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COVID-19 (coronavirus) update

Given the wide range of information coming from various sources regarding the cornavirus outbreak we have created this dedicated page with links to further useful help and advice as a "one stop shop" for information.

Note - general text highlighted in bold is the latest addition/amendment to the information. It will change as and when new information is issued.

> Quicklinks

> Burnley Together Community Hub

Partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors have worked together to create a “community hub” to co-ordinate help and support for residents across the borough during the coronavirus outbreak.

Burnley Together was launched to help the most vulnerable people in our community who are facing difficulties, worries and loneliness as a result of the outbreak.

The hub will provide a “one stop shop” where businesses, groups and individuals who want to help and can offer services, and those who need help, can be brought together.

> General Links

> General Health Advice

> Council Tax Relief - Government announces Hardship Fund

The Government has announced a £500 million Hardship Fund to provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus.

It will help local authorities like Burnley Council to reduce this year's council tax bills for working age people who receive local council tax support. Council tax support provides help for people on low incomes with their council tax bill. 

Burnley is to receive £1.43 million to help cut the council tax burden on the most vulnerable in our communities.

The Government recognises that COVID-19 is likely to cause fluctuations in household incomes and recognises that, as a result, some individuals may struggle to meet
council tax payments. People in receipt of local council tax support schemes are recognised as the most vulnerable to changes in income.

Our council tax support scheme would have required everyone of working age to pay at least 16% of their council tax from 1st April 2020. This will now be reduced by up to £150, or down to zero, depending on how much the person currently would have paid.

We will be sending out new, reduced bills to those eligible for this support as quickly as possible.

If any funding is still left after this, the Government has said councils should establish their own local approach to using any remaining grant to assist those in need through wider local support mechanisms. We will make a decision on this shortly.

> Business Support Details

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief (see below)
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 (see below)
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

> Grant Funding for Businesses

The council has received guidance from Government on how we are to deliver grants to businesses and funds will be with the council by early April.

All businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

We are currently identifying eligible businesses and we will be writing to eligible businesses, to ask you for some details. For businesses that have been regularly paying business rates and our records are up to date we will be able to process a payment more quickly and there will be no need to contact us. If you are a commercial tenant of Burnley Borough Council and would like information please call 01282 425011 ext 249086.

If you think that you are eligible for a grant please could you complete the online form

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a member of staff please contact the business support team on 01282 477208/477213.

For further details on this and other support for businesses, including loans and the job retention scheme, and the expanded retail discount scheme click here

#AskForHelp - business support

Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, is refocussing all its efforts from growth support to business resilience support. This has resulted in the launch of our #AskForHelp campaign. 

Boost has access to hundreds of world-class business support professionals and has a dedicated #AskForHelp helpline ready to assist businesses impacted by the coronavirus. It has also created a hub with all the latest guidance from government and the business support community www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk/askforhelp.

Help for the self-employed

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

For more details click here

Businesses ordered to close

New laws require the closure of certain businesses and businesses selling food or drink for consumption on the premises to protect against the risks to public health arising from coronavirus. The list has been extended to cover a wider range of businesses.

Full details of the Government guidance on which shops must be closed.

Most businesses that have face to face contact with customers should now be closed. The guidance provides details of exceptions. All business proprietors still trading should ensure adequate social distancing measures are in place, and that they and their employees comply with any isolation requirements.

You can report businesses breaking these rules within the borough to our environmental health team at envhealth@burnley.gov.uk

You can also report businesses trading both inside and outside the borough to trading standards on 0808 223 1133 or online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/…/ge…/report-to-trading-standards/

Empty business premises - advice

For more information on what to do with empty business premises during the coronavirus epidemic click here

Taxi and other licensing issues - click here

> Council Services

Burnley Council is taking steps to encourage social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak by discouraging people from gathering in numbers on its premises, including our contact centre (see below), market hall, and parks.

We have put some measures in place to close some facilities - the situation is changing on a daily basis and people should keep up to date via our website and social media.

While we recognise the positive effects of being outdoors, the council feels it is right to take a responsible but measured approach, recognising the dangers to health of people, of all ages, gathering together in groups.

The measures being taken with immediate effect are as follows:

Contact Burnley centre

We are ensuring that residents have access to as many services as possible, particularly essential services. However, people should use online services, or contact us by email or phone, wherever possible.

Our face-to-face service has been transferred from the contact centre in Parker Lane to Burnley Town Hall.  
 
This is being done to ensure that customer services staff can focus on dealing with phone inquiries, which have increased, while visits to the contact centre have reduced.
 
The town hall remains open 9am-5pm to deal with inquiries that cannot be dealt with via phone (01282 425011), e-mail or online (www.burnley.gov.uk).
 
Staff will continue to provide help and support to residents, either directly or by signposting them to the relevant council department or service. 
 

We continue to ask residents to use phone, email or online services as much as possible and not to visit the town hall in person unless absolutely necessary, in line with Government guidance on restrictions to non-essential travel.  

 

Burnley Market Hall

Burnley Market Hall is closed to the public. We have taken this decision in light of updated advice from the Government and to protect customers, traders and staff. 

Market hall traders will receive 100% business rate relief and £10,000 hardship grant from the Government to help them cover their overheads.  The council is working to process the payments of these grants as quickly as possible and is supporting traders to access support for their employees where applicable.

 

Playgrounds

The greatest risks of transmission are in playgrounds where social distancing doesn’t operate and where children and parents are touching items of equipment. The council maintains 56 children’s play areas. Where possible access will be denied and signs will go up. We will remove or disable equipment where possible.

