Lichfield District Street Aid    

Lichfield District Council is launching Street Aid to encourage people to ‘give small change for real change’, with the aim to help people who are sleeping on the street turn a corner in their lives.

The Street Aid fund will offer grants to help people, who are on or have been on the streets in Lichfield District, to maintain accommodation and employment, or make changes in their lives which will help them avoid returning to the streets.

The scheme offers people an alternative way to give rather than giving directly to people who are begging on the streets.

Each donation will be combined with others to provide grants for items needed to get people off the streets or help them stay off the streets. This could include paying for clothing for job interviews, a secondhand bike to travel to work, training courses, IT equipment, funding to access copies of birth certificates or other forms of ID, and more.

Organisations can apply to the fund for financial help that they cannot find elsewhere, and items will be given to the individual, rather than cash.

Councillor Ashley Yeates, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, “As homelessness and rough sleeping has increased locally, so too has the desire of local people to do something about it.

“We know we have a caring community and we are hoping people will donate to Street Aid rather than giving directly to those on the street, as it could help people in need to get support to change their lives.

“Our housing team works hard to find accommodation for anyone who is sleeping rough locally. However, begging can sometimes exacerbate issues and prevent people from making positive steps towards housing.

“We want to end rough sleeping and street begging in Lichfield District, and launching Street Aid is one of a number of ways we are tackling homelessness.

“We have also employed a dedicated officer who is working with people who have complex needs to make sure their tenancy starts well. Spring Housing is working on our behalf to provide an outreach service to rough sleepers and local homeless people, and we are progressing with plans to buy up to five properties to accommodate people with complex needs.”

As part of Street Aid, the council is planning to install ‘tap and go’ donation points across Lichfield City. This would allow people to tap their contactless credit or debit card on the outside of a shop or business window and a machine, which is installed inside the shop, automatically debits a small, set amount from the card.

Donations will be pooled together into a Lichfield District Street Aid fund, which will be hosted by Staffordshire Community Foundation. All the money donated will go directly to helping people within Lichfield District.

To find out more and how to donate, go to www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/streetaid

Attention Local Business owners!

Staffordshire County Council currently have an offer for businesses to receive a full free PPE pack, businesses just need to go onto the website and request a pack here  https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Business/Coronavirus-COVID-19-support-for-businesses/Emergency-PPE/Emergency-PPE-information-for-providers.aspx

Lichfield District Council also have an information officer on the ground who has been visiting businesses throughout the whole district offering support and guidance,

LDC recently launched a love local campaign to champion our fantastic businesses in the district, there are posters online to download and more will be added soon, we also have printed packs available if businesses would like to request one https://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/coronavirus-2/lovelocal/1

Covid 19 – Play Areas re-opening 4th July 2020

The play areas within the parish will re-open on Saturday 4th July 2020; the Council have carried out a risk assessment against the current government guidance and will put in all practicable measures to mitigate risk.

The play areas are checked weekly for maintenance issues, however they are not cleaned regularly and are not staffed.

Scientific advice suggests that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to several days on some hard surfaces. The risks are reduced when outdoors, where surfaces may be subject to UV light and/or rain. Whilst all possible practical measures have been put in place the user of this equipment does so at their own choice and risk.

  • The maximum number of users at Hopwas Playing Field will be 10 (plus accompanying adults)
  • The maximum number of users at Comberford Millennium Green will be 6 (plus accompanying adults)
  • 1 adult to accompany 1 child (Under 14’s only)
  • Please retain 2m distance from other users outside of your household
  • 1 child (or household) per item of play equipment (with the exception of the see-saw)
  • To enable as many children as possible to use the equipment please limit use to 30 minutes
  • Use of hand sanitiser gel or wipes is advised when using the equipment
  • When using equipment do not touch face
  • Consumption of food and drink within play areas is not permitted
  • Please use bins provided or take litter home

Please do NOT enter the play areas if you, your child or any member of your household have a high temperature OR a new continuous cough OR a loss of taste or smell.

