Latest Updates on Salford Council's response to the COVID-19 outbreak
New lockdown powers
From 18 July, councils have new powers in their areas. They will be able to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces, and cancel events. These powers will enable councils to act more quickly in response to outbreaks.
The government will soon publish draft regulations which set out how central government can intervene more effectively at a local level.
Where justified by the evidence, ministers will be able to close whole sectors or types of premises in an area, introduce local “stay at home” orders, prevent people entering or leaving defined areas, reduce the maximum size of gatherings beyond national rules, or restrict transport systems serving local areas.
Framework for prevention, containment of outbreaks
The Department of Health and Social Care has (on 17 July) published a framework for councils and local decision-makers that sets out how national and local partners will work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks.
PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES
In line with the national picture, Salford is seeing a minimal increase in new cases. As of Sunday 19 July, 1,371 people in Salford have tested positive for coronavirus (an increase of 1.93% since last Monday 13 July,1,345).
KEY SERVICE UPDATES
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 17 July, the hotline has received 12,594 telephone calls, along with 1,505 requests for support from the website. There have been over 3,200 food boxes delivered.
Our libraries are starting to reopen. Height Library re-opened its doors again on Monday 13 July and from today, Monday 20 July, Winton Library will be re-opening. The new opening hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am to 3pm on each day.
The services on offer are Call and Collect and computer appointments. Library members can call to arrange to collect up to 10 books from the library porch. For those who would like to use a computer they can call the library to book a one hour appointment. Library staff will explain new procedures, including cleaning the computers and safety measures.
Salford Family Partnership webpages
The Salford Family Partnership webpages have been updated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic but also to officially launch the early help service and the move from children’s centres to Salford Family Hubs. Our partners in health have been working on this with us and created the 0-19 health service section which contains a wealth of information and links to support families.
Schools and childcare
All schools are working on risk assessments for full opening in September 2020. The plans are well developed and most schools are fairly confident this can be implemented.
Salford Register Office has reopened (18 July) to provide wedding and civil partnership ceremonies. Social distancing guidelines will be followed and registrars have completed risk assessments and staff inductions to ensure they can keep the wedding parties and themselves Covid-19 safe, whilst celebrating these special occasions for all.
On 11 May the Government published “Our plan to rebuild: the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy”. Last Friday an additional chapter has been published to the recovery strategy that sets out the next stages of the government’s plan. The update to the plan covers: suppressing the virus; opening up society and the economy; continuing the plan to rebuild; preparing for winter; and lifting restrictions step by step.
Other announcements included:
- From 18 July in England, anyone may use public transport./li>
- From 25th July, gyms, pools and other facilities will open./li>
- From 1st August, more businesses can reopen and the advice has been updated on going to work. The Government will give employers discretion to make decisions about how their staff can return to work safely.
- The Government has confirmed £3bn of emergency funding for the NHS to prepare it for a potential second coronavirus wave./li>
- From 1st August, leisure centres and beauticians will be opened, but nightclubs and soft play areas would remain closed. Indoor performances will be allowed subject to the success of pilots, as well as wedding receptions for up to 30 people./li>
- From October, stadiums will be opened and conferences will be allowed to go ahead in a 'Covid-secure' way, "subject to the successful outcome of pilots".
- From November, the Government plans to review outstanding restrictions, possibly in time for Christmas.
£500m funding for councils - allocations
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick has (on 16 July 2020) confirmed allocations for individual councils from the £500 million of additional support for coronavirus-related spending pressures.
The extra £500 million will be distributed to councils based on population and levels of deprivation, and how the costs of delivery of services varies across the country. The Salford allocation is shown below. However in our last return to MHCLG we are projecting a £38m overspend.
First Tranche of Covid-19 Funding
Second Tranche of Covid-19 Funding
Third Tranche of Covid-19 Funding2
Total Covid-19 Additional Funding
£266 million housing fund for vulnerable people
From 18 July 2020, councils and their local partners can apply for funds from the government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme to cover property costs and support new tenancies for around 15,000 vulnerable people who were provided with emergency accommodation during the pandemic.
Bids are invited for a share of £105 million to support this work. Organisations wishing to bid for the £105 million must clearly demonstrate in their proposal how the funding will be used to rapidly support those in COVID-19 emergency accommodation. The funding is for use during 2020/21 only.
The Next Steps Accommodation Programme also makes funding available for additional long term accommodation. In May, the Secretary of State announced £161 million for 2020/21 (as part of an overall £433 million for the lifetime of this parliament) to deliver 3,300 units of longer-term, move-on accommodation.
Full details of the bidding process for the fund is available at Next Steps Accommodation Programme: guidance and proposal templates.
Further information on submission of proposals will be provided ahead of the submission deadline on Thursday 20 August 2020.
Emergency Assistance Grant for Food guidance
DEFRA has published guidance on how to distribute and administer their allocation of the Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies. Within the guidance, government mention that they anticipate that most of the funding will be spent within 12 weeks and the funding should be used for existing schemes and other support which deliver the same outcomes and where the need is greatest.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
The LGA has created a webpage of good council practice, during the COVID pandemic, including case studies from across the country and across different council services.
A message from one of our residents
We receive regular feedback from our residents who appreciate everything that we have been doing over the past few months. We wanted to share a comment received this week. “I'm normally the first to complain about Salford Council given the high rates of council tax. However, I thought that for a change that it would be nice to give praise where it is due. I feel that the way in which Salford Council has managed to maintain services (arguably even improved as I have noticed a significant increase in the quality of the local road infrastructure) during the current pandemic where others have been cutting services is worthy of praise.”