The Prime Minister announced on Monday 4 January 2021 that the country is in national lockdown meaning that everyone should follow the guidance and stay at home.
This means people must not leave, or be outside of their home except where necessary. They may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for them or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if they cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with their household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and they should not travel outside their local area.
- meet their support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if they are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare – for those eligible
For more detailed information see the guidance.
Council Leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan has urged residents to support the NHS by staying at home and following the restrictions.
Support available during national lockdown
Residents with an increased risk of illness (clinically extremely vulnerable) have been advised to begin shielding and will receive a letter shortly explaining what the advice means for them. This group is advised to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.
We are encouraging residents to use priority slots provided by supermarkets for shopping, prescription delivery services and support from family and friends.
However, residents who do not have this support are being encouraged to register for help by calling the Hampshire Coronavirus Support and Helpline on 0333 370 4000 as a central point. The helpline is open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm, 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays and between 10am and 3pm at weekends. This will be regularly reviewed. Hampshire County Council will then work with BVA and the local hubs to deal with the majority of requests for support.
There are a number of local and national charities continuing to provide support on issues such as mental health, loneliness and domestic abuse. For more information, visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/support-services-covid19
Our Parklands reception has closed to the public from Tuesday 5 January 2021, following the latest government announcement. Those intending to make an appointment are being advised to call us on 01256 844844 and select option four to speak to one of our customer advisers. There are other ways for residents to contact us – see Get in touch (basingstoke.gov.uk)
Outdoor sports and leisure facilities
In line with the government’s lockdown restrictions we are closing our outdoor gyms, multi-use games areas and ball courts, including Stratton Park Tennis Courts. Down Grange athletics track, skateparks and play areas are currently open and we are monitoring their usage to ensure government guidance is adhered to. Should updated guidance be received or we have concerns about the usages of these facilities we will respond accordingly.
A number of sports facilities including the Aquadrome, Totally Tennis and Tadley Health and Fitness Centre were closed on 26 December owing to Tier 4 restrictions.
Find out our latest service updates here COVID-19 Service updates (basingstoke.gov.uk)
All of our waste and recycling collection services are currently running as normal and crews will continue to work hard to maintain these during lockdown restrictions.
Throughout the pandemic we have been forward planning in case the virus affects staffing levels. We are regularly monitoring these levels along with Serco and will do all we can to maintain our core waste and recycling collection services over the challenging winter months.
Update on financial support for businesses
The council’s Revenues team is working to administer payments for businesses eligible for the financial support packages put in place since the period of national restrictions between 5 November and 2 December 2020.
In addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed businesses), the Additional Restrictions Grant (National Restrictions and Tier 3) and the Christmas grant for wet-led pubs schemes have now closed. Today, we have paid grants of £1,000 to 29 wet-led pubs and £196,380 to 118 businesses through the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme. These grants will cover the period between 5 November and 2 December 2020 as well as payment of grants to 82% of eligible closed businesses.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (open businesses) for the Tier 2 period from 2 December to 25 December 2020 will open for applications and payment at the end of next week along with The Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed businesses) which is available for businesses that are affected by Tier 4 restrictions between 26 December and 8 January 2021. New software allows the Revenues team to quickly identify whether business are eligible for multiple funding streams and allow payments to be actioned quickly and for these two grants will be administered via a one-off payment for the period to the 8 January 2021. Eligible businesses who have already completed an application will receive an email next week with a reference and passcode number and will be asked to confirm their details are still correct. Payments will then be made within three to five working days. If businesses do not receive an email by 15 January 2021, they are asked to email email@example.com.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed businesses) scheme will remain open. This support will continue from 9 January 2021 for every 14-day period while the borough is subject to a national lockdown or Tier 4 restrictions.
Following yesterday’s implementation of a national lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced further financial support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in additional to the above grants as follows:
- A £4,000 top-up grant for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- A £6,000 top-up grant for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- A £9,000 top-up grant for businesses with a rateable value over £51,000.
A £594 million discretionary fund is also being made available to help businesses not eligible for other support. We are currently awaiting further information on these schemes from the government before they are launched.
For more information on the support available and eligibility criteria, businesses should visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/local-restrictions-support-grant