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Issue 15: 7 July 2020

Latest Updates on Salford Council's response to the COVID-19 outbreak

£1.57 billion investment to protect cultural, arts and heritage institutions

Cultural and heritage organisations to be protected with £1.57 billion support package.

Ministers have announced funding to support the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans. Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Funding will also be provided to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic.

The government is finalising guidance for a phased return of the performing arts sectors that will be published shortly.

Government recovery strategy – A new deal for Britain

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the first steps in the strategy to rebuild Britain and fuel economic recovery across the UK.

These included bringing forward capital spend of £5bn, on infrastructure projects such as hospital maintenance, school rebuilding and repairs plus road network schemes.

Plans to improve support to house building were also announced and a policy paper on reform of the planning system will be launched this month.

The Chancellor will unveil more of this plan this week, and the Government will use the forthcoming Spending Review and Autumn Budget to set the direction for the rest of this parliament.

PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES

Coronavirus Cases

Numbers of lab-confirmed positive cases (national, regional and local authority level) now include those identified by testing in all settings (pillars 1 and 2, where previously it only contained pillar 1). Due to this change many cases previously not attributed to any area are now included in area totals. This is not a recent surge in cases – the cases now being reported occurred from April onwards. Salford’s positive test remain static at between 1 – 5 a day and has been the case for some time.  As of Sunday 5 July, 1,306 people in Salford have tested positive for coronavirus.

Up to date personalised information on Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 testing is the minimum needed to ensure we can effectively respond to the virus locally.   Information was only shared with our Director of Public Health for the first time on 29 June, and only for positive tests.  Information on confirmed cases was only received for the first time on 2 July. 

Even now the information falls far short of what we need to effectively prevent the spread of the virus and potential outbreaks.  Leaders across Greater Manchester are lobbying Government to ensure our Directors of Public Health have the relevant, accurate and timely information they need to manage the virus locally.

Testing

Individual risk assessment has been adopted by the council and partners in Salford and will apply tofrontline workers in Salford, and including those of BAME background and those with a health condition or additional risk factors.  Training has been rolled out to Salford City Council employees and work continues to set up health checks for frontline health and care workers. It is hoped that this will be extended to other frontline staff who cannot socially distance, and to volunteers. Other areas of GM are keen to adopt this approach.

KEY SERVICE UPDATES

A full list of information about council services and access by the public can be found at council services information.

Spirit of Salford network

As of 3 July, the hotline has received 11,781 telephone calls, along with 1,482 requests for support from the website. There have been over 3,200 food boxes delivered.

Salford’s COVID-19 outbreak management plan

Salford’s COVID-19 outbreak management plan is available on the city council website. The Plan sits alongside the Salford emergency response and recovery plan and provides additional clarity on the specific additional measures in place given the unprecedented scope and health, social and economic impacts of coronavirus.

Strong collaboration and partnership working sits at the heart of our plan, including collaboration with other local authorities and health partners across Greater Manchester – our local Salford plan sits within a framework alongside the GM COVID-19 outbreak management plan, the GM multi-agency outbreak plan, and the GM multi-agency generic response plan – together these set out how GM will support localities in delivering their health protection responsibilities.

GREATER MANCHESTER

Emergency active travel schemes phase 1 allocation

Allocations for emergency travel scheme grant funding have been published. The funding is to support local transport authorities to produce cycling and walking facilities and is in 2 tranches:

  • tranche 1 supports the installation of temporary projects for the COVID-19 pandemic
  • tranche 2 the creation of longer-term projects

The funding was initially announced 23 May. The final allocation for Phase 1 was published on 2 July.

Name

Final allocation

phase 1 (£)

Indicative allocation

phase 2 (£)

Greater Manchester CA

3,174,000

GOVERNMENT

Support package for councils

Government has announced a major new support package to help councils respond to coronavirus. Councils in England will receive a further £500 million to respond to spending pressures they are facing.

This funding has not been ringfenced. In addition, a new scheme will also help to reimburse lost income during the pandemic and boost cash flow. Where losses are more than 5% of a council’s planned income from sales, fees and charges, the government will cover them for 75p in every pound lost. The government is also bringing in changes so that councils can spread their tax deficits over three years rather than the usual one.

This comprehensive support includes:

  • £3.2 billion of new funding to councils
  • £600 million to adult social care to support providers through a new infection control fund
  • Over £20 billion in support for businesses
  • £500 million in council tax hardship funds to offer economic support to the most vulnerable
  • £300 million to support track and trace

Guidance for schools

The Department for Education has announced plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education at the start of the autumn term. Guidance has been published on what all schools will need to do during the coronavirus outbreak. Guidance has also been published for special educational settings to prepare for the return of pupils with special education needs and disability. The guidance provides specific advice on approaches for reducing the risk of transmission and other operational considerations that special educational settings should follow

Flexible furlough scheme

Businesses now have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time. The new scheme started 1 July as part of the government’s plan to re-open the UK and kick-start our economy.

Guidance on managing community centres

The Government has issued guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings.

Guidance for local government

Guidance for local authorities is available on gov.uk and is being updated as new guidance is issued. Recent updates include: Safe use of council buildings; Funding for emergency accommodation and support for EEA rough sleepers; Making traffic regulation orders; Reopening of public toilets; and Safe use of places of worship from 4 July.

£6m funding for services for veterans

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) and the MOD have announced that 100 Armed Forces charities will benefit from nearly £6million of extra funding to support serving personnel, veterans and their families during the coronavirus pandemic. Broughton House Home for Ex Service Men and Women is listed as one of the charities due to benefit.

CELEBRATIONS

Coronaquilt

As part of Refugee week 2020, Salford pupils were invited to join the EMTAS Coronaquilt Project-Imagine by making a  squareimage using collage, paint, drawing, photography or text on the theme of Imagine. When things feel stuck; when the old ways of doing things are no longer working, that’s what we need to do. In the era of Covid-19, the call to imagine feels more important than ever.

The response  was fantastic,  there were 199 entries across all age groups including 13 schools, Salford College and Salford Foyer. All entrants will receive a Salford Coronaquilt pen and additional prizes will be given for the best 3 entrants from each school. All schools who entered will also receive a poster of the quilt to display!

The project will be sent to The Lowry as part of the “Days like These” virtual exhibition.

Thank you to Public Health

A special thank you to all of our Public Health colleagues in Salford for all of the fantastic work they’ve done since the start of the pandemic. They have been instrumental in developing risk assessments and guidance, testing, implementing track and trace initiatives, supporting our high risk and vulnerable residents such as those living in care homes and have provided vital support for our schools making sure that they are safe and their knowledge and expertise throughout the past few months has been invaluable.