Covid symptoms

Play Area COVID 19 Signage

Covid 19 – Hopwas Play Area Re-opening branded

Covid 19 – Play Area Re-opening CMG branded

Covid-19 Risk Assessment July 2020

New signage will be put up on the morning of 4th July, until this signage is in place and the closure signage has been removed please do not use the play areas. This will enable the Council to carry out a final maintenance inspection for safety before re-opening.

Park for £1 at Lichfield city centre car parks from Monday

Lichfield District Council is launching a special offer across its Lichfield city car parks, and from Monday 6 July it will only cost £1 to park all day, any day of the week in council-run city centre car parks.

The special offer, which is running from 6 July to 2 August 2020, will apply to most district council managed car parks in Lichfield city centre, including short and long-stay facilities.

However, there are some exceptions to the £1 offer. Due to the operating arrangement covering Backcester Lane and Gresley Row car parks, the special offer won’t be available at these car parks.

Arrangements will also be slightly different for the car parks that serve Beacon Park on Shaw Lane, Greenhough Road and Bunkers Hill. These three car parks are charged at a different, lower rate. So, customers can choose to pay the minimum 50p for a shorter period or pay the £1 rate for the full day.

Councillor Liz Little, Cabinet Member for Major Projects & Economic Development, said: “We’re really pleased to be introducing the £1 parking offer across our car parks, to support the city centre in these challenging times.

“We are encouraging all our residents to #LoveLocal and visit their high streets, while following social distancing rules, and we hope this special offer will also help boost footfall to our city centre.”

The council is working with its partners at Pay by Phone to update the system to reflect the new £1 charge. In the meantime, customers should select the car park code 59562 (normally for Bird Street only), and pay the minimum £1 amount which will be honoured for the full day.

So as not to disadvantage anyone who has already bought a parking season ticket, all permits already in circulation as of 6 July 2020 will automatically roll over for a free extra month after the expiry date.

The £1 parking special offer means the council’s free car parking for NHS, health care staff and key workers, which has been running since lockdown began in March, will come to an end after Sunday 5 July. However, everyone will be able to benefit from the £1 parking all day across the city from Monday.

The council-run car parks in Burntwood continue to be free to use.

For more information, visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/parkingoffer

We’re good to go

Visit Lichfield is urging local tourism and hospitality businesses to achieve the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard to reassure customers they are covid-secure.

VisitEngland, in partnership with VisitBritain, has launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to provide confidence for tourism as the sector works towards reopening.

The We’re Good To Go industry standard and supporting mark means businesses can demonstrate they are adhering to government and public health guidance, have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment, and checked they have the required processes in place.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the industry.

Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Visitor Economy & Local Plan, said: “We’re really pleased to get behind VisitEngland’s campaign, and are encouraging our tourism businesses, destinations and attractions to achieve the We’re Good To Go standard.

“We know everyone is different and there will be some people who will be happy to enjoy all that is on offer as soon as they can, while there will be others who still have concerns about staying safe.

“If our local tourism destinations, cafes, pubs and restaurants can show they are good to go, it will give visitors greater confidence that we are ready to welcome them back and that we are a district that cares about our visitors’ safety.”

VisitEngland Director, Patricia Yates, said: “We want visitors to be able to enjoy their holidays and to support businesses to be confident they have the correct procedures in place. Our priority is to make sure tourism rebounds to once again become one of the most successful sectors of the UK economy and creating confidence is a crucial step on the industry’s road to rebuilding.”

Businesses must complete a self-assessment through the online platform at https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com/ including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification and the We’re Good To Go mark to display in their premises and online.

The self-assessment includes specific guidelines for sectors including accommodation, visitor attractions, restaurants and pubs, business conference and events venues and tour and coach operators with signposting to further industry and trade association guidance as required.

In England businesses align with the UK government’s official guidance for the sector including ‘Working Safely during Covid-19: Visitor Economy’. An ‘alert’ system ensures that businesses signed up to the standard are notified of any changes to the official guidance. A call-handling service provides support and assessors would also carry-out random spot-checks to ensure adherence.

The We’re Good To Go scheme is being operated by VisitEngland who has been running assessment schemes for many years.