Parks

In line with the Government's instructions to avoid any unnecessary travel, we are closing car parks in Towneley Park and at Rowley Lake (Brun Valley Forest Park).

The Government's restrictions permit people to exercise outside once a day by walking, running or cycling from their home.

Parks remain open but play areas, toilets, cafes and sports facilities are closed. If you do use our parks please observe social distancing rules and keep at least two metres apart.

Bowls Pavilions

The bowls league has cancelled competitive games and we will instruct clubs to keep pavilions closed.

Ball Courts

Flood lights to be switched off but due to their design the courts cannot be closed off.

Notices advising against the use of outdoor gym equipment will also be posted.

The council is not closing parks but we strongly urge people to use common sense, don't go where places are busy with other people and maintain social distancing to keep us all safe and healthy.

  • Housing and council tax benefit services will continue as normal
  • Towneley Hall is closed until further notice
  • Burnley Cemetery – the cemetery offices are closed to the public but other services are continuing as usual
  • Burnley Town Hall remains open – staff are being encouraged to work from home where possible; we will continue to act on Government advice regarding staying open

> Cleaning and Disposal of Waste

Household waste collections, both recyclable and non-recyclable are continuing as normal.

Self-isolating

We have issued guidance for residents to change the way waste is handled at properties where possible COVID-19 cases have been identified.

This advice is specifically for households who are currently self-isolating or households where one or more persons have mild symptoms as identified by the recent national guidance.

If you and your family are self-isolating as you have symptoms of coronavirus, please take these simple steps:

· Store personal waste such as tissues and disposable cleaning cloths securely within bin bags. Securely tie the bags.

· Place this bag inside another bin bag and securely tie the bag (double bag)

· Please keep them away from where you are self-isolating

· Don’t put them in the claret bin for at least 72 hours in order to allow any virus which may be in the waste to die. This will avoid the virus spreading. Remember, you can find a full list of symptoms at: www.nhs.uk

Keeping your bin clean

Whilst we are all taking extra steps to keep our homes and workplaces clean, please don’t forget your wheelie bin. 

Our collection crews can touch up to 2,000 bins each per day. They will be wearing gloves, but it is advised that you disinfect the bin handles once you take the bin out and when you bring it back in. Please remember to wash your hands after taking these actions.

Bulky collections

Our bulky waste collections are currently still operating, but this may change as we continue to manage the services in the best way we can during this period of uncertainty with the resources which we have available.

Extra waste

We know it’ll be tempting to have a good spring clean while spending more time at home. However, please think about how you’ll store the extra waste that this will create given that the household waste recycling centres (tip) are temporarily closed.

Our crews are working flat out and will not be able to collect extra bags and boxes. Presenting waste at the side of the bins presents an extra risk to our staff.

In addition, by presenting extra waste this will create problems for the collection rounds. If extra waste is placed out for collection then there will not be enough room in our collection vehicles and this means other residents may have to miss having their bins being emptied. This is not a situation which we want to face.

If you do want to have a good tidy up, think about how you can store the rubbish and split it over your next few collections to make sure it fits in your bins but doesn’t make them too heavy.

Food

There’s been lots in the news about panic buying which means we’re expecting a big increase in the amount of food residents are throwing away.

The Love Food Hate Waste website has lots of helpful tips to help you keep food fresh for as long as possible. This will be extremely useful during the period.

They also have recipes for individual ingredients to help cut down on the amount you need to throw away and the amount of shopping trips you need to be making – which is more important than ever. It will also help you save money!

Some helpful tips: -

  • Use up all leftovers or freeze them and use them another day
  • Don’t bin something if it has gone past its best before date, it is still good and safe to eat
  • Look at the use by dates and eat up those closest to the use by dates first
  • Buy only what you need

The website is great site for children too to learn about food waste and the impact on the environment.

Future updates

There may come a time when we have to make changes to your bin collections. Please follow our Facebook page or Twitter account for timely updates. The information will also be updated here.

In the meantime, please have your bins out on the normal collection days by 6:30am.

> Burnley Leisure

A decision has been made to close most of the leisure facilities in our borough, including leisure centres and the Mechanics Theatre - click here for details

Burnley Leisure is continuing to encourage people to remain healthy and busy by sharing a range of online exercise videos and tips 

> Lancashire County Council Services

For information on how coronavirus is affecting LCC services, including libraries and care homes, click here

> Public Transport

Passengers are encouraged to check with bus and rail operators before travelling due to disruption caused by staff absences and the requirement not to travel unless it is essential

There is already disruption to rail services, and many bus operators in Lancashire have introduced reduced timetables with further reductions being introduced by this weekend. It is recommended to check bus operator's websites for the latest position with their services; the main bus operator in our borough is Transdev which runs Burnley Bus Company and Rosso

A number of services supported by Lancashire County Council are being revised from Monday 30th March; locally they are as follows:

Rosso is operating a revised Monday to Saturday timetable on its services in conjunction with maintaining journeys for some students. Please refer to its website for full details of times.

These services will operate to the Saturday service timetable throughout Monday to Saturday.

> Advice for Food Businesses

The Community Secretary has confirmed that planning rules will be relaxed to allow food businesses to operate as takeaways during the coronavirus, the relaxation period will be applied imminently for a limited period only.

Click here for advice on food business related issues including deliveries, hygiene standards and infection control.

> Events

Jane Tomlinson's Run for All Burnley 10k run - postponed until 2021 - for details click here

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