National Shielding Service System – An Update from CDC

Cotswold District Council (CDC) want to update you on support available to people that are shielding or self-isolating during this lockdown.

Support available to clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people is the same as during the November lockdown.

CEV individuals are advised that if they need any additional support to help follow the guidance, their local council may be able to help and are encouraged to register for support via the National Shielding Service System website (NSSS): www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support. The NSSS website has been activated nationally, so all CEV individuals can now use it to request support. This means that in addition to using the service to ask for priority access to supermarket deliveries, they will be able to ask for their local authority to contact them to talk about any local support that may be available. The user will see the same question on local support as was available to all CEV users during November’s national restrictions. Where CEV individuals have previously registered on the NSSS, they are able to login and update their support needs – or submit a new registration, which will automatically override the old one.

During the last lockdown CDC proactively called all CEV in the district. Numbers of those needing support were very low and they are now aware of those people. This time CDC are making contact only with those patients that have been added to the CEV list since October and those being added going forward to see if there is anything they need help with.

All other residents (not CEV)  needing help with basic things like shopping or medication during this lockdown are advised to seek help from family or friends. If this is not possible then the Gloucestershire Help Hub is available for referrals. As before, the Community Wellbeing Team will make contact with people to find appropriate local support.

https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershires-community-help-hub/get-help/

Tel: 01452 583519

 

New Electric Vehicle Charging Points to be Installed Across the Cotswolds

Cotswold District Council’s Cabinet has approved an ambitious strategy and delivery programme to support residents and businesses in the transition to Electric Vehicles by installing charging points across the Cotswolds. 

Demonstrating its commitment to reducing carbon emissions across the District, the Council has adopted a new Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Strategy that will accelerate the delivery of electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the district. 

The Council will take actions to deliver electric vehicle infrastructure in a phased approach to encourage the switch to greener vehicles. This strategy will deliver a phased installation of electric vehicle charging points in the Council’s public car parks for the benefit of residents, workers, shoppers and visitors.  

Following the initial installations and upgrades to existing units in market towns, there are plans to roll out charging points across the district by working with other landowners to ensure everyone in the Cotswolds can benefit from this charging network. The Council will be procuring an installer in January 2021 and expect installations to start later in the year.

The Council will also be working with its tenants to support the installation of charging points for those tenants that lease council-owned buildings. Work is also underway to introduce electric and hybrid vehicles to the Council’s fleet.

On its journey to net zero, the Council will seek to maximise the use of green technology in any developments or conversions it undertakes to reduce the carbon impact of buildings, aiming for net carbon zero wherever feasible. This includes the provision of electric vehicle charging for future owners or occupiers of all council-owned buildings, and all future private developments, wherever planning laws permit.

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Update on Covid-19 Business Support Grants

Businesses in the Cotswolds are being reassured that the Council’s finance team is actively assessing Covid-19 grant applications against the backdrop of a rapidly changing national situation.

To date, the Council has paid out £1,763,554 to 1,110 businesses from the mandatory and discretionary schemes for the lockdown ending on 2 December.

Applications covering the Tier 3 and 4 restrictions period from 2 December to 4 January are in the process of being assessed along with payments to pubs where food comprises up to 50 per cent of their income. 

The Council finance team is also now reviewing fresh Government guidance for the new lockdown one-off top-up grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. The grant is valued at £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 per property, depending on rateable value.

Further information on the new scheme please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/46-billion-in-new-lockdown-grants-to-support-businesses-and-protect-jobs

Cllr Tony Dale , Cabinet Member for the Economy, said: “We appreciate business concerns and our team is working incredibly hard to process applications as quickly as possible.  An already complicated set of grants has been made more so by the new lockdown but I would like to reassure business owners that we will process payments as soon as we can and provide updates on new rounds of grants once we have received all of the guidance.”

Information on the different grants available during local restrictions and lockdowns are available on the Council’s business grants webpage.

New Whiteway Car Park in Cirencester Free of Charge to the Public for Seven Days over Christmas and New Year

Cotswold District Council is opening the new Whiteway Car Park in Cirencester free of charge to the public for seven days over Christmas and New Year.
The car park will be free to use from 7am-7pm between Monday 21 December and Thursday 24 December and between Tuesday 29 December to Thursday 31 December. Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays are reserved for use by Cirencester Rugby Club.

The Whiteway car park will be free to all users to provide additional parking on these busy shopping days. 

From 4 January 2021 the car park will be for permit holders only. 

