Please see below an update on services, communication and support for the Elmbridge community.
Supporting the vulnerable
- This is an unsettling and worrying time for those in our community who are receiving/applying for universal credit, housing benefits and council tax support. Our customer service centre is seeing an increase in the volume of calls, emails and online forms; we are supporting people as efficiently and as compassionately as we can.
- To ensure our customer service team are fully briefed on the latest information, we will close phone lines at 4pm each day, as of Thursday 25 March.
- To further support our residents we are prioritising the processing of housing benefits and council tax support claims and phone calls, and we are ensuring the information on our website is prominent and easily accessed.
- In addition, the Government has introduced a £500M hardship fund for local councils to support economically vulnerable people and households by reducing council tax for those who receive local council tax support. We are reviewing the details of this fund as quickly as possible and will have further information on how this will help our residents as soon as possible.
- Our officers and volunteers continue to work on provide meals on wheels to the older and vulnerable people in the community. The ‘check-in’ call is also in operation for those who have requested it.
- We will add another resource page to our COVID-19 pages on the website, signposting people to those offering food and essential supplies to our most vulnerable.
- We are very aware that our rough sleepers are vulnerable at this time and we are exploring a range of solutions to support them.
Supporting the community
Our residents look to us as a trusted source of information. The EBC website is updated every day and our social media messages are covering the following topics:
- Advice on staying at home inc physical and mental health advice and support
- Advice on using our green spaces while keeping social distancing rules
- Information to help parents entertain children at home and to keep them moving
- NHS and Govt advice on self-isolating
- Information on Elmbridge Borough Council service and changes to those services.
- Signposting and information on volunteering
- Parking: To ensure there is sufficient parking available for residents all council pay and display car parks will be free of charge until midnight on 14 April. We will review this in line with Government guidance. (This is an update from previously issued information)
- Planning: in a change to yesterday’s update, we will be able to send out letters and decision notices.
- Public conveniences: remain open. Our eight traditional built conveniences and our newly constructed automatic public conveniences in Sadlers Ride, Brooklands Park and Hersham Recreation Ground remain open. We will continually review the position with government guidance.
- Scam awareness and online safety: we are very aware of this at this time and we are supporting Surrey Police with messaging on social media and website.
- Domestic abuse: The Bright sky app is available for those experiencing domestic abuse. More information on the EBC website.
- Waste collection: Services remain on schedule. Keeping the public toilets open is key for the crews. We are working with JWS on messages to residents now that the main tips are closed; we want to ensure waste doesn’t increase too much with people being at home and potentially having clear outs.
- Green spaces: grass cutting and litter picking continues but grass verge cutting will be suspended for safety reasons due to the number of cars parked in the streets.
- Green space car parks will close at 6pm, due to reduced levels of staffing.
- Our local businesses rely on us for guidance and support. We are sending regular update emails on how they can access Government funding and the EBC website is a vital resource for them.
- We have also provided information for restaurants starting deliveries for the first time.
Cllr Walton South ward
Cabinet Member for Corporate & Community Development