Blind welfare survey + 11 pus deadline
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Face coverings are already mandatory in healthcare settings, GP surgeries, hospitals and on public transport. They are also recommended when sharing cars with those outside of your household, and when you find yourself unable to maintain a 2 metre distance indoors with others from outside your household.
To be effective, face coverings should:
cover both your nose and mouth
fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
include at least two layers of fabric, ideally three
unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged
Users should heed the following guidance when putting on and taking off face coverings:
wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on and before removing a face covering
avoid wearing face coverings on your neck or forehead
avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
only handle the straps, ties or clips
do not share with anyone else
if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed
Krishna Ramkhelawon, the council’s director of public health says: “Each and every one of us has a role to play in reducing the spread of the virus. This latest guidance on face coverings should ensure that community related transmission of the virus is further reduced.
For further information on face coverings, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/facecoverings
A list of exemptions is also available on GOV.UK
An Essex-wide campaign focusing on preventing the exploitation of children online is due to launch on August 24.
Online exploitation has been a growing concern for several years, with the internet and social media becoming so integral to daily lives. For children, the internet has become the new classroom and playground and this has been amplified during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Sadly, there are people out there that take advantage of this.
For this reason, the Southend Safeguarding Partnership, Thurrock Local Safeguarding Children Board and Essex Safeguarding Children Board are working with their respective local authorities and organisations including Essex Police, The Children’s Society, Barnardos and The 2 Johns, to raise awareness of the exploitation risks that increased time on the internet can pose.
The campaign will encourage parents to take an active interest in their child’s online world, give them the confidence to speak openly about the dangers and give them knowledge of what to do if something isn’t right. It aims to challenge the perception that the victim is to blame, instead creating a supportive network around the child, in which they feel able to speak openly about concerns they may have.
Running from 24 August until 30 August, topics such as online gaming, youth produced sexual images and online bullying will be covered in a series of online livestreams, podcasts and videos. Information on the subjects covered, along with links to various resources, can be found here: www.escb.co.uk/onlineexploitation
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council was recently shortlisted for an MJ Local Government Achievement Award in the category of “Transforming Lives” for their See The Signs project, which looks to safeguard children and young people at risk of exploitation. This online specific campaign will form part of See The Signs for the borough of Southend-on-Sea.
Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council said: “The use of the internet has become commonplace in all walks of life, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Using social media and mobile apps to communicate is second nature to many children these days.
“However, many children and parents are not fully aware of the dangers. Online exploitation is a horrific crime and can have a significant impact on the lives of the individuals, families and communities involved.
“I am pleased that Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, along with other local authorities, Essex Police and partner organisations across Essex, are tackling the subject as part of our See The Signs campaign. We hope the content planned for the week will help parents to recognise the signs of online exploitation and enable them to feel more informed when talking to their children about the risks.
“Together we can support children and parents to be aware of the dangers and know there is someone to talk to if they’re worried or concerned.”
Residents views are being sought on waste collections and recycling services in the Borough as part of an upcoming survey from Veolia, the council’s recycling and waste partner.
Veolia is launching a month-long survey from Monday 21 September, seeking local people’s feedback on recycling and waste collections, street and beach cleansing, household waste and recycling centres as well as the information the company provides about its services and its overall customer service.
The survey results feed into future plans for recycling and waste collections in the Borough. Results will be compared against last year’s survey in 2018, where over 5,000 residents participated
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Veolia collects around 31,000 tonnes of recycling and 42,000 tonnes of residual waste from homes in Southend every year. They also clean our beaches, run our household waste recycling centres, sweep our streets, clean our public toilets, clear up after fly-tips and grit our roads in winter.
“It’s a huge logistical challenge that impacts on every resident in the town, and keeping the town clean, tidy and inviting is critical to our local economy.
“Residents often praise the hard work of the staff and I am keen for as many residents as possible to participate in this survey so that Veolia can gain a better understanding of what residents want to see from their service.”
Stuart Atkinson, Contract Manager for Veolia, said: “Our team in Southend work hard to provide residents with good quality recycling, waste and street cleansing services. We also want to ensure that residents receive the right information to make the most of their services. It is important to us to know if residents’ expectations are satisfied and how we could further improve the services to make them even more efficient in the future."