Alongside the industry standard, VisitEngland is also launching a Know Before You Go public information campaign to support tourism in England as businesses start to re-open, reassuring visitors as restrictions are lifted by checking about what it is safe to do and when and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling.

Media enquiries

Esther Epstein, Press & Communications Officer, Lichfield District Council

T: 01543 308778 E: esther.epstein@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Notes

Tourism is one of the UK’s most successful economic sectors, an industry worth £127 billion annually to the economy, and domestic is £88 billion of that, employing 3.1 million people and supporting 200,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs right across the country – the main employer in many coastal towns and rural communities. Tourism has also been of the first and hardest hit economic sectors.

VisitBritain’s latest tourism impact forecasts for 2020 show that inbound tourism spending is forecast to drop 63% this year equalling a £19.7 billion loss to the economy, while domestic tourism in Britain is forecast to lose £22 billion in spending across holidays and day visits alone.

VisitEngland’s latest weekly domestic consumer sentiment research which looks at intent to take short breaks and holidays within the UK can be accessed here: https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-consumer-sentiment-tracker

VisitEngland Assessment Services has been assessing tourism businesses in England for many years and offers expert advice, support and assessments for tourism and hospitality businesses. There are more than 20,000 businesses currently taking part in the wider VisitEngland schemes.

Council urges residents to #LoveLocal

With coronavirus restrictions slowly being lifted, Lichfield District Council is working to make sure residents are confident visiting their local high streets.

As part of the Reopening High Streets Safely project, which is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the council is launching a #LoveLocal campaign.

The campaign aims to promote Lichfield city and Burntwood town centres and other high streets across the district, while reinforcing messages around social distancing.

With bars, restaurants and cafés, along with visitor attractions, museums and libraries set to reopen from 4 July, the council is keen to encourage residents to support their local high streets and attractions, while remembering the importance of keeping a safe distance from others, keeping hands clean, wearing a face covering on public transport and other safety advice.

Councillor Liz Little, Cabinet Member for Major Projects & Economic Development, said: “Our #LoveLocal campaign has two aims, to support businesses across the district and to promote visiting our commercial centres safely.

“We have missed our bustling high streets since lockdown began, and I know everyone is excited that more of the venues we know and love will be reopening soon. That is why we want to support our high streets while reiterating how important it is that visitors behave responsibly and follow social distancing.

“Many organisations are coming out and asking everyone to support their local areas – across Staffordshire we have Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP’s Shop Safely in Staffs, and locally there is Lichfield Looks Forward. It shows we all want to back our traders and get our local economy going again.”

The #LoveLocal campaign will feature posters, banners, social media ads, information leaflets, as well as queue waiting stickers and window vinyls for local businesses to use.

This is one element of how the council is using the Reopening High Streets Safely funding. A part-time information officer has also been appointed who will work along with other council officers to help local businesses implement safe working practices and create a safe shopping environment for visitors.

This is just the first phase in making the district’s commercial areas covid-secure, and more measures will come forward in the coming months.

To find out more, go to www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/lovelocal.

Council Cabinet roles redefined

Lichfield district council has announced changes to the current Cabinet structure to provide more executive capacity and better align with the new strategic priorities and recovery plans.

Councillor Iain Eadie will remain as Deputy Leader and takes up a more focused portfolio as Cabinet Member for Visitor Economy & the Local Plan.

A new cabinet role has been introduced with Councillor Liz Little becoming the Cabinet Member for Major Projects & Economic Development. She will also retain lead role on Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

Councillor Ashley Yeates becomes Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Cllr Cox joins Cabinet with responsibility for Leisure, Parks & Waste.

Councillor Rob Strachan takes on additional areas as Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement, Customer Services, Revenues & Benefits while Councillor Angela Lax takes on housing as Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Housing & Health. Councillor Andy Smith becomes Cabinet Member for Innovation, Commercialisation and Corporate Services.

Cllr Doug Pullen, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “It has been a challenging first year for Cabinet with many high profile issues to deal with.

“We have an ambitious work programme in the next 12 months and need more ‘hands on deck’. The revised portfolios are designed to help members balance their responsibilities more effectively and provide support to each other where these overlap.

