CORONAVIRUS: District council ramps up support to residents and businesses

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Stratford District Council has already begun making deliveries of vital supplies to those most vulnerable to coronavirus in the district.

The Government has written to 1.5million people across the country considered to be the most at risk to coronavirus, such as those with serious health conditions or those who have received an organ transplant, warning them not to leave home.

In response, the district council has set up a community delivery hub to distribute supplies to any of these people who live within the district.

On Monday the first 43 deliveries were made to these residents from the community hub.

Elsewhere the council is acting to support businesses by establishing a business rate grants and hardship fund, designed to get cash to businesses as quickly as possible, as it may not be until April that financial support from the Government arrives.

To apply for up to £10,000 visit https://www.stratford.gov.uk/online-forms/small-business-grant.cfm

Other measures adopted by the council include suspending all enforcement action to recoup unpaid council tax and business rates and offering free car parking in SDC car parks to NHS staff and social care workers.

While Elizabeth House is currently closed to the public except in emergency circumstances, the council is continuing to offer support over the phone.

Council leader Cllr Tony Jefferson said: “Obviously we cannot do everything and we are focused on delivering our priorities well.  People at the District Council are responding extremely well to the crisis. Residents may not fully appreciate the amount of background work that has to be done to enable us to do what is needed.

“There is little capacity, at this point in time, to address anything other than our key priorities. There is a huge difference between having to get things done and commenting from the side-lines. This is not helpful or motivational for our staff who are more than ‘going the extra mile’ at this difficult time nor does it provide our residents and businesses with clear information and confidence about the support available to them.”