Sevenoaks District Council takes action to keep services running and welcomes government support for those in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry
As the Coronavirus outbreak continues, Sevenoaks District Council has put plans into action so it can continue to deliver services to the usual standards for as long as possible to residents and local businesses.
The Council is taking action to reduce contact amongst its own staff to limit the transmission of virus. Wherever possible, staff are working from home and whole teams are not working in the same place together.
The means that some Council services are starting a little earlier than usual, including the Garden Waste collection service. Customers are being asked to put their garden waste bins and sacks out half an hour earlier, by 6.30am, on their collection day.
Other services starting earlier include the street sweepers, the fly tipping response crew and the cesspool emptying team.
The Council’s weekly refuse and recycling collection service is continuing as usual, however it may be necessary to change routes so collection times may be earlier or later than residents are used to, therefore it is important that residents put their sacks out by 7am on their collection day.
The Council is also urging residents to follow the Government and NHS advice to avoid unnecessary travel and therefore to only visit its offices if necessary. Residents can find information, apply for services, make payments and do business on its website www.sevenoaks.gov.uk or by calling 01732 227000.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council, said: “These are very challenging times for many in our community, and over the next few days we will be setting out the extra help and support we can offer as a council
“We have been putting in place plans so we can continue to provide the services our communities need, these plans mean we can continue to clean the streets and collect the rubbish at a time when it’s crucial to keep our environment clean for the safety of everybody.
“Although our offices currently remain open, and we’ve taken extra precautions to improve safety, we would urge residents to only come to our offices if absolutely necessary. Residents can still speak to us over the phone or use our website, where they will also find the most up to date information.”
Council welcomes Chancellor’s support for residents and businesses
Sevenoaks District Council has welcomed the Government announcement on Tuesday (17 March 2020) to offer more support to businesses and people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced that retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will not have to pay business rates from April for a year. In addition, businesses in these sectors with rateable values of less than £51,000 can apply for a grant of up to £25,000.
Businesses that receive Small Business Rates Relief are also eligible for a grant up of £10,000.
The Government will publish details of the help and support available and eligibility in the coming days. Eligibility for the business support may be subject to certain Government criteria.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of Sevenoaks District Council, said: “Speaking with businesses across the District, there is real concern about the future. The announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer will go some way to help them during this challenging period. As soon as the Government release details of the support available, we will make it our top priority to ensure the money is passed on to those who are eligible as soon as possible.
“We have seen some amazing examples of innovation from our businesses in the face of a challenging situation. These include delivery services, a collection service from a pub, a tourist attraction opening up for older people to exercise, with its café offering take away food and essential food boxes. Local shops are offering telephone orders and posting out to customers. We all need to support these businesses now more than ever and the Council will be playing its part in doing that too.”