Council ‘confidence’ campaign to inspire high street bounce back
Three district councils have joined forces to help local high streets reopen and start trading again.
Breckland Council, South Norfolk Council and Broadland District Council are working together to launch their ‘Confidence’ campaign, which, in the first instance, aims to give people confidence that they can safely shop in their local towns and villages and help businesses get back on their feet.
The campaign is the first stage of a wider plan to help drive the districts’ economic recovery by supporting businesses of all types and helping them sustain jobs.
It is being announced ahead of June 1, when market towns and high streets will start to reopen in-line with central government guidance.
To help get local towns ready and prepared for trading, the district councils are working with their county and town council partners to introduce barriers to facilitate social distancing and, if necessary, close certain streets to ensure a clean, safe and secure shopping experience.
Other measures such as making hand sanitiser available, making council officers available to help support shoppers and businesses, banners, window stickers and floor markings will help pedestrians navigate the high street while keeping a safe distance apart. The aim is to ensure that shoppers have the confidence to leave their homes and go about their normal business, once again.
The councils will also be reviewing opportunities to allow extra time in car parks for shoppers and using streets that have been closed to allow pubs, cafes and restaurants to serve patrons in an open and controlled space.
Council officers will be visiting high street traders which have been given approval by the government to open, to offer advice and guidance which ensures they comply with latest guidance to keep their staff and customers safe.
Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Breckland Council’s Leader, commented: “We are looking at ways we can alter our townscapes to make these spaces as useable as possible and give people the confidence to go about their business. We want to ensure our towns remain vibrant places where people feel confident to do their shopping and business activities in our market towns.”
Cllr Shaun Vincent, Leader of Broadland District Council, said: “This is just the first step in a comprehensive campaign available to every business to ensure they thrive and survive. As well as the market towns initiative each council has put provision in place to support businesses with expert advice and guidance.”
Cllr John Fuller, Leader of South Norfolk Council, said: “This recovery will require a whole council response. We will help provide a clean, safe and secure shopping experience and give our residents the confidence to get back onto the high streets and get the cash registers in our local businesses ringing again. Shopping may take longer so we will extend the free time in our car parks and together, we will beat the crisis and reboot our local economies, one business and one job at a time.”
We are continuing to support our local businesses and have already paid out more than £50 million in grants. Our discretionary grant scheme will be opening next week, hopefully allowing us to help businesses that did not qualify for the previous grants.
|Mandatory Business Rate Grants||BDC||SNC|
|Value||No of Grant Payments||Value||No of Grant Payments|
|Small Business Rate Relief £10k Grants||16,750,000||1,675||19,480,000||1,948|
|Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £10k Grants||2,360,000||236||2,850,000||285|
|Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £25k Grants||4,275,000||171||5,225,000||209|
|Estimate of Total Potential Claims (this number changes as properties are identified as eligible)|
|Small Business Rate Relief £10k Grants||18,190,000||1,819||22,180,000||2,218|
|Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £10k Grants||2,360,000||236||2,940,000||294|
|Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £25k Grants||4,325,000||173||5,250,000||210|
|Small Business Rate Relief £10k Grants||144||270|
|Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £10k Grants||0||9|
|Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £25k Grants||2||1|
|Small Business Rate Relief £10k Grants||92%||92%||88%||88%|
|Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £10k Grants||100%||100%||97%||97%|
|Retail, Hospitality and Leisure £25k Grants||99%||99%||100%||100%|
|Grant Paid on Account||26,242,000||30,838,000|
Supporting our residents
The chart below gives a breakdown of the cases that we have responded to through the Hub by our own staff and the local networks of community volunteers.
In the period 23rd March to 24th May the Hub has co-ordinated the following:
2,652 Prescription collections and deliveries
1,161 Residents’ shopping undertaken and delivered
403 Families in immediate food poverty provided with food
173 people have called with complex needs. These often involve debt, immediate risk of homelessness, domestic abuse, common mental health problems and other vulnerabilities. These cases are sent to our Community Connector Team who explore the issues with the resident and arrange links to the relevant specialist Hub partners.
‘Other’ cases shown in the chart above include situations as diverse as a resident with Covid 19 who had run out of paracetamol and lived alone (paracetamol delivered inside two hours) and a family in lockdown struggling on a low budget to occupy their children (a wide selection of books, craft materials and activity packs delivered that day).
Our next Planning / DMC meetings will be live streamed and will include public speaking. The dates for the meetings are:
SNC – 3 June
BDC – 17 June
Prime Minister’s update
Yesterday evening the PM gave an update on the UK’s progress against each of the five tests we had to meet before adjusting the lockdown.
Full details of this statement can be found here: https://bit.ly/PMStep2
Since all five tests are being met, the following adjustments will be made to lockdown:
From Monday 1st June
1) Nurseries and other early years settings and reception, year one and year six in primary schools will reopen in a safe way;
2) Outdoor retail and car showrooms, where social distancing is generally easier, will reopen; and
3) Up to six people will be able to meet outside (in parks, gardens and other private outdoor space) – provided those from different households continue strictly to observe social distancing rules by staying two metres apart.
Please note that those who have been asked to shield themselves should continue to do so.
From Monday 15th June
1) Secondary schools will begin to provide some face-to-face contact time for years 10 and 12; and
2) The government intends to reopen other non-essential retail – but only provided the five tests are still being met and shops have been made Covid secure.
Further social distancing guidance will follow in the coming days – please visit the Coronavirus FAQs page for updates: https://bit.ly/CV19FAQs