We're working with voluntary and community organisations to provide a local response hub to ensure that help is provided to our district’s most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus crisis.
If you're concerned that you, a neighbour, family member or friend, will struggle during this time please call us on 01524 582000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will support you and direct you to the help you need. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday - 9am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday - 10am to 3pm. We are also contacting local residents that we believe may be categorised as ‘extremely vulnerable’ and require additional support.
If you're unable to contact us by telephone, there is also an online registration system for those who have a medical condition which makes them extremely vulnerable to coronavirus and need additional assistance: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.
What other help is available?
We're working with Morecambe Bay Foodbank to co-ordinate and deliver emergency food parcels to vulnerable people. A new website, lancasterdistrictcovid19.org.uk, has been created for agencies to refer someone for emergency food. If you need help, you can find the contact details of people and organisations who can refer you.
Other organisations that can offer help and support include:
- Hope Church in Lancaster is providing help and support and has also published a list of local businesses and organisations that are doing the same.
- The Olive Branch supports vulnerable local people and those who are socially disadvantaged.
- Stanley’s Community Centre in Harbour and Heysham North Wards are offering food delivery through their food club on a Tuesday evening as well as telephone support on 01524 410076.
- Marsh Community Centre is providing telephone support on 01524 843300 as well as food club services and distribution on Thursdays
- West End Impact are offering telephone support and advice on 01524 888929 or email email@example.com – they also offer takeaway food in Harbour / Heysham North on Thursdays and Sundays.
We have a dedicated Business Support Team on hand to offer advice and support to business owners. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
The government has put measures in place to support businesses through the Coronavirus crisis. These include the following, which are administered by the city council.
Other measures are being directly implemented by the government and you can find more information on the items listed below at GOV.UK
- Support for self employed workers
- Statutory Sick Pay - will be temporarily available to those who are advised to self-isolate and people caring for those within the same household who display coronavirus symptoms and have been told to self-isolate. A new style Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit will be available to those that are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the UK government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave
- Time to Pay upscaled - a dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - a new scheme delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £1.2m, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees (subject to a per lender cap on claims).This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses. - Please note this may take a few weeks to set up.
- Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
- Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.
- Large Business Support - a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
- Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme - The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
Information for food businesses
We are aware that informal networks of volunteers are being set up within the district.
- Lancaster district CVS is asking people to complete an online form to coordinate these efforts. If you’re able to offer support, please register your interest and someone will then be in touch to discuss your interest or your offer.
- If you can’t donate your time but would still like to help, an urgent appeal for financial donations has been launched. This is to help provide financial support for those organisations that are providing support for vulnerable people.
- Local foodbanks are also grateful for any donations you may be able to provide, particularly from any cafes and restaurants that have perishable stock that they need to dispose of.
Wherever possible people who are self-isolating are being encouraged to ask for help from family, friends, and neighbours. We would encourage everyone who can help others to let their family, friends and neighbours know if they are available and what they can do to help.
The type of help which could be offered includes:
- collecting and delivering shopping – leaving deliveries on the doorstep or safe place to avoid close physical contact
- suggesting local shopping options and trusted suppliers
- collecting and delivering prescriptions if you are the nominated person registered with the GP
- caring for pets
- regular social contact via telephone, FaceTime, skype calls or other methods that will avoid physical contact (offering to call your neighbour who can’t get out so they have someone to chat to on the phone could make all the difference)
- encouraging people to contact others in the same situation by linking people together
- delivering books and magazines or materials to support hobbies such as wool for knitting or art materials
- reassuring people with accurate and up to date advice and information
- signposting people to other sources of help if needed
At present, there are no anticipated change in the paying of council tax, however, if you’re struggling to pay your council tax due to a change of circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic we have a number of ways we can help, including restructuring your payments. You can do this simply by emailing email@example.com and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss the options available to you.
We also offer a council tax support scheme for eligible residents and those that qualify may receive up to 100% support in paying their bills. You will need to fill an online application form, and provide your income details.
Please contact us on 01524 582965 should you require any assistance with claiming Council Tax Support.
