Tuesday 26 May update

Supporting mental health

This week we’ve shared lots of messages about mental health and the support that’s available. During the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This means it’s more important than ever to take the time to look after our mental health. Lots of support is available from organisations, such as MIND and CALM.

Business support success

New figures out this week show that our performance in terms of delivering business support grants has been one of the best in the country.  Many different parts of the council have contributed to this success - primarily, of course, this work has been done by the revenues and benefits team.  But many other parts of the organisation have also played important roles – the finance team, business support staff, the customer contact centre team, economic development as well as Data and Systems and IT. Well done to everyone who made this happen.

Community support response

We’re working in new ways with the Community Safety Partnership. General reports of issues are minor (neighbour concerns around social distancing, for example). Domestic Abuse police reports are down but referrals to support services and helplines are higher than usual. If you know of anyone requiring support the IDAS helpline is 03000 110 110.

We’re also working with Trading Standards colleagues to identify scams and to get messages out to vulnerable households of where to go for support and financial assistance.

Finances

We’re seeing a big impact on our finances due to dealing with Coronavirus.  There’s been increased spending to help our community and reduced income into the council from lots of sources.

We’re still dealing with the response, however, so it’s too early to accurately forecast the total impact on our financial position.  We’re not making any changes to services at the moment – albeit some services are still affected by the ongoing government guidance on social distancing and the need to stay home and work from home where possible.

However, alongside other councils we’ll continue to lobby for adequate funding to cover these costs and we may need to reconfigure our financial plans in light of this.

Testing

Everyone aged five and over with symptoms can now be tested for Coronavirus. Mobile test centres continue to operate in Selby district.  Recently Drax has been used again as a location. 

If you have a new continuous cough OR high temperature OR any loss or change in your normal sense of smell or taste, you can book a test via the government website.