Coronavirus: The essential daily briefing for Cambridgeshire - March 20
Cambridgeshire County Council has released its second daily briefing with a round-up of any changes to its services.
The briefing for Friday, March 20, takes into account the latest government announcements.
Covid-19 coordination hub
A coordination hub has been launched across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to help those who are most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are calling on people across the county to get in touch if they can volunteer their time to help others in a coordinated effort which will offer safe support and reassurance county and city wide.
The COVID-19 coordination hub, staffed by council workers, will link those who volunteer with the over 70s and others who fall within the vulnerable groups listed by the Government who have been advised to self-isolate.
Conversations are continuing with education professionals, schools, early years and childcare settings, as a result of the recent government announcements. These conversations have included working with schools to create education packs and resources that will allow children to continue learning at home and online activity ideas for early years children.
The county council said: “We will support our most vulnerable pupils, and yesterday we wrote to our schools and settings to provide clear guidance to ensure procedures remain in place to protect our most vulnerable children, which may include deploying our own local authority staff where resource allows.”
Schools will cater for the children of key workers and the councils are closely monitoring the situation. Which schools will be open has yet to be announced. A list of key workers can be found here.
The council said: “We will continue to offer our support and guidance to schools and settings.”
Applications for parents/guardians applying for a school place for their child outside of the usual school applications times are closing for a minimum of four weeks. This will ensure priority is given to primary and secondary applications for September 2020.
Exceptional circumstances will be considered for families who have moved into Cambridgeshire or a child without a school place.
If you are applying for a school place for your child outside of the usual application times visit the county council website.
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council meetings next week have been cancelled in the absence of any emergency legislation from the government which allows for virtual council meetings.
Officers have formed a project group to consider the IT options for virtual meetings in anticipation of this legislation coming forward in the near future, so the authority is prepared to start meetings again as soon as it is legally able to do so.
Car parking in Peterborough
The city council has been working with its cashless parking provider PayByPhone and will be placing stickers on all council car park meters in the city, encouraging motorists to pay for their parking using contactless payments where possible.
The council is following government advice to safeguard people in vulnerable groups such as those over 70 or with underlying health conditions, while continuing to provide services to the community.
Those who can carry out their work from home have been advised to do so. Individuals in a critical or core service have been asked to liaise with their managers about how to continue to manage their work.
For vulnerable people, the authority is looking at whether some roles can be undertaken by colleagues through re-purposing or redeployment if necessary.
Prime Minister’s statement (from March 16)
“If you or anyone in your household has one of two key symptoms, a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, then you should stay at home for 14 days.
“That means that if possible you should not go out even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others.
“If necessary, you should ask for help from others for your daily necessities. And if that is not possible, then you should do what you can to limit your social contact when you leave the house to get supplies.
“Even if you don’t have symptoms and if no one in your household has symptoms, you should stop non-essential contact with others and stop all unnecessary travel.
“We need people to start working from home where they possibly can. You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues.
“We should all only use the NHS when we really need to. Please go online rather than ringing NHS 111.
“This advice is particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions.
“You can read the latest guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults, published on Monday 16 March, at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people.”
More by this authorGemma Gardner