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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Covid-19 Support Hub

Our dedicated support hub is available now for those in need of immediate help and support and who can’t call on family, friends, neighbours or carers.

It is available to anyone in urgent need of non-clinical help in the borough, but priority will be given to those identified by the NHS as critically vulnerable due to health conditions.

Support will be tailored for individual needs, including help with essential food and medicine deliveries.

The opening hours for the COVID-19 support hub are Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, and is available via TEL: 0345 2000 101 or emailing contact.us@northtyneside.gov.uk.  

“The council’s emergency contact numbers remain available as normal. You can find details on these here.”

North Tyneside-based charity VODA is coordinating volunteers in North Tyneside, please visit www.voda.org.uk for more information.

Public Health advice

You can read the most up to date advice from Public Health England on their website. This includes advice on staying at home and social distancing.

You can also stay up to date with useful NHS info.

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as possible by helping control the virus and staying alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Our Public Health team has provided information on health and wellbeing during COVID-19, including support to stop smoking, protect mental health and keep active. You can access this advice here.

Parents of children from 0 - 19 years-old can get advice and guidance from our 0 - 19 Public Health Service

Read advice on what to do if your child is unwell or injured during the coronavirus pandemic.

Information in other formats and languages

You can find the most up to date advice from Public Health England on their website. This includes advice on staying at home and social distancing – this information is published in html format suitable for use with screen readers..

Information on Coronavirus in additional formats and languages

Public Health England have published:

Easy Read guides on:

Coronavirus
Staying at Home  
Keeping away from other people  

Guidance in other languages including: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu:

For households with possible coronavirus
On social distancing and protecting older people and vulnerable adults

For guidance in British Sign Language (BSL):

Signhealth  are producing videos explaining the latest information and health advice in BSL. New videos are being uploaded as information becomes available.
Daily updates from the Government are also available with BSL interpretation at 5pm on BBC 107 or 231 and on BBC i-player.
Advice for the parents of Deaf children can be found here from the National Deaf Children’s Society

For Blind people and people with sight loss:

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is publishing it’s latest Covid-19 news and guides  

How council services are affected

We have plans in place to make sure our services for the most vulnerable can continue but some services will be affected.

Bereavement Services

The office at Preston cemetery is closed but the team can still be contacted by email and telephone.

Services at Tynemouth and Whitley Bay crematoria, as well as the three burial chapels at Preston, Holy Cross and Dudley, are limited to up to 10 mourners and it is advised that congregations space themselves out as much as possible.

The Book of Remembrance room at Whitley Bay is now accessible and is available online here. The Book of Remembrance room at Preston is open and is accessible online here..

Car parking permits

Permit renewals are suspended until further notice. Expired permits will remain valid.

Environment

The following non-essential services are suspended: planting, graffiti removal, public rights of way network, including waggonways, maintenance.

Street cleansing services are prioritising the emptying of dog and litter bins, and the removal of fly tipping.  We will also continue to remove fly tipping and carry out street sweeping in priority areas including the coast and town centres.

Limited weed spraying and grass cutting will continue. 

The grass cutting team carry out the removal of litter and dog fouling as part of their duties, therefore helping to reduce risks to the public.

We'll be carrying out a limited grass cutting regime across the borough including the following:

  • On sight lines next to highways and footpaths to ensure visibility for essential road users and pedestrians. 
  • Reinstate grass cutting next to older peoples’ accommodation to prevent trip hazards.

Special and bulky collections have resumed with some extra conditions

Public toilets

All public toilets operated by the council are closed.

Waste Recycling Centre

The Household Waste Recycling Centre, managed by Suez, at Wallsend Road, North Shields, is operating in a limited capacity, by appointment only, and with strict social distancing measures. Find out how to book here.

Allotments

Allotments can be used, providing strict social distancing and health advice is observed. For full details click here.

Home to School Transport

The Home to School Transport Service will be operating for eligible children who are returning to school from Monday 1st June 2020.

The Local Authority has been working with schools to review transport arrangements to ensure children travel safely to school during the current pandemic. 

We understand that, due to the current situation, many parents will feel that the best option for their child is to drive them to school using their own vehicle. We would like to remind parents that should you wish to transport your child to school in your own vehicle, the Local Authority will reimburse you at a rate of 40p per mile and will pay for four journeys to school and back each day. 