“By working together we can face the next few months with confidence and a greater capacity to serve the district as a whole, through better decision making and a clear focus on community engagement and key projects.”

Cabinet appointments are decided by the Leader of the Council. The amendments to the Cabinet structure will also lead to changes in the chairmanship of Scrutiny Committees which will be detailed in reports to be sent to full council on 14 July. Current committee membership can be found at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/committees.

Media enquiries

Esther Epstein, Press & Communications Officer, Lichfield District Council

T: 01543 308778 E: esther.epstein@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Lichfield District Council’s cabinet:

  • Cllr Doug Pullen – Leader of Cabinet
  • Cllr Iain Eadie – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Visitor Economy & Local Plan
  • Cllr Liz Little – Cabinet Member for Major Projects & Economic Development
  • Cllr Ashley Yeates – Cabinet Member for Community Engagement
  • Cllr Rob Strachan – Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement, Customer Services, Revenues & Benefits
  • Cllr Angela Lax – Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Housing & Health
  • Cllr Andy Smith – Cabinet Member for Innovation, Commercialisation and Corporate Services
  • Cllr Richard Cox – Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks & Waste

 

Making our high streets safe to visit

Human print screen on wooden cube with spaced for social distancing concept for prevent spread covid 19 outbreak.

Human print screen on wooden cube with spaced for social distancing concept for prevent spread covid 19 outbreak.

Human print screen on wooden cube with spaced for social distancing concept for prevent spread covid 19 outbreak.

Human print screen on wooden cube with spaced for social distancing concept for prevent spread covid 19 outbreak.

Human print screen on wooden cube with spaced for social distancing concept for prevent spread covid 19 outbreak.

As more Lichfield city centre and Burntwood town centre retailers prepare to reopen from next week, Lichfield District Council is progressing with plans for how it will help local businesses to establish safe trading and how it will begin to use the £92,501 it was awarded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to reopen high streets safely.

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund provides councils with additional funding to support their business communities through four main strands of activity. This includes:

  • Support to develop an action plan for how the local authority may begin to safely reopen their local economies.
  • Communications and public information activity to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely.
  • Business-facing awareness raising activities to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely.
  • Temporary public realm changes to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely.

As part of a district-wide response, the council will employ a part-time information officer for six months. They will work along with other council officers to help local businesses implement safe working practices and create a safe shopping environment for visitors.

The information officer will be on hand to visit shopping areas across the district to welcome people and help them to follow social distancing.

The council will also use the funding on a messaging campaign that will include a suite of resources for shops and businesses and information for residents and visitors. This will include a shop local campaign.

This is just the first phase in making the district’s commercial areas covid-secure, and more measures will come forward in the coming months.

In the lead up to more shops reopening, the council is also working with Three Spires shopping centre, the Lichfield BID and Staffordshire County Council to monitor the use of streets, pavements and footpaths as lockdown regulations are relaxed, to determine if additional measures to support safe access and movement are needed. Hand sanitiser stations will be available and information on where people can safely leave their bicycles has already been made available.

Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Investment & Tourism, said: “It’s really important that we support our high streets and shop local as much as we can. However, we understand that residents and visitors need assurance that it is safe to do so.

“This is why we are already working with businesses across the district to make sure they follow government and HSE guidance, that they carry out the risk assessments they need to do, and implement social distancing measures.

“Given what the ERDF funding can be used for, we will be going out to businesses to help them, as well as creating marketing campaign materials and resources that support our high streets and give clear guidance for residents and visitors.

“It’s vital that we help our local economy to get going again and we look forward to working further with businesses across the district to help them get covid-secure.”

Council officers are on hand to help businesses. If you need any extra help or support, please email occupationals@lichfielddc.gov.uk.

To find out more about what you need to do to make your business covid-secure, visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/covidsecure.

Media enquiries

Esther Epstein, Press & Communications Officer, Lichfield District Council

T: 01543 308778 E: esther.epstein@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Show domestic abuse the red card

Fans will be looking forward to the football season getting underway again after professional sport was put on hold due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, matches can often mean an increase in domestic violence and abuse.

