06/11/2020 - Permalink

Support for rural communities at the heart of Shropshire Council’s lockdown response

Related topics: Community / Coronavirus

Rural communities have been put at the heart of Shropshire Council’s response to the latest Coronavirus lockdown.

Priority grocery slots, wellbeing support and help for businesses will form part of a package of help that residents can be supported to access.

The council is still finalising many of its support offers, but is keen to hear from and engage with rural communities and businesses who are being impacted by Covid-19.

Gwilym Butler, portfolio holder for communities, said the council is here for residents and will do anything possible to help them.

He said:

“We are really keen to hear from and engage with rural communities and businesses who have been hit by Covid and we want to reassure you that we are here and support is available.

“We are working with town and parish councils to ensure that support is getting to difficult to reach areas, while a single point of contact has been set up for vulnerable people or those needing food remains open.

“This number is 0345 6789028, which is our Covid community helpline. We have a call centre of people who can help you get the food and supplies you will need to get through this difficult time.

“This includes advice on priority grocery slots, signposting to local support mechanisms, wellbeing and independence support and safeguarding.”

The community support line is open between 8am and 6pm weekdays, and 9am to 1pm on Saturday. Each caller will be asked to explain their need and, if required, this information will be passed onto the appropriate support.

For any health-related queries and issues please use the NHS 111 online service.

The Community Reassurance Team is in place to engage with and support community groups, as well as assist those who are vulnerable and in need of help. The team can be contacted through the coronavirus helpline above.

The council will also be assisting businesses, particularly those required to close due to national restrictions, to apply through the Government’s Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG), based on their rateable value (RV) as well as to access additional funding that will be provided by the Government to councils.

Further information is expected from the Government within the coming days, but it’s understood that the rate of payment for eligible businesses through LRSG will be:

  • RV of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334.
  • RV of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000.
  • RV of £51k or over grants to be £3,000.

Businesses eligible are those mandated to close by Government through national lockdown and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, entertainment and hospitality.

Once national restrictions are removed, Local Authorities will again be eligible to receive Tier 2 and 3 support if applicable.

Further funds through the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) can be used to run a series of business support programmes and formulate discretionary grant schemes. Again, further information is expected to be released by government in coming days.

Councillor Butler added:

“I would like to pass on my thanks to the people of Shropshire for their continued hard work and commitment to stepping up and doing all they can to curb the spread of the virus.

“This is undoubtedly a worrying time, but we will work to support all our communities and we want you to know that we are here.”