Cotswold District Council Launches ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’ To Bring Community Project Ideas to Life

Cotswold District Council is launching an exciting new online crowdfunding platform that enables residents to raise money to improve their neighbourhoods.

Working in partnership with the UK’s leading civic crowdfunding platform Spacehive, ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’ aims to give residents with ideas to enhance local places the opportunity to seek financial support.  The aim is simple – to fund and deliver on ideas to improve the Cotswold District put forward by the local community, for the local community. The Council has allocated a total of £140,000pa for the programme, with up to £10,000 available to boost projects towards their funding target.

The deadline to put forward your idea is 21 April 2021. You can get started by simply visiting Spacehive’s website and creating your own project page.   People and organisations can pledge as little as £2 towards a project and contributions are only charged if the campaign hits its target.

Spacehive will also lead a series of events online for anyone who is interested in learning a little bit more or might want to discuss ideas that they have. This includes a launch event taking place at 12:00 pm on 22 February and two project creator workshops taking place in March. Sign up and register your interest for the launch event.

Business Grant Applications open for January Lockdown as Applications Process is Simplified

The application process for all business grants via Cotswold District Council has now reopened with individuals encouraged to check their eligibility and apply through the Council website.
A series of different business grants have been made available by the Government with local businesses applying to their local council to access the funding where they are eligible.

Since the pandemic started, Cotswold District Council has distributed 2,154 grants totalling more than £22m in vital funding to local businesses.

Following the series of changes to tiers before Christmas, many businesses were left confused on what they were entitled to. 

The Council has simplified the highly complicated grant applications into two simple forms with staff ensuring that once a business applies it is allocated all the grants it is eligible for without business owners having to apply multiple times. Businesses will only need to apply once depending on whether they were closed by national restrictions or severely impacted but allowed to remain open.

The application form covers the latest lockdown grants as well as those relating to various previous restrictions in force since November.   Business owners that have applied for a grant since November do not need to re-apply by completing another form. Instead, they are being contacted by email from tomorrow and asked to indicate which grants they believe they are entitled to. Their eligibility will then be assessed by the council revenues team. 

Businesses are urged to make sure they look out for council emails if they had applied since November and put in an application if they have not done so since the November lockdown started.

Any business waiting for payment, unsure of the status of their application or wondering whether they should apply for a grant, should see the dedicated web page:

https://cotswold.gov.uk/business-and-licensing/coronavirus-business-and-licensing/coronavirus-business-grants/

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

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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/