Blind welfare survey + 11 pus deadline
The majority of public toilets within Southend-on-Sea are now closed until further notice as the council continues to take actions to help tackle the spread of Coronavirus.
As the council and its waste and recycling partner Veolia continue to review its services, many of the borough’s public toilets are now closed. This is to ensure staff can be re-deployed elsewhere whilst the toilets are not being used as residents stay at home. Public toilets in locations such as shopping districts and parks have also been closed as these areas are now seeing a drastic reduction in footfall.
Public toilets at a small number of key locations across the borough will remain open. This decision is being reviewed daily and will be adjusted as needed in light of further Government advice. Those that remain open are spread across the seafront from Shoeburyness to Leigh, as this area has been recognised as an area that has been used for daily exercise.
The following public toilets will be closed on Thursday 26 March until further notice:
All toilets in public parks – specifically Southchurch Hall Gardens, Southchurch Park,
Priory Park, Belfairs Park and Shoebury Park
Chalkwell Park, London Road
Chalkwell Esplanade, Chalkwell
Dalmatia Road, Southchurch – near junction between Dalmatia Road and Southchurch Road
East Beach, Shoeburyness
Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea – between Rectory Grove and Broadway West
Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff – Hamlet Road Car Park near junction with London Road
Ness Road, Shoeburyness – junction with Ness Road and Campfield Road
Seaway, Southend-on-Sea – next to Seaway car Park and Lucy Road
Sutherland Boulevard, Leigh-on-Sea – at junction between Sutherland Boulevard and London Road
Thorpe Bay Corner, Thorpe Bay
A small number of public toilets will remain open at the current time
Bell Wharf, Leigh-on-Sea
Crowstone, seafront near Chalkwell Avenue, Chalkwell
George Street, entrance to East Beach, Shoeburyness
Marine Parade, seafront near Kursaal
Shoebury Common, near uncle Toms cabin, Shoeburyness
Shorefields, seafront, near Arches Cafés, Westcliff-on-Sea
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “We have made the decision to close a number of our public toilets. As the Government has instructed residents to stay home other than for very specific circumstances, keeping the toilets open not only drains resources for cleaning and maintenance, but also promotes unnecessary travel. We are keeping a small number open.
“We must ensure we continue to listen to Government and Public Health England advice and guidance. The toilets that remain open are there in recognition that people can go out to exercise, but we are clear that anyone who is out needs to do this in line with the Government guidance.
“They are also subject to quick closure as this situation evolves, so we will monitor them as we continue to adapt our services to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.”
Small businesses, as well as companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, now have the opportunity to apply for a grant to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Small Business Grants Fund makes £10,000 available per eligible business who are currently in receipt of small business rates relief. Payments will be made by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council from government funding to support a business’s cash flow.
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
· For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.
· For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.
Businesses will only be allowed to claim for one grant and must also be aware of State Aid rules in applying.
A simple form must be submitted by relevant businesses for the grant which applies to them, to ensure the council meets government requirements. Those businesses who think they qualify for the grants and would like to make an application should see this page on the council website
The council will endeavour to make payments as soon as possible after receipt of an application.
Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for Business, Leisure and Tourism said:
“Our teams have been working hard since the Government announced these different grants and funds, both to draw down the money from Government and respond to the national guidance on this to ensure we get the right information from businesses and make the process as simple as possible.
“These grants are now available for the many businesses that have suffered disruption during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you think your business qualifies, please check the web page linked, complete the form and the council will aim to process your application and make payment as soon as possible”.
For further information on help available to businesses please go to www.southend.gov.uk/businesscorona. This page is updated as and when new information is provided.
Supermarkets, businesses and charities have donated supplies of food and toiletries so that vulnerable households can get support during these uncertain times.
It comes as more than 200 calls have been received each weekday on the Southend Coronavirus Action helpline, set up as a lifeline for those who have no other means of support during self-isolation.
Council staff working on the helpline have also arranged for prescriptions and medicines to be delivered and dogs to be walked.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council said: “I am so impressed with the way in which we are coming together as a community and helping each other out.
“If you are self-isolating, unable to go out or have been told to stay home, it is important to turn to your immediate contacts, family, friends and neighbours for help with shopping.
“But sometimes those people are also self-isolating or are too far away to help, so by setting up the helpline we are giving residents an alternative route to get the help and support they need.