For those parents who require transport to be provided by the Local Authority, it is our priority to ensure that children are safely transported and that drivers, passenger assistants, parents, and school staff are all protected. As a result, we have had to amend routes to reduce the number of children in each vehicle. While we cannot ensure that the driver and/or passenger assistant for your child's journey will be unchanged as the coronavirus situation continues, we will do our best to keep transport arrangements as regular as possible.

We have asked transport providers where possible to:

  • apply social distancing in vehicles by reducing the number of pupils per vehicle and increase the amount of space between passengers. 
  • restrict the number of passengers travelling in a saloon car to no more than 3 (the driver, the passenger assistant and the pupil). 
  • travel without a passenger assistant when transporting older children, if this is safe to do so and only if the Headteacher of the school agrees this. (Larger vehicles will also have a reduced number of passengers and providers will eliminate face-to-face seating).
  • make every effort to use a fixed pairing system, ideally with a driver and passenger assistant from the same household, but this will not always be possible.
  • ensure vehicles are well-ventilated to increase the flow of air, for example, by opening a window when it is safe to do so
  • ensure all drivers and passenger assistants follow hygiene rules and promote the cleaning of surfaces, handles and seats in the vehicle with anti-bacterial products on a regular basis
  • If you would like to arrange to apply for a mileage allowance to transport your own child, please contact hometoschooltransport@northtyneside.gov.uk or telephone 0191 6438726.

Housing

Announcement - housing improvements and repairs.

During the lockdown period we have continued to carry out emergency repairs but had to postpone other planned housing improvement works and some routine and non-urgent repairs.

Following recent changes to the Government’s guidelines in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are now able to safely re-start some elements of our Housing Property and Construction service.

In the coming weeks we will seek to safely re-start a number of construction sites and carry out repair work in empty properties around the borough.

We will, of course, ensure that our customers, our staff and contractors remain safe at all times. We will be carrying out detailed Health and Safety Risk Assessments taking into account measures to prevent the spread of the virus. All staff will be provided with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for the task.

We will contact all affected customers directly to discuss your circumstances in the coming days.

As always, if you would like to report a repair or have any questions please contact us on 0345 2000 102 or email repairs@northtyneside.gov.uk

On May 18, the Housing Minister wrote to social housing residents to update them on the vital steps being taken to support them during the plan to reopen society. 

Read that letter here

Read about the help that is available for people struggling to pay their rent. 

Tyne and Wear Homes

All business is being conducted via email. The team will not be sending out medical assessment forms, landlord references, or letters during this time. Applications will still be processed in line with the 15 working day target.

Highways

Critical highways repairs/defects and highways response, such as flooding, gully emptying, is currently continuing.

All other highways related work has been stood down.

Leisure centres

Leisure centres across North Tyneside are now closed until further notice.

Outdoor sport facilities are closed and Active North Tyneside activities are cancelled. 

Public tennis courts and bowling greens (for bowls clubs) reopened on May 20th. 

North Tyneside Living Retirement Accommodation

Read full advice and guidance for residents and visitors to our North Tyneside Living schemes

Libraries and Customer First Centres

All library services are currently unavailable and Customer First Centres are now closed. 

Our libraries have a range of online content you can access too. 

Parks

Playgrounds, skate parks cafes and public toilets in parks remain closed. The environmental education programme and use of conferencing rooms is suspended. 

Events

The Mouth of the Tyne Festival has been rescheduled to 8-11 July 2021

The North Tyneside 10k Road Race has been rescheduled to Sunday 18 October 2020

Tynemouth Food Festival has been postponed and new dates will be announced soon

Other cancelled events include Cullercoats Harbour Day, Whitley Bay Carnival, Goldwings Light Parade, VE Day celebrations, Fake Festival, Shiremoor Treat, Great North Wheelchair Line Up, Whitley Lodge Fair, North Shields RNLI Day.

A full list of cancelled or rescheduled events can be found at www.visitnorthtyneside.com

Planning

We are working to deliver planning services during the outbreak, however our planning reception service has been temporarily suspended. Find out how to contact the team here.

Taxi Licensing

As of Monday, March 30, our taxi licensing office will be closed to all visitors. For further information, click here.