During the survey, 35,000 properties across Southend-on-Sea will receive a paper survey form that can be completed and returned in a freepost envelope by post.
There is also an online version of the survey available, which can be completed by any resident who wants to give their views. This can be found at www.southend.gov.uk/survey2020 from midday on Monday 21 September.
A legal agreement to deliver 100 extra affordable homes at social rent levels as part of the Better Queensway regeneration will be discussed at a special cabinet meeting next week (6 October).
The agreement is between Swan Housing, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP, and follows the submission of the hybrid planning application for Better Queensway last month.
The legal agreement would provide an additional 100 genuinely affordable homes at social rent levels, taking the total number of affordable homes to be delivered through the project to 612.
The legal agreement also looks at the ways in which the additional 100 homes will be financed;
· either by outright purchase at 85% market value and ownership by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council,
· or gap funding with nomination rights, where the homes would house people from the council house waiting list but remain under the management of Swan Housing.
It is expected that in the current market it could cost between £10million for nomination rights, to £25million for the outright purchase of 100 homes. The report outlines the additional homes will be funded through the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and that the figures in the report could fluctuate depending on housing market conditions. The HRA is the council’s social housing budget which receives income through rents and service charges and is mainly used to manage, maintain and grow the council’s housing stock. It is separate to the council’s main revenue budget.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “As an administration we’ve always been clear that the Better Queensway regeneration project is about improving the quality of lives for our residents and providing everyone with a suitable home.
“There are currently 387 council-owned homes on the existing Queensway site. These additional 100 affordable homes would take the total to 612 and will be available at social rents to people on our housing waiting list, whilst the shared ownership properties will help those who need help getting on the first rung of the housing ladder.
“The additional homes are a good deal financially and it also shows our strong working relationship with Swan Housing as our partner, within Porters Place LLP. I have always been committed to re-investing any profit that may accrue to the council through this scheme back into genuinely affordable housing.
“There are many important milestones, not least the submission of the planning application and now the additional 100 homes – it’s an exciting time for the Better Queensway regeneration project.”
The hybrid planning application will be determined by the Council’s Development Control Committee in the coming months. It will establish the principle of regenerating the site and the overall masterplan, as well as the details of the highway changes. Over the lifetime of the project, Porters Place LLP will submit a number of further detailed planning applications for the various phases of development.
You can view the application on the Council’s planning portal.
Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP is inviting residents, the local and wider community and stakeholders throughout Southend to pledge their support on the Better Queensway website www.betterqueensway.co.uk where you can also find out more about the regeneration project.
An avatar army has assembled in Southend-on-Sea to assist children in attending classes when they are unable to physically be in the classroom.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has bought 15 AV1s, which are mini-robots to loan out to schools in the borough - 10 are available through Southend Adult Community College’s Interim (medical) Tuition Service, and five can be loaned directly by schools through the Council.
The robots will allow students who may not be able to go to school because of medical or mental health reasons, to attend their classes remotely so they learn in real time, interact with their peers and participate in lessons.
Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “The avatars are an innovative solution to allow students to attend class when they can’t attend class. For example, because they are medically unable, such as recovering from a broken leg, or because of a mental health issue such as anxiety, which might prevent them from being in a classroom or there is a behavioural issue and the AV1 is supporting a reintegration plan to prevent exclusion.
“The robot takes the place of the student in the classroom and is used as a way of allowing the student to interact with the class in real-time. It can be used as a short term measure or for a longer term, if needed.
“I really think this could not have happened at a better time as we deal with the mental health fall-out from the pandemic. While it is always best for students to be in their class with their peers, it is good to know there is an alternative available if it is needed.”
All schools in the borough were invited to a webinar on 22 June to hear more about the Avatars and several schools expressed an interest in hiring them.
Temple Sutton Primary School is the first in Southend to take advantage of the scheme. They were told about the avatars during a virtual meeting and there was one child in particular who it was thought might benefit, because the avatar would increase their access to education.
