported and up to date with the latest advice, information and practical support.
- We have supported Bude Food Bank with an £5,000 emergency payment to support the increase in demand during this crisis, as well as our Facilities team supporting movement of donated produce and stock between Morrison’s and the Food Bank.
- We have established our own BSTC Covid-19 Response Facebook page to provide local and national government advice as well as practical support and information to the community. As well as this, our Communications Officer has been supporting the community group ‘Bude and surrounding areas Quarantine Support Group’ on Facebook, with the day to day running of the group, support for the volunteers and providing practical information to the community.
- A leaflet produced by the community and supported by BSTC has been distributed throughout the EX23 community offering support to those isolating, this also offers a telephone support line using a BSTC number and staffed by BSTC staff, ensuring those without internet access can access the support required at this critical time.
- We will continue to monitor the support required in the community and do our upmost to offer advice and practical support wherever we can. Telephone Support line: 01288 353576 Monday-Friday 10am-4pm Link to map of local volunteers: www.neetmaps.co.uk/budehelpers This information can also be found on BSTC website www.bude-stratton.gov.uk with links to the above mentioned Facebook pages.
Cornwall Council issues:
- Cornwall Council has suspended any cutting and routine work to any paths and outside space which it maintains, this will be reviewed ongoing.
- Cornwall Council has sent letters about business grant support to businesses. Business owners need to complete an online form with some simple information for the Council to be able to pay the grant. The quicker they provide this information the sooner the Council can pay the grant. If an owner can’t access their business premises or hasn’t received a letter by Friday 3 April, then they should contact the Council on 0300 1234 171
- There are two types of reliefs available to businesses. The first is the extension of the Expanded Retail Discount Relief, which means that those businesses categorised as retail, leisure or hospitality will have their zero rate relief extended to cover 2020/21. This will happen automatically and rate payers will be re-billed. The second set of reliefs is through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. Those in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief will receive a grant of £10,000. Those in receipt of Retail Hospitality and Leisure Relief will receive a grant of £10,000 (for those with Rateable Value up to £15,000) or £25,000 (for those with a Rateable Value of between £15,000 and £51,000). Cornwall Council has written to all businesses that, according to its records, might qualify for a grant fund payment. Business owners who have not received a letter by 6 April and think they should qualify should contact the Council on 0300 1234 171. There’s more information about business rates support on the Support for business page on Cornwall Council’s website.
- Temporary change to publicity on planning applications during the COVID-19 pandemic Cornwall Council will not be displaying a Site Notice for the majority of planning applications during the COVID-19 crisis. While the legislation for most applications requires either a Site Notice or a Neighbour Notification, the Council has previously committed to both forms of publicity. However, during the current situation the Council will not be displaying Site Notices, which will ensure officers are not travelling out of their homes unless absolutely necessary to protect the health of residents and Council employees. The only exceptions are applications for development affecting a Public Right of Way, development representing a departure from the Development Plan or applications for EIA development accompanied by an Environmental Statement, as these applications require a Site Notice to be displayed. For these applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council will either post a Site Notice to applicants and ask them to display it or agree to an extension of time until the restrictions on travel no longer apply
- Cornwall Council is calling for any former or retired social workers to help Cornwall’s most vulnerable people during this time of unprecedented demand. The Council has asked anyone living in Cornwall who has experience of working in social services – including retired social workers or those who have recently left the profession – to help maintain the support provided to vulnerable families, children and adults through the COVID-19 pandemic. If you know a former or retired social worker who might be interested, they can register their interest via email at HRdeployment@cornwall.gov.uk. Cornwall Council will then contact them to gain further details of their qualifications and skill set.
- From Monday 30 March emergency legislation to register deaths by phone is being implemented. None of Cornwall’s Register Offices will be open except for pre-booked appointments to register a death. No more face to face death registration appointments will be made. From today, people will be able to make a request to register a death through an on-line form on the Cornwall Council website or by phoning 0300 1234 181 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:00pm). The Council will contact the customer only once it receives all the necessary paperwork, which may be subject to understandable delays with the medical profession. All other Register Office services are suspended until further notice. The Council is contacting marriage/civil partnership couples who have booked with it to discuss their options, but with over 3,000 bookings there is a backlog. The Council is not taking any new bookings for marriages or CPs until it has rescheduled the displaced bookings. Please advise residents to email Cornwall Council on firstname.lastname@example.org but please make them aware there will be a delay in the response. Birth registrations are suspended for the time being. People who are not able to register the birth of their child because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can still make a claim to receive child benefit.
In line with the #ComeBackLater campaign Cornwall Council are discouraging visitors at this time and have advised
that any concerns about the illegal use of holiday accommodation is reported to email@example.com