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Issue 14: 29 June 2020

Latest Updates on Salford Council's response to the COVID-19 outbreak

£105 million to support rough sleepers

The Government has announced (on 24 June) that £105 million will be used to support rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness into tenancies of their own.

A further £16 million is also being provided so that vulnerable people currently in emergency accommodation can access the specialist help they need for substance misuse issues.

The £105 million is made up of £85 million of new funding from HM Treasury and £20 million from refocusing existing homelessness and rough sleeping budgets.

Museums and galleries to reopen

New guidance, published last week, outlines how museums, galleries, heritage attractions and historic buildings can begin to reopen to the public from 4 July 2020.


Coronavirus Cases

In line with the national picture, Salford continues to see a slight increase in new cases. As of Sunday 28 June, 982 people in Salford have tested positive for coronavirus (an increase of 1.02% since last Monday 22 June, 10 additional cases).

Test and Trace

In Salford, w>e are testing and improving the local cases and contacts management app that will help us to follow up test results for cases and contacts across settings and services. 

We are supporting services and settings to open safely and work through the process if they have suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. We are continuing to explore the risk of different settings for spikes and outbreaks (high risk either due to vulnerable people or due to the setting/ venue) and refer positive cases to log their contacts on the NHS Test and Trace portal.

We are also getting reports daily on the individuals who have logged on to the national portal and associated contacts being traced.


A full list of information about council services and access by the public can be found at council services information.

Spirit of Salford network

As of 26 June, the hotline has received more than 11,300 telephone calls, along with 1,456 requests for support from the website. 3,206 food boxes have been delivered.


Outdoor exercise classes
Leisure centres can not yet open but from 4th July SCL will start weekly external exercise classes, for maximum 30 people, for existing members. These are at a variety of outdoor venues across the City. 

Salford Libraries
From 15 – 30 June the Books@Home service was restored with doorstep delivery of books for existing housebound customers. The Schools’ library service was also restored with doorstep collection by teachers, and part-time operating hours.

External Playgrounds and Outside Gyms
These facilities will be open in full from 4th July. A deep clean / sanitise will take place of all facilities on the 3rd July and they will be opened up on the 4th July.   

Schools and childcare

A total of 27 Early Years settings and 91 childminders have remained closed as of Wednesday 24th June 2020.  Some settings have indicated that they intend to re-open in June 2020, whilst others are going to remain closed until September 2020.

Starting Life Well Service will be facilitating some ‘peer to peer’, conversations between the private, voluntary and independent childcare providers to discuss any concerns, worries, regarding their operational procedures during this time.  

Service reform

A recently launched new service to help residents has been introduced - Cloud coffee and chat. These face to face chats via video calls replace the drop in BetterOff sessions usually held in our Gateways. Our locality advisors provide support on council tax, business rates and benefits or can put residents in touch with a wide range of services from housing to health and well-being.  Other than having to make their own brew, it’s just the same as the Gateway sessions except in the comfort of their own home.  This service has the added bonus of offering a text type service.

Cloud coffee and chat complements the 24/7 support offered by our BetterOff Salford portal which helps residents check if they’re entitled to benefits and get support with debt problems online. 


COVID Summer Food Fund and free school meals

The Department for Education has (25 June) published guidance for schools and councils on providing vouchers to support pupils eligible for free school meals over the summer holiday period during the coronavirus outbreak.  Through the Covid Summer Food Fund, schools can support eligible pupils with a £90 voucher to cover the 6-week holiday period.

The guidance for schools and councils on free school meals arrangements has also been updated today to include further information on free meals in further education settings, final ordering timescales for the national voucher scheme and ordering vouchers in multiples of £5.

Sustainable business fund £200m

The Government has launched a £200m fund to support businesses to develop new technologies.

The government's Sustainable Innovation Fund will be open to companies across all parts of the UK who need urgent financial support to keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive.

Businesses can apply for support through the Sustainable Innovation Fund by visiting the Innovate UK website from Monday 29 June. Closing date for round 1 is 29 July.

Planning Inspectorate: greater flexibility of events in future

The Government announced last week (25 June) a set of measures as part of the Business and Planning Bill 2019-21 bringing forward temporary changes to the planning system to support economic recovery.

The proposed new measures will grant the Planning Inspectorate the ability to use more than one procedure – written representations, hearings and inquiries – at the same time when dealing with a planning appeal, enabling appeals to happen more quickly. The new measures are due to come into effect in late July. In the short term, the Planning Inspectorate will continue to plan and run events in a virtual capacity.

Reopening of businesses and venues in England

MHCLG has published guidance on the re-opening of businesses and venues from the 4 July.

All businesses and venues can reopen from 4 July, except for the list below, which remain closed in law: Nightclubs; Casinos; Bowling alleys and Indoor skating rinks; Indoor play areas including soft-play; Spas; Nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons; Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours; Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities; Swimming pools including water parks. Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue.

All indoor and outdoor hospitality that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside can open from 4 July. This includes restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and workplace canteens.

Guidance issued for marriages and civil partnerships

This guidance is designed to assist people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England, and venues that host such ceremonies, to prepare for small ceremonies to be allowed to restart, in accordance with the associated legislation which will come into effect on 4 July 2020.

Plans to ease guidance for those shielding

The Health and Social Care Secretary announced last week that those shielding from coronavirus will be advised they can spend more time outside their homes from Monday 6 July.

From Saturday 1 August, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer be advised to shield. They will continue to have access to priority supermarket delivery slots if they have registered online before 17 July for a priority delivery slot. NHS Volunteer Responders will also continue to offer support to those who need it, including collecting and delivering food and medicines. The food and medicine boxes facilitated by the National Shielding Service will stop as of 1 August as individuals are advised they can visit shops and pharmacies.


Salford youth justice service

Staff in our Salford youth justice service have maintained contact with young people and their families through phone calls and WhatsApp video. When it has been appropriate and safe, they have visited families at their homes too. They have delivered interventions to young people at various schools and youth centres across the city and have provided an appropriate adult service at Swinton Custody Suite during the daytime and a duty service at Manchester Magistrates Court.

Our dedicated victim workers have carried on supporting the victims of crime through telephone calls to ensure that their needs are still being met and our fantastic volunteers, who help to run our referral order panels, have adapted to taking part in virtual panels.

We are really fortunate to have a brilliant team of specialist health staff, including a nurse, speech and language therapists, CAMHS practitioner and educational psychologist. They have all carried on supporting the service and continued with their face to face work with young people delivering much-needed support and intervention.

What has been particularly pleasing is seeing our young people continuing to engage with our service. The young people we work with continue to repair the harm caused by their crimes through reparation work and they have been making cards, writing letters and designing positivity posters, which have been sent to vulnerable groups like NHS staff, key workers and the elderly.