Council business

All elections including any by-elections for casual vacancies that may emerge have been postponed until May 2021.

A review of meetings of the Authority that are scheduled to take place in the next few weeks is ongoing and some meetings are now being held virtually and streamed live publicly on the Authority’s YouTube channel. In addition urgency provisions contained in the Constitution and Officer Delegation Scheme as appropriate will be invoked to ensure the Council’s decision making processes continue.

Ward surgeries are cancelled until further notice. If you need to contact your ward councillor please do so via e-mail or telephone. Contact details can be found here

Beach safety

The RNLI has made the decision to suspend its lifeguard service due to the coronavirus outbreak. This means there are currently no lifeguards on duty on the beaches in North Tyneside except for Longsands.  You can read the RNLI's advice on staying safe on the seaside here

Bin collections

Due to staff shortages, there may be some disruption to your bin collections. If your bin does not get emptied on the usual day, please leave it out and we will collect it as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) please make sure you double bag your household waste. Tie these bags up and keep them in the room you are self-isolating in, in a covered area so you aren't coughing over them, for 72 hours before popping them in your household waste bin.

Even if you do not have symptoms please help protect our collection staff and make sure your bin lid is fully closed for collection to prevent contamination.

Garden Waste

Garden waste collections will continue. Find your collection dates on our handy online look up tool.

Council tax support and hardship fund

The Council operates a Council Tax Support scheme to help those on low income pay their Council Tax. The Government is providing additional funding for those working age residents receiving Council Tax Support to further reduce the Council Tax they have to pay.

Over nine thousand working age households living in North Tyneside who are in receipt of Council Tax Support will benefit from a reduction of up to £150.00 on their Council Tax bill.

58% of these will not have to pay any Council Tax for the financial year 2020/21, removing the worry of how to meet their Council Tax during these difficult times.

This additional support will automatically be granted and claimants do not need to make a claim. New Council Tax bills will be issued as soon as possible with the additional support applied.

Any Council Tax that is paid in April for those who do not need to pay anything will receive a refund.

If you currently do not claim Council Tax Support and you are on a low income, you should check whether you are entitled to claim by using the online calculator and submitting a claim.

Support for residents

Redeploying our staff

Our staff are being retrained and redeployed to help maintain critical services across the borough.

As part of our response to the crisis, we have carried out a skills audit to determine how and where the workforce could be redeployed to provide invaluable frontline support and keep essential services running.

We are also deploying staff to voluntarily lend a hand at The Bay Foodbank, in North Shields, as part of its efforts to help shield vulnerable residents.

Read about why Jack Dodds, 18, has decided to retrain as a bin collector here.

Employment and financial support

The Government has announced a number of measures to support people. You can find out more here.

Employment and skills

Find out more about how our Employment and skills team can help you.

 

Domestic abuse support

We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse.

We want you to know that we are continuing to offer support to domestic abuse victims, where possible this will be over the phone or online. 

Find out more about domestic abuse support.

Supporting local businesses

We have created a page dedicated to all the latest guidance and information for businesses announced by the UK Government on the North Tyneside Business Forum website here.

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Information on the support for businesses can be found on the gov.uk website.

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses can be found on the gov.uk website

For information on the Small Business Grant Funding & Business Rates Holidays, please visit the business rates section.

Practical Business Advice

For practical business advice in North Tyneside, register to join North Tyneside Business Forum for free or follow them on social media. Information will be going out first through these channels to businesses across the borough.

National Trading Standards’ Business Against Scheme (https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/BAS) provides advice on how not fall victim to fraud.

Business Support

The Business Factory in North Shields is closed.

However, friendly business advisers from the North Tyneside Business Factory are on hand to help. 

The North Tyneside Business Factory has also launched a Business Helpline staffed by a qualified business adviser.

The helpline is available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on (0191) 516 6699. Messages will be taken out of hours and a return call made the next morning.

For access to The Business Factory’s Business Start up & Growth support plus access to specialist consultants visit www.businessfactorynt.co.uk.

Now is also an ideal time to try out the Business Factory Online service.

We would urge you to sign up now, if you haven't already, so you can use the hundreds of guidance documents, videos and templates. It takes just a few minutes to register and you’ll have access to everything.