“We’re ever so grateful to every single person who has expressed an interest in volunteering and we’ve had so many offers, our team is busy going through all the applications and we want you to know that if we haven't already contacted you, we will be in touch as soon as we can, and as soon as we need help near you.
“For those already volunteering with us, thank you for the great work you're doing. We've had food parcels go out to hundreds of our borough's most vulnerable people who don't have any other help nearby. This is already helping to protect those who need it most.”
If you have no other means of support, no neighbours, family or friends who can get shopping for you during self-isolation or illness, contact the Southend Coronavirus Action on 01702 212497 – this is our local hub and is providing the local infrastructure to deliver supplies to those people with no other means of support and to ensure that no-one slips through the net.
Tesco (Prince Avenue) opening times
Weekdays: 6am-8am and 7pm onwards
Weekends: 6am-11am and 5pm onwards (closed Sundays)
Sainsbury's (London Road) opening times
Weekdays: 8am-11am and 5pm onwards
Weekends: 8am-11am and 6pm onwards (closed Sundays)
Asda (North Shoebury Road) opening times
Weekdays: 8am-10am and 6pm onwards
Weekends: 8am-12pm and 6pm onwards (closed Sundays)
Morrisons (Western Approaches) opening times
Weekdays: Any time
Weekends: 7am-10am and 5pm onwards (closed Sundays)
Lidl (The Greyhound Retail Park) opening times
Weekdays: Any time
Weekends: Any time
Aldi (London Road) opening times
Weekdays: Any time
Weekends: Any time (Saturdays and Sundays)
Over 700 food parcels, medication and befriending links have been delivered to those who are most at risk in our community, thanks to Southend Coronavirus Action and its helpline, set up by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, in partnership with charities and the voluntary community.
Government restrictions mean that the most vulnerable are being asked not to leave their homes for 12 weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. This particular group, identified by the NHS, are asked not go visit the shops to get essential supplies, but to ask others to do this for them.
In order to allow these people to remain safely in their homes, the council has set up a helpline for anyone to call, should they need food deliveries, prescriptions to be delivered, or even if they need a friendly ear at the end of the phone. The helpline currently receives hundreds of calls per day.
Although set up initially for those at highest risk, the helpline is available to anyone who needs help yet doesn’t have family or friends nearby to step in. We ask people in Southend not to feel alone and to call if they need support.
Food and supplies are being delivered by council staff and the voluntary community, following a drive on Facebook to ask for people who might be able to help.
Councillor Ian Gilbert, leader of the council said: “The support we have seen in Southend has been immense and the sheer number of people who have offered to volunteer to support those most at risk, is heartening. We have so far delivered over 700 helping hands to those who need it most. We have moved mountains to make this happen, and will continue to support these people for as long as they need it. We are a kind borough, who look out for each other. I would like everyone to know that if they are isolating and do not have the support of family and friends nearby, to call our helpline on 01702 212497. We are here and we can help.
“To everyone who has volunteered, thank you. We have had a huge number of volunteers apply, and for those who have not yet been called up, please be assured that we will be in touch as soon as we can and as soon as there is need for help in your area. Thank you Southend, we will get through this together.”
Roger Savage, Southend Association of Voluntary Services said: “The helpline has been greatly supported by the kindness and good will of Southend’s Voluntary Sector. Local charities and community groups have stepped up during these difficult times to offer their time and experience to support residents with tasks including shopping, befriending, accessing money and even dog walking. We thank all those who have a played a part in this response so far, and are overwhelmed by how Southend’s community has come together to support each other.”
For trusted information about Coronavirus, please visit: www.southend.gov.uk/coronavirus
If you can’t get out and need food or prescriptions, and you have no family or friends locally, please call our helpline on 01702 212497.
Of course Covid-19 is at the forefront of all of our minds, but even once it has calmed down, cancer will still be there. On average 1,000 people in the UK will face a cancer diagnosis every day and 450 others will die. By taking part in our second Virtual Quiz on Friday 24th April and donating just £5 to our appeal you are helping secure the future of Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. Please help us support our clients both now during this time of unrest, and in the months and years to come – thank you.”
