Coronavirus Update - 07.04.20

Letter

Dear Residents,

We hope that you and your families are all keeping well.

Please find below an update on Basildon Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and management of council services during these difficult times. The Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Andrew Baggott, has written to the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team at Basildon to thank them and all the hard-working staff at Basildon Council, who have been working flat out for the residents of the Borough throughout this crisis.

Basildon Council is updating its website all the time, so please do check there if you have any questions. Basildon Conservatives are also keeping the community informed with regular updates to this website and our social media feeds. Please do check these sources and share using your own networks.

Council Committee Meetings

Now that the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 have been laid, which make provision for remote meetings to take place, the Council are currently investigating the most appropriate way to undertake the work of the Council's committees to ensure that the business of the Council continues.

Community Hub

From Thursday to Sunday this week, 340 COVID-19 related calls and 200 emails came into the Customer Service Centre. Most of these were dealt with by staff in Revenues & Benefits and Customer Services. There were 34 specialist referrals made to the Community Hub. We thank everyone for their hard work helping residents.

We are advised that local GPs will start sending texts from today to those in their practices who may be vulnerable yet weren’t in the first tranche to be contacted by NHS England. Those people will then be directed to call the Essex Welfare Service, who will triage and refer any relevant people through the Basildon Community Hub. The work being undertaken by the hub is a vital service to our communities and, again, we thank all the hard-working staff for all that they are doing.

How to make a referral

Anyone who would like to refer a vulnerable resident to the Community Hub can do so by contacting their local ward councillors, by emailing coronavirusresidents@basildon.gov.uk, or by calling 01268 533333 and choose option 1.

Easter weekend planning

This weekend saw high temperatures and good weather, and a real test of the quarantining guidance coming from Central Government. Although there were exceptions, we are pleased that by and large residents are abiding by the Government's advice to Stay Home, Protect the NHS, and Save Lives. Our thanks go to our local Essex Police patrols, who have been dealing with matters firmly but sensitively and with good humour. The Council continues to review and plan for the upcoming Easter bank holiday weekend, although the weather is not forecast to be as good.

Help for those struggling to make payments

As many of you will recall, Cllr Baggott, the Leader of the Conservative Group, has written to the Leader of Basildon Council proposing that some kind of Council Tax holiday be considered. Unfortunately, the current leadership were not willing to entertain this idea but have given an undertaking that, if residents are struggling to make council tax or council rent payments due to financial insecurity caused by Covid-19, they should contact the Council as quickly as possible on 01268 533 333 or coronavirusresidents@basildon.gov.uk. Council staff will do what they can to respond to each individual's particular circumstances.