Coronavirus - letter to residents

Coronavirus – working together and supporting each other

23 April 2020

Dear Resident

We are writing to every home in the borough to provide you with an update from Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council. We hope that you, your family and your friends are keeping safe and as well as possible during these difficult and uncertain times. We would like to offer you some useful sources of information and thank you for bearing with us as a number of our usual services have been affected during this unprecedented time.

Coronavirus resident support scheme

We know there will be many people in our communities who need help and support during these times and we have set up a coronavirus resident support scheme for people who are self-isolating and may need some help as they have no support networks like local family or friends. We are working with a range of local agencies, charitable organisations and local volunteers.

The service prioritises people who have no one else to help and who are the most vulnerable, for example those over the age of 70, those with an underlying health condition, individuals who are on their own and feeling isolated and families that are struggling to cope. Assistance can be given to:

  •  Link people into local support networks where these are in place
  •  Help with emergency food access and ongoing shopping assistance
  •  Advise on collection of prescriptions and other essentials
  •  Social contact for those who are lonely
  •  Advise on financial help for those who are worried about their personal finances
  •  Advise on how to look after your health and wellbeing whilst self isolating

There is more information about the service here: Coronavirus resident support scheme or if you don’t have internet access, you can call us on 01455 238141 Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4.30pm and ask for the coronavirus resident support scheme.

Our thanks to everyone who has volunteered and is helping others in their communities.

Council tax

In response to concerns over paying council tax during the coronavirus pandemic, if you pay your council tax over 10 months you can ask to make the first payment in June 2020 and end in March 2021 (instead of starting in April 2020 and ending in January 2021), or if you pay over 10 months you can switch to 12 months instead to help spread the cost. The total bill remains the same.

You can find out how to apply for these changes and also any extra support you may be entitled to towards your council tax charges, through our local council tax support scheme or call us on 01455 238141.

Garden waste service

If you are a garden waste subscriber you will already be aware that we temporarily suspended the garden waste service last month due to staff shortages. However, we are pleased to tell you that the garden waste service will resume again for all subscribers starting week commencing Monday 27 April. Please present  your garden waste bin on your usual garden waste collection day. All subscriptions have been automatically extended by up to two months for customers to cover the one month period the service was suspended. Garden waste bins displaying 19-20 subscription stickers will now be collected until 31 May 2020. Garden waste bins displaying the 20-21 subscription stickers will now be collected until 31 May 2021. Thank you for your patience during this challenging time. We are updating our website and social media accounts daily with any changes to local services.

Support for local businesses

The government has outlined a support package for businesses, including business rates holidays and government grants. The council is delivering around £22 million in grants to around 1,600 eligible businesses in the borough and we are working with partners to offer free fully funded impartial advice and support for businesses. More information about business support

Older adults

Leicester Shire & Rutland Age UK offers practical and emotional support to those over 70, especially those who are self-isolating and live alone. To contact the helpline, call 0116 2992239

The Silver Line operates the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days of the year. They also match volunteers with older adults based on their interests, and help to connect people with local services in their area - this is a telephone friendship based service. The Silver Line Helpline is 0800 4708090

Keeping safe

Unfortunately there are some people who are taking advantage of the current situation such as:

  • Offering to buy essentials on behalf of those who are self-isolating and instead stealing the money
  • Offering Covid-19 door to door tests which are not legitimate and are worthless!

We don't want to discourage anyone from helping their neighbours or family members in this time of need and the genuine members of the community trying to assist others. We simply ask that you remain vigilant and take note of this basic advice, should someone call at your door:

  • Try to liaise with someone you are familiar with and do not hand over a bank card
  • Only buy the essentials in this manner, therefore the amount of money required is minimal
  • If the person says they are from a community group/organisation, ask for some ID or to verify their identity by calling the organisation directly

The council is continuing to provide an outreach service for victims of domestic abuse. Call or text 07966 202181 or call the national domestic abuse helpline 0808 2000 247 (Freephone 24hrs). More information on domestic abuse. If you are in immediate danger of domestic abuse, please call the police on 999.

We hope you continue to stay safe and well, especially during these uncertain times. More information about staying well and other useful external links for advice and support can be found on our website.

Thank you for your support.

Cllr Stuart Bray
Leader of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Bill Cullen
Chief Executive of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council