The Leader of the Council has reflected on the great work to date to tackle coronavirus locally, and looked ahead to the future too.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is delivering the following measures to support our Borough during the coronavirus outbreak:
· Keeping our frontline services running as best we can, including waste and recycling collections, grounds maintenance and community safety
· Supporting the most vulnerable people in the Borough and those in receipt of care services
· Supporting vulnerable children and working with local schools
· Set up and operating the Southend Coronavirus Action helpline with our community and voluntary partners
· Working with South Essex Homes and the voluntary sector to support citizens
· Launching the ‘Good Neighbours’ project to support people in need
· Supporting businesses and the local economy through the distribution of central Government grants and rate relief
· Providing support to individual residents and families in hardship
· Launching the ‘Don’t Visit Southend’ campaign to urge people to stay away from the seafront
Councillor Ian Gilbert, Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said:
“As we know that the current 'lockdown' will last several weeks longer at least, I want to reassure people about the support available and the work we’re doing in Southend-on-Sea. People are working incredibly hard to do everything they can to support our citizens and businesses.
“I would like to thank council staff, colleagues in South Essex Homes, our partners in the health, police and fire services, local voluntary sector organisations, volunteers and our residents for everything they are doing. The response of our community to the coronavirus outbreak has been a great example of people pulling together to preserve life and ensure that the vulnerable in our communities are protected. We are also working to make sure our Borough will be ready to thrive again as we recover from this most difficult of periods.
“The Council will continue to take action in response to this emergency. We will also keep our vital services running. We will continue to protect the most vulnerable people in this town, including those in receipt of care services and our vulnerable children. Social care and public health colleagues have done such amazing work during this difficult time for people. Our community hub and volunteers have played an invaluable role, delivering shopping, picking up medicines and arranging chats with people to reduce social isolation. Our community safety team has done great work alongside the Police to keep people safe and respond in those rare instances where rules are not being followed.
“We will soon be launching a ‘good neighbours’ scheme for residents in Southend-on-Sea. I encourage people to get involved in this scheme and look out for your neighbours.
"We are providing support to businesses by administering the coronavirus business grants and giving the business rates holidays that the government has announced. We have acted on government guidance and announcements to keep businesses going and to make sure they are in a good position to recover fully once the situation is over. We have so far paid the largest volume of business grants in South Essex.
“We have been establishing a hardship fund to provide support to individuals. We already have infrastructure in place to support the most vulnerable with financial assistance and we will build on the good work we already do.
“When I took over as Leader of the Council less than a year ago, nobody could have predicted these circumstances which are without parallel in modern times. I am proud of the hard work and professionalism shown by council staff right through this organisation in dealing with the unprecedented challenges we face. I'm also profoundly grateful for the work of hundreds of volunteers who have signed up to support our community, and our residents doing great neighbourly deeds.
“We can build on what we have learned during this time, how communities, voluntary groups, businesses and organisations have pulled together and collaborated in new and innovative ways. It gives me tremendous hope for the future of our amazing town.
“The current events constitute a major economic shock, but we are already planning for the recovery from this crisis. We are planning how we can get our economy back up and running as quickly as Government instructions allow, and how we can deliver the investment that our town needs to thrive. I'm confident that our town will rebound to become stronger and more prosperous than ever.”
The council’s first formal virtual meeting took place yesterday afternoon.
The appointments and disciplinary committee met to discuss the appointment of the director of digital futures and ICT.
MS Teams was used to conduct the meeting.
This follows the change in law to allow councils to hold meetings remotely to uphold democratic principles, protect the health and safety of councillors, officers and the public and ensure essential business continues.
Locally, new ‘standing orders’ and a protocol to help virtual meetings take place have also been produced. The next virtual meeting will be audit committee on Wednesday 29 April, and this meeting will be available for the public to listen to live via the council’s website.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, says: “It is important that we keep essential business going and ensure that local decision making is open and transparent.
“I am pleased that these new arrangements are in place which ensure we can do just this, but also recognises this is a very new situation we find ourselves in and support and understanding will be needed as we move forwards. I am sure there will be further technical challenges to face as we undertake more and more of these meetings, but the first meeting worked well and was a good start.”
Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for customer contact, says: “We are using the MS Teams platform and officers across the council have been working closely together to ensure that information safety and security is paramount, along with working on ensuring that members of the public will be able to listen in next week and then take part in the relevant meetings moving forwards. I am pleased the IT infrastructure worked well for this first meeting and look forward to more virtual meetings being held.”
The new standing orders and protocol are available to view on our website