 

 

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

Businesses that are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief can now access a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors can access support through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) which provides:

  • £10,000 for those businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000 or
  • £25,000 for those businesses with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000.

Apply now

Please do not use this application form to apply for the recently announced Discretionary Grant Fund, a new application form will be released in due course.  

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

This is an additional fund to the Small Business & Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Fund which is aimed at businesses who do not qualify for the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, which have relatively high, ongoing, fixed property-related costs, and which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

An online application form is available.

Download further guidance which outlines eligibility criteria, evidence requirements and information for applications below

Related documents

Private landlords and renters

Information for renters and landlords can be found here.

Information for the self employed

Find info about income support for the self employed on the gov.uk website

There's also FAQs about the scheme

Visiting or working in social or community care and residential settings

The latest guidance for social or community care and residential settings is available on the Government website.

People visiting or working in social or community care and residential settings should follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds;
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work;
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze;
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards;
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell;
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Visit the NHS website for more hygiene and prevention advice.

Info for Adult Social Care customers and providers

Travel

For up to date info about travel take a look at the Nexus website

Contact us

If you need to get in touch by phone you can call (0345) 200 0101.

Accessibility

Information on Coronavirus in additional formats and languages

 

Public Health England have published easy read guides on:

Guidance in other languages including: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu:

The Prime Minister’s letter has also been published in easy read, other languages and large print:

For guidance in British Sign Language (BSL):

  • Signhealth are producing videos explaining the latest information and health advice in BSL. New videos are being uploaded as information becomes available.
  • Daily updates from the Government are also available with BSL interpretation at 5pm on BBC 107 or 231 and on BBC i-player.
  • Advice for the parents of Deaf children can be found here from the National Deaf Children’s Society
  • Coronavirus: stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives in BSL - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSc8SvAhaHo

For Blind people and people with sight loss:

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is publishing it’s latest Covid-19 news and guides  

The following government documents are also available in large print:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Urgent Needs

The Department for Health and Social Care are putting in place a new website allowing the health and care system to order from a central inventory, expected to come on stream in the coming weeks.

Until this is in place items of PPE will be delivered to Northumbria Local Resilience Forum (NLRF) so it can support local providers to respond to urgent shortages based on clinical need. This supply will only cover a short amount of time (days).

The PPE stock to Local Resilience Forums (LRF) is to be distributed only where there is a clear and pressing need and in line with the latest clinical guidance - COVID-19 - personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance.

Please note, there is still an expectation that providers will collaborate with each other to assist in the provision of PPE and that the above route is for emergency provision only. The above route should only be used when there is an immediate need.

This PPE is intended to support:

  • Urgent need in vital services, where service providers have explored their usual routes for PPE and there remains an urgent need for additional stock
  • Those who currently have close, unavoidable contact with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases, including highly vulnerable groups. This includes adult social care (including care homes, personal assistants, home care, and supported living), hospices and palliative care, prison hospitals and local authority adult social care services for Covid-19 vulnerable groups
  • Those that can outline their needs in line with the latest clinical guidance. This stock should not be distributed to organisations who cannot demonstrate that they meet the latest clinical guidance

Local services should make every effort to redesign services to minimise the number of frontline workers in close contact with symptomatic people.

The following emergency PPE arrangements are in place. For those providers experiencing an emergency problem and needs access to this service can make contact through the following:

In order to request PPE please complete this form.

The delivery will be shipped with whatever products can be fulfilled (for example, partial fulfilment). The delivery will not be delayed waiting for any additional items to be in stock. Once a delivery has been shipped your request will be closed.

Please note that raising a request does not guarantee that it can be resolved immediately.

The PPE provided to the LRFs is not expected to be used for NHS Acute Trusts or Ambulance Trusts as they are already being supplied via the NHS. Please see guidance for NHS below.

National Supply Disruption Response

The National Supply Disruption Response can pick up emergency needs and supply small kits.

Providers who have an urgent requirement for PPE, which they are unable to secure through their business as usual channels should contact the NSDR via the 24/7 helpline: 0800 915 9964 (Freephone number in the UK).

The NSDR is focussed on fulfilment of emergency requests, e.g. where PPE is required in less than 72 hours.

Related documents