Please note: Anyone with council tax Direct Debits due to go out on 1st April will notice that they haven’t yet been taken. They’ll be processed on 3rd April instead. We’re dealing with an unprecedented level of changes of circumstances and this will allow us to process more, minimising the risk of errors.
We're working hard to ensure there is as little impact on our services as possible.
Our waste and recycling crews are working hard to ensure that our bin collection service continues to run as normal. One way you can help them is by ensuring that your bins and boxes (including garden waste if you have subscribed to the service) are out on the kerbside by 7am on collection day.
Help protect your collection crews
You can help protect the bin collection crew by following government guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste.
Excess recyclable household waste
Now that residents are able to recycle more household items than ever, you may find your recycling boxes are fuller than normal.
Remember to ‘wash and squash’ your tins and plastics to reduce the amount of space they take up in your boxes. Additional recyclable items can be put out in other containers including storage boxes, strong cardboard boxes, buckets or double bagged in carrier bags. You should ensure where possible that glass is stored safely in the recycling boxes provided by the council.
As a reminder, recyclable household items now include most plastics such yogurt pots, margarine tubs, and meat, fruit and vegetable trays of any shape or colour, along with their lids. In fact, anything with a number 1, 2 or 5 within the recycling triangle can go into your recycling bin. You’ll find a full list at lancaster.gov.uk/recycling
Non-recyclable waste (landfill)
Now that the majority of household waste can be recycled, residents shouldn’t have any problems storing non-recyclable household items in their grey landfill wheelie bins. Household waste is the waste you would normally produce through food waste and non-recyclable packaging and personal products. If for whatever reason you do have excess non-recyclable waste, for a short period only, householders can leave out no more than two black bags of household waste at the side of their wheelie bin for collection. Anything in excess of this will not be collected.
Bulky household waste
Following the recent closure of Lancashire County Council’s household waste recycling centres, the council is asking householders to avoid large DIY projects, clear outs and other waste generating activities unless they have space to store the waste until they can dispose of it legitimately.
Alternatively, you could contact the council’s bulky household waste disposal service, Bulky Matters to dispose of your larger items.
The service continues to run with the following restrictions:
- Operational Monday to Fridays - 9am – 5pm
- Collections of goods will be from outside of the property only (end of driveway). Staff will not enter the property at this time
- Staff will maintain a 2m self-distancing protocol from all residents
Arranging a collection
To arrange a collection call customer services on 01524 582491. More information on the service can be found at lancaster.gov.uk/bulkymatters
Don’t forget that being involved in dumping waste illegally is a serious criminal offence which can carry a hefty fine or prison sentence of up to five years.
Trade waste and recycling collection service
If you’re a customer of the council’s trade waste and recycling collection service and you wish to have your collections suspended at this time, you should contact the council on 01524 582415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. This will ensure that payments for the service and visits to your business are cancelled until further notice.
Following advice from central government, the following council buildings and facilities are closed to the public until futher notice:
- The Platform - closed until 16 May at the earliest. Call 01524 582803 (Mondays & Tuesdays 10am-3pm) for refunds.
- Williamson Park - cafe, shop and zoo
- Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - If you are a current member and have any questions or queries about your membership, please contact email@example.com
- Museums (City, Maritime and Cottage). You can still get your history 'fix' with free online virtual tours of famous museums, online history lessons, and the ultimate Lancashire quiz.
- White Lund Garden Centre
- The Storey – Printroom café and all public meeting spaces will be closed until further notice. Tenants are not affected.
- Citylab - public meeting rooms. Tenants are not affected.
- Visitor Information Centres
- Lancaster and Morecambe town halls – Customer service centres are now closed. Please telephone 01524 582000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Festival Market,
- Charter Market
- Assembly Rooms
- Arnside and Silverdale AONB – The offices will be closed to the public until further notice.
Our parks remain open for people to use for their one hour of exercise. However, please observe the regulations on essential travel and only use them if they are your nearest facility - do not make a special trip. Please also observe social distancing and keep two metresapart.