Construction works at Cirencester Rugby Club will be completed on 19 December to deliver the new permit-holders car park. The Whiteway car park provides an additional 158 parking spaces, including three disabled bays, five motorcycle bays and four electric vehicle bays with fast charging points. 
Cllr Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “It’s great to see this development completed. We hope that this offer of free parking will help people coming to Cirencester in the busy next couple of weeks.

“In the new year, this car park will provide season ticket holders with dedicated parking spaces and free up spaces in the centre of Cirencester for visitors and shoppers.”
The project to develop the Whiteway car park site at Cirencester Rugby Club began in February and works were halted by the pandemic for two months to ensure the workforce was protected and could be completed safely.  

The Council has entered into a 10-year lease agreement with Cirencester Rugby Club. This arrangement will see the Council operate the site for permit-holder parking from Mondays to Fridays (excluding bank holidays) and the Rugby Club will use it at weekends.

If you are a permit holder in Cirencester and would like to relocate to the Whiteway car park, please contact our parking team by emailing parking@cotswold.gov.uk.

For more information about parking permits and charges or to apply for a season ticket, visit: www.cotswold.gov.uk/parking-travel-and-visitors/parking-permits-and-charges/ 

Discretionary Support Grant for Locked-Down Businesses

A new scheme to support local businesses affected by the national lockdown (5 Nov-2 Dec) is set to go live from 9am on Monday (30th November).
The Additional Restrictions Grant is the second business support scheme to be launched this month, following an earlier mandatory grant.

This new discretionary scheme – which is funded by the government but administered by Cotswold District Council – is aimed at smaller businesses that might not have qualified for the initial grant.

An online form on the council’s website will guide applicants through a series of questions that will help assess if they qualify for the Additional Restrictions Grant. Applications will then be verified against Government criteria and if successful, payments will be made.

To qualify for the Additional Restrictions Grant a business must:

  • Have been trading prior to restrictions coming into force on 5 November 2020
  • Have been instructed to close by national restrictions and not liable to pay business rates
  • Have been severely impacted by national restrictions, regardless of whether the business is liable to pay business rates, have high fixed property costs and fall within one of the following categories:

o   Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent and who do not have their own business rate assessment
o   Bed and Breakfast establishments which pay council tax instead of business rates
o   Charity properties which do not have their own business rate assessment
o   Businesses that supply goods or services to the retail, hospitality, leisure and events sector who do or do not have their own business rate assessment, or where permitted to continue to trade, the business has been severely impacted by the closure of the retail, hospitality, leisure and event sectors (These will include those businesses with or without a business rate assessment)
o   Travel companies or those transport providers who have been severely impacted by restrictions
o   Small businesses in shared office or other flexible workspaces which do not have their own business rate assessment and have been severely impacted
o   Those working from home who are not eligible for the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS), or coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) and have high fixed business costs such as rent, lease, hire purchase costs, franchise payments or other costs that would not be saved by not trading.

Details on how to apply for the grant will be available here.

Welcoming the launch of the scheme, Cllr Tony Dale, Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills at Cotswold District Council, said: “This Additional Restrictions Grant is aimed at smaller businesses that might not have qualified for the mandatory scheme. It is equally important that we give them the financial support they need to help them through this unprecedented difficulty.  We launched the mandatory scheme two weeks ago and that has been very successful in getting money straight to eligible businesses. Once again we are keeping the application process as simple as we can so that we can verify applications swiftly and make payments as soon as possible.”

Have Your Say on Cotswold District Council Services

Residents and businesses in the Cotswolds are being urged to give their views on the District Council’s spending plans as it prepares its budget for the next financial year.

The aim is to gather as much feedback as possible on key areas such as housing, climate change and changes to the district’s local plan. The budget consultation is being held over five weeks from Wednesday 4 November to midnight on Tuesday 8th December 2020.

The budget is being prepared against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a significant impact on the District as a whole, as well as the Council’s finances.

The Council’s Cabinet is keen to ensure that key services are maintained and, where possible enhanced while ensuring that the Council’s finances are sustainable and resilient.

Plans include developing better and greener ways to travel around the District, reviewing open spaces on new developments and providing help for individuals with complex needs who are facing homelessness.

The Council’s survey will also gather views on the Council’s plan to raise additional income from a new ‘Recovery Investment Strategy’ and a proposed Council Tax rise of £5 a year for a Band D household.

For more information on the budget consultation, and to fill out the survey, go to www.cotswold.gov.uk/budget