The number of domestic abuse reports forces receive often rise during national and international football competitions. And, with the re-start of the football season, including the Premier League and the Championship getting back underway this month, Lichfield District Council is backing a campaign, devised by Cannock Chase Council, to deter perpetrators of domestic abuse and encourage victims to seek help.

Councillor Ashley Yeates, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, said: “It’s important to recognise that football itself does not cause domestic abuse. The behaviour and actions of abusers who exert power and control over their victims cause domestic abuse.

“Watching football can be emotional, frustrating, joyous, and it can be accompanied by alcohol. And now, after the heightened stress of lockdown, there is a real concern that this could lead to more instances of domestic abuse. This is why we are working to highlight this issue and signpost to support services.”

Sergeant Neil Quinn, Lichfield Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “For many the return of the football season is welcomed but for others it is a time of dread due to the heightened risk of domestic abuse.

“If you recognise you often take it out on your partner, when the game doesn’t go your way, we want you to know there is support available to help you change.

“Equally, if you are the victim of domestic abuse report this to the police, always dial 999 in an emergency or seek support from one of the many domestic abuse support services available locally.”

Perpetrators of domestic abuse are being encouraged to get help from New Era Domestic Abuse Service on 01785 601690, an organisation which offers specialist domestic violence prevention services.

Victims, individuals and families who have concerns, can report abuse and get support from New Era’s Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 303 3778 or access their 24/7 live chat facility at www.new-era.uk.

Local support is also available from Pathway Project, a 24-hour confidential helpline, by calling 01543 676800.

Media enquiries

Esther Epstein, Press & Communications Officer, Lichfield District Council

T: 01543 308778 E: esther.epstein@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Reporting domestic abuse

Domestic abuse victims can call the police on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always call 999.

Staffordshire-wide support for victims and their families:

New Era’s Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 24-hour confidential helpline (across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent): 0300 303 3778 and their 24/7 live chat facility at www.new-era.uk.

Local support for victims and their families:

Pathway Project – a 24-hour confidential helpline (supporting Lichfield District and Tamworth): 01543 676800.

Staffordshire-wide services for perpetrators wanting to change their behaviour:

New Era Domestic Abuse Service for perpetrators who want support to change (across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent): 01785 601690.

Discretionary business grant fund opens

Lichfield District Council has launched its discretionary business grant scheme, which is the latest government measure to support businesses that have been impacted by Covid-19.

Businesses across Lichfield District that have faced hardship due to Covid-19 can now apply to be considered for a £5,000 discretionary business grant. These grants are for businesses that have not benefitted before and occupy a shared commercial premises, as well as others such as bed & breakfasts.

Since the start of April, Lichfield District Council has been distributing small business grants and retail, hospitality and leisure grants to more than 1,400 businesses across the district. Now businesses that were ineligible for one of these grants, and who meet the criteria, have an opportunity to apply for a non-repayable cash grant to go towards their business costs.

Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Investment & Tourism, said: “We’re really pleased to be launching the discretionary business grants as they will help many businesses across the district who have not been able to access financial support so far.

“We will aim to distribute the grants fairly and have deliberately taken a decision to pay a fixed grant of £5,000 to help more businesses to cope in these challenging times.”

The government has provided local authorities with guidance on which businesses are eligible and the types of businesses that should be helped.

Councillor Andy Smith, Cabinet Member for Customer Services & Innovation, said: “This grant fund will help eligible businesses that have seen their turnover drop by more than 20%, but are still facing premises related costs, such as rent, utility bills, property insurance, that are more than 50% of their current monthly bills.”

Awards will be worked out using a combination of information on the application form and evidence provided. Checks will be carried to prevent fraudulent claims to ensure the money reaches as many businesses as possible.

To be eligible to apply for a grant, businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020, must not be in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, and must be ineligible for other support schemes.

This grant is aimed at small and micro businesses that have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs, that can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis, and that occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

Before applying for a discretionary business grant, businesses should first check their eligibility for a small business or retail, hospitality or leisure grant, which has a greater pot of money available.

To find out more and how to apply, go to www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/dbg.