Faye Holford, Assistant Headteacher and SENCO at Temple Sutton Primary School, said: “We initially spoke with the family who were very interested and thought it could be a suitable solution for their child. We haven’t actually started using it yet as we have spent time making sure everyone understands how it works. We want to take every step possible to ensure the implementation is successful. It’s still very early days, but we are all excited to see the impact it has in our school.
“It can be really isolating when you have a medical or mental health condition which prevents you from being in the classroom with your friends and the social interaction is often what children miss the most. The avatar will benefit pupils because it means they can stay in contact with their friends, and this in turn will improve their overall well-being.
“We feel privileged to be the first school in the Borough to use an avatar and I hope more schools will take them up. We know that anxiety in our school communities has increased as a result of the pandemic, so it is reassuring to know that there are alternative options that can be explored to remove barriers and support pupils to access education.”
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Southend-on-Sea Borough Council will not yet request to be moved into the second tier of the Government’s new national COVID-alert system.
The decision follows Essex County Council’s request to the secretary of state made yesterday (Tuesday 13 October) to move to tier two (high alert). The secretary of state is expected to make a decision this week.
However, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and its partners remain seriously concerned by the rate of increase in positive cases in Southend-on-Sea (from 13.65 positive cases per 100,000 on 11 September to 47.5 per 100,000 people on 11 October).
It is urging local people to redouble their efforts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and help keep local rates down, which could prevent Southend-on-Sea being moved into tier two, either through a proactive request for more restrictions, or being told to by the Government.
Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health and the chair of the local outbreak control plan oversight and engagement board, says: “Throughout the pandemic we have sought to take a proactive, preventative and balanced approach.
“We still believe that this is the right path to take to get this virus under control and are committed to taking the preventative measures needed in the interests of public health, whilst protecting our local community, NHS services and the local economy.
“At the current time we do not believe that our rate of infection merits a request to move up tiers. However, we are very concerned about how quickly our rate is increasing and we will therefore continue to monitor our local data closely and daily, and are ready to take proactive action if we believe it is needed to prevent further spread.
“We expect to review our position early next week, but we also await the decision of the secretary of state on Essex County Council’s request which could take this out of our hands anyway.
“The pandemic has been going on for a long time now and we cannot thank people enough for the sacrifices they have already made. But we must keep going and redouble our efforts as a local community. Individually and collectively we can make a difference and keep the rate down. This means following the national guidance, including washing our hands regularly, wearing face coverings, keeping two metres apart from those we don’t live with, and sticking to the rule of six.”
For more information and updates on Coronavirus, please visit: www.southend.gov.uk/coronavirus
Parents have been asked by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to help the community stay safe by wearing a face covering on the school run.
In a letter sent on 16 October, parents are encouraged to:
Wear a face covering (unless exempt) when dropping and picking up children from school
Keep one metre distance from others if you are wearing a face covering (two metres if not)
Leave the school vicinity as soon as possible, whilst maintaining the rule of six.
Face coverings are largely intended to protect others, not just the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of virus that causes coronavirus infection (COVID-19).
While every school has carried out risk assessments and taken steps to ensure the ongoing safety of children, staff, parents and the wider community, parents are now being asked to play their part.
The letter, which was sent to every parent via their school, is below. A small number of face masks have been given to each school to hand out to those parents who are able to wear one, but forgot to bring theirs.
Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “We felt there was a need to write the letter due to the number of parents who are standing very close together while dropping off or collecting their children. Although parents are outdoors when they do this, and we know that it can be very hard to socially distance at the school gates, there is still a risk of transmission outdoors that can be reduced greatly by wearing a face covering.
“Schools have worked incredibly hard to maintain the safety of the classroom with bubbles, hand sanitiser, staggered start and finish times, and a range of other measures depending on their individual circumstances.
“But now we need the help of parents. We are asking those who are able to, to please wear face coverings during the school run and keep at least one metre apart from others too and two metres if you are not wearing a covering. Please also leave the school area as soon as possible, maintaining the rule of six.
“I am sure many parents are already doing this and I know it is difficult. But for the handful of parents who aren’t already doing so, please do your bit for the community and wear a mask if you are not exempt and keep up the social distancing. This will help to reduce the risk of transmission and help prevent the spread of Coronavirus in our community.”