Our homeless outreach team has been stepping up its patrols to encourage anyone found sleeping rough to realise the danger they’re putting themselves in of contracting coronavirus by refusing the offer of shelter.
As is the case all year around, the help on offer includes getting access to a range of accommodation along with specialist support and the best possible chance of getting off the streets for good.
The council and its partners have been successful recently in supporting a number rough sleepers into accommodation, including supported housing, social housing and bed and breakfasts, along with the provision of starter packs and essential food supplies to help them settle in.
In addition to linking people to specialist support the council, alongside social agencies and faith groups, is making sure rough sleepers remain looked after at this time.
If you want to help the city’s most vulnerable people at this time, the best thing you can do is to support the official urgent response fund for Lancaster District via www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/coronavirus. This has been set up to help provide financial assistance for those organisations that are supporting vulnerable people.
Anyone worried about someone who might be rough sleeping and not known to the council, can report this in the following ways:
- Call 01524 582257 during office hours (9am – 5pm - Monday to Friday)
- Out of office hours and weekends call 01524 67099
- Email email@example.com
- Via StreetLink’s 24/7 phone line 0300 500 0914 or online at www.streetlink.org.uk
Anyone who thinks they may be in danger of becoming homeless should contact the council as soon as possible using the same number and email address. A member of its housing options team will be available to help them take preventative measures to avoid becoming homeless.
- Age UK Lancashire - Email Telephone: 0300 303 1234
- Carers UK - Find your local carers organisations at www.carersuk.org/local-support
- Citizens Advice - North Lancashire Email Telphone: 03444 889 622 (advice line) 01524 400404 Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
- Social Ease - Email
- Cancer Care - Email Telephone: 01524 381820
- Victim Support (domestic abuse)
- St John's Hospice Telephone: 01524 382538
- Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust
- Mental Health Resources in Lancashire & South Cumbria (PDF, 725KB)
- NHS Telephone: 111
- Public Health England
- Alzheimer's Association - tips for caregivers
- Samaritans - Email Telephone: 116123 (Free)
- Mind - Email Telephone: 0300 123 3393 Text: 86463
- Frank: Drug & Alcohol Support Telephone: 0300 123 6600
- Diabetes UK
- British Heart Foundation
- British Lung Foundation
- Kidney Care UK
- Stroke Association
- Parkinsons UK
- BEAT Eating Disorders
- Big White Wall - counselling for over 18s
- Kooth - counselling for under 18s
Guidance from central government
- Guidance on supporting mental health of children & young people
- Guidance on social distancing
- Guidance on sheilding and protecting vulnerable people
- Guidance for households with possible infection
- Coronavirus FAQs
- Coronavirus Fact Sheet for Children
- GOV.UK WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service - To use the service, members of the public simply need to add +44 7860 064422 to their contacts and send a WhatsApp message saying “Hi”
The Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner election, due to take place on Thursday 7th May, has been postponed until 2021.
All of our cemetery grounds remain open as usual. We welcome visitors to our grounds, but ask that they observe and practice social distancing guidelines as in any public space. There are some changes with regard to funeral services, which will be advised at the time of booking a funeral.
- Customer Services
Telephone - 01524 582000 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm. Sat - Sun, 10am - 3pm - please note weekend support is for emergencies only)
- Business Support Team
- Council Housing
Telephone: 01524 582929
- Council Tax
Telephone: 01524 582900 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm)
- Homelessness & Rough Sleepers (to report a rough sleeper)
Call 01524 582257 during office hours (9am – 5pm - Monday to Friday)
Out of office hours and weekends call 01524 67099
Via StreetLink’s 24/7 phone line 0300 500 0914 or online at www.streetlink.org.uk
- Social Media
We know that there is a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm that exists in our communities and we would very much welcome your ideas and offers of help, and we have set up a dedicated email you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember to follow the latest advice from the government:
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
- If you go out, stay two metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Do not meet others, even friends or family. Remember that you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
Signs and symptoms
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature
If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for seven days from when your symptoms started.
To avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
- 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
Last updated: 06 April 2020