On Monday we launched our Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund. The LADGF assists small and micro businesses, with high fixed property-related costs and have experienced a significant drop of income due to COVID-19 restriction measures, who have not been eligible for other schemes during the Coronavirus pandemic. The application form and Discretionary Grants Fund Guidance can now both be viewed now on our website. The fund is provisionally open until 12 June in the first instance, for grants of up to £25,000, so if you know of any businesses interested in finding out more please pass on these links.
As you will know, the Government guidance is that six people now are able to meet outside in public places or private gardens, so long as social distancing is maintained. This has led to questions from the public about what they can and cannot do, now the lockdown rules have been relaxed further.
Just to clarify, we are still asking residents not to light garden fires, as people are still in self-isolation, including those in high risk and vulnerable groups. We are also advising residents using BBQs and chimineas to behave responsibly, consider their neighbours and to only burn appropriate material to avoid generating excessive smoke that could cause a nuisance. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has also issued advice on how to barbecue safely, so please have a read. Our green waste collection service has resumed and the household waste recycling centres have re-opened. This should reduce the need have fires for the time being.
I was pleased to see that the press release we did on our recent charter to ban the release of sky-lanterns and helium balloons on our land has been picked up by the Metro national newspaper and can be viewed here: https://metro.co.uk/2020/05/27/parts-uk-banning-sky-lanterns-helium-balloons-12763618/
We are also keeping our website up-to-date with the support on offer for businesses, with nine factsheets now available offering coronavirus health and safety advice. The latest of these is advice for pubs wanting to offer a take-away or delivery service for alcohol and/or food.
You may be interested that Stagecoach has confirmed a planned phased increase in bus services to get the country moving again. From 1 June, bus network timetables in Yorkshire and Derbyshire will initially return to around 70% of pre-COVID-19 levels. Details of the new timetables and social distancing measures can be found at stagecoach.com.
We continue to support the people who need our help the most, with 6,618 now registered with us. I’m delighted to report that we have now delivered 91 food parcels and carried out 6,471 pharmacy deliveries, which is an amazing achievement. This week, Rykneld Homes have provided food from Parish collections to 3 food banks in Renishaw, Holmewood and Grassmoor. We continue to thank the Parish Council’s for their support and hard work each week to help us provide support to our communities.
Since Friday Rykneld Homes have also delivered 22 food parcels and provided 5 emergency supply packs to residents who have asked for help. Rykneld are also working to ensure we have properties ready for anyone who urgently needs housing. The change in the weather has resulted in an increase in calls. Some customers are expecting a normal repairs service to resume immediately and are unhappy that RHL are only providing an emergency service for the time being. We are reassuring people that we are aiming to get back to a more normal service but we must maintain social distancing and keep residents and staff safe.
Arrangements are being made to recommence cutting garden areas for tenants who receive the assisted garden maintenance service this week. Staff and residents’ safety will be paramount with the maintaining of social distancing guidance and we will be issuing further guidance to tenants to help us with this very soon.
Keep safe and well.
Cllr Martin Thacker MBE
Leader of the Council
North East Derbyshire District Council
District Council Offices
2013, Mill Lane