COVID-19 Cambridgeshire County Council Updates

Thursday 9th April 2020

Countywide Covid-19 Coordination Hub – Bank Holiday weekend availability

The Countywide Covid-19 Coordination Hub will be open as usual – every day except Sunday – over the Bank Holiday weekend as follows: Friday and Monday (8am to 6pm) and Saturday (9am to 1pm). Some City/District Coordination Hubs may be closed over the weekend, so please check your local council’s website for information.

To help manage demand, staff will be taking emergency calls only on 0345 045 5219.

Non-urgent contact can be made via the online portals, which can be found 24/7 at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus

Dr Liz Robin vlog about staying home at Easter

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, reminds us that it is essential to follow the stay at home rules this Easter Bank Holiday weekend, to keep the social distancing measures working, and to be aware of people trying to play on our fears at this challenging time by sharing fake news.

Click here to watch today’s video blog.

Schools continue to support free school meals over the Easter period

Children who qualify for free school meals will now be covered during the Easter period, thanks to a voucher scheme announced by the Government yesterday.

The scheme, which was initially introduced to cover term times, will now be extended to ensure eligible families are supported over the two-week Easter period, and will be in place regardless of whether a school is open or not.

Education leads, working across Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Council, have been working with schools to determine the best way to apply the scheme so that it offers the best support for their local families. In some instances, this may be in the form of packed lunches, food parcels, or providing parents with vouchers to use at a number of local supermarkets.

Families who have not been deemed eligible for free school meals in the past may now be able to apply, if their circumstances have changed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Families who are currently in receipt of free school meals do not need to reapply.

Parents who are already eligible for free school meals should contact their school directly for further information.

Parents who are not already claiming free school meals should:

  • Check they are eligible for free school meals on our Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • If they are eligible:
    • Cambridgeshire – Parents can complete an online application for an instant response
    • Peterborough – If you have any queries in relation to free school meals entitlement please speak to child’s school who will be able to advise you.

Coronavirus response– practical general guidance on what councils can do at a local level

As we all know, local councils are limited in their powers and in how they can assist with the relief efforts. Generally speaking, local councils can rely on s.137 of the Local Government Act 1972 to make grants to groups assisting with the response (e.g. to foodbanks and other local charities or voluntary groups) subject to the s.137 criteria or, if eligible, do so under the general power of competence.

Already existing organisations will be able to identify where food and essentials are best directed and to the most vulnerable and donating to such groups helps to avoid unnecessary duplication. Getting involved in this way also highlights the important role of a local council within the community.

If there are no such groups known to a council, Facebook can assist as well as principal authority webpages and local MPs – they may already be working with relevant groups and organisations. An example can be found here of local councils seeking volunteer groups to assist: https://www.lep.co.uk/health/appeal-local-coronavirus-community-help-groups-contact-longridge-town-council-2506543

Individual councillors of course do things to help their communities, Many are running alternative schemes to assist their local communities, for example: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/24/its-a-community-effort-wiltshire-villagers-unite-against-coronavirus-isolation

Cambridgeshire online library services prove popular during Covid-19

While Cambridgeshire library buildings are closed, our library service is still very much open to all in the digital world.

More people than ever before are accessing the online offerings and social media channels, with over 39,000 reaching out to its Facebook page in the last week alone (an increase of 522 per cent). The library online events timetable has also been viewed by over 10,000 people and due to demand the service has created a weekly online rhyme-time, daily Twitterchats and webinars from the Business&IP Centre.

Also, for the very first time, library members can access Ancestry and Find My Past from home – a time limited offer available from these companies throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

Digital library services also include: eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks and eNewspapers to download, all free of charge. The benefits of reading in terms of wellbeing, relaxation, entertainment and education are well known. Subjects include meditation, relaxation, gardening, cookery as well as fiction for adults and children. Find out more online.

Advice to combat distraction burglaries

We’re urging residents to be alert following reports of distraction burglaries in recent weeks.

On 24 March a distraction burglary took place on Worcester Road, Wisbech. A woman fraudulently gained entry to an elderly man’s home by using his granddaughter’s name. She asked for cash for a bus but was stopped by a member of the man’s family.

On 3 April two women entered a home in Southwell Road, Wisbech, pretending to be nurses who needed to check the elderly resident’s paperwork. Once they left, the victim realised they had stolen her purse containing bank cards.

Also on 3 April a distraction burglary took place in Dogsthorpe, Peterborough. A man let himself in with the victim believing he was a carer for her husband. The man’s female accomplice then stole the victim’s purse while he distracted her.

Since the lockdown started on 23 March there have been five similar incidents across the county. Distraction burglars use dishonest tactics to trick their way into homes to steal money or valuables. In light of the current situation we are urging members of the public to be even more wary of letting people into their homes.

To reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a distraction burglar or rogue trader, always remember:

  • LOCK – Is your back door locked? If not, lock it before you answer the front door as distraction burglars often work in pairs – one distracts, while the other steals. STOP – Are you expecting anybody?
  • CHAIN – Put this on before you open the door. If you have not got one, it is a worthwhile investment.  It will give you that extra ‘safe space’ and barrier between you and the caller.
  • CHECK – Ask for their identification card, take it and look at it carefully. Close the door and check the number in the phone book – not the number on the card.  If they are genuine they will not mind waiting or coming back another day.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should call police on 101 or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Call 999 for live incidents where the distraction burglar is still at the property, or is due to return.

For more information on distraction burglaries please contact Crime Reduction Officers Amanda Large on 07872 3577868 or Helen O’Driscoll on 07736 085238.

Local schools produce more protective equipment for frontline workers

Following on from the news that Jack Hunt School in Peterborough recently put their design and technology skills to the test, by producing and distributing more than 650 protective visors for local NHS hospital staff, other schools have got involved.

Arthur Mellows Village College in Glinton, Peterborough, has also produced visors, which are now being used in a local GP practice and pharmacy. This work was organised and undertaken by Scott Dewdney and Tom Chegwidden at the college.

The college’s art and textile teachers, Lisa Mitchell and Hanna Senior wondered how they could help nurses – so they put their heads together and have so far produced 100 headbands to alleviate nurses’ sore ears.

The teachers have also set up a group on Facebook for fellow sewing bees and have signed up volunteers across the country.

They show no sign of stopping yet, they have now received requests from over 10 NHS hospitals, alongside multiple private health care providers, for both headbands and laundry bags.

They have received donations from local fabric shops and have teamed up with Casterton College which has been printing 3D buttons.

Wednesday 8th April 2020

Countywide Covid-19 Coordination Hub – Bank Holiday weekend availability

The Countywide Covid-19 Coordination Hub will be open as usual – every day except Sunday – over the Bank Holiday weekend as follows: Friday and Monday (8am to 6pm) and Saturday (9am to 1pm). Some City/District Coordination Hubs may be closed over the weekend, so please check your local council’s website for information.

To help manage demand, staff will be taking emergency calls only on 0345 045 5219.

Non-urgent contact can be made via the online portals  which can be found 24/7 at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus

School and Early Years Settings continue supporting children over Easter

The number of children attending our Cambridgeshire and Peterborough schools continues to fall, with parents following government advice – to keep children at home where safe to do so.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been working closely with their schools and early years settings to help identify need, and a number of them will remain open over the Easter period to ensure our vulnerable and critical worker children are cared for.

However, if you’re a key worker or have vulnerable children or anyone you know has and they’re struggling to find childcare provision over the Easter period you can contact the Council’s Family Information Service, who are keeping track of available options.

In Cambridgeshire – you can call the team weekdays between 9am-5pm on: 0345 045 1360. On Good Friday and Easter Monday, please contact earlyyears.service@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

In Peterborough – you can access the service online

County Council employee redeployed as part of Coordination Hub scheme

A network of COVID-19 Coordination and Response Hubs has been launched across Cambridgeshire to ensure that everyone who needs our help and support at this incredibly difficult time receives it. This includes the countywide coordination hub, which is focussed on supporting residents who have been identified as being at the highest risk. It involves staff being redeployed to critical services across the public sector, such as care for older people.

Tara has worked for the Cambridgeshire County Council HR department since December 2017, but has recently been redeployed to the reablement service team.

As part of her new role, she visits vulnerable residents at lunch and dinner times to check they are well and assist with providing any help they may need.

Tara said: “On my first shift I shadowed a colleague and we did some lunch calls – visiting vulnerable people at home and making sure they’re okay, they’re hydrated and that they’ve got food. It’s also just really important that they have someone to speak to. For some people, we might be the only faces they see all day – especially now with the lockdown restrictions.

“The people I’ve visited so far have been absolutely brilliant. They’re always up for a chat about their grandchildren, or what they used to do for work – they’ll talk to us about all sorts.

“I was nervous before I started. Partly because I’ve never done anything like this before, but partly because these are vulnerable people and you want to help and make things better for them. But the training I received was fantastic and I’ve learnt so many good skills which will be with me for a long time.”

People in the “shielded” category should not generally be meeting other people face to face, but staff are working in strict accordance with Government guidelines and wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) when on shift, including a face mask, gloves and pinafore apron.

Normally, reablement is a service that provides care and support to adults living in the community. It delivers a programme of time limited, reablement intervention to enable individuals to increase their confidence and ability to live as independently as possible within their everyday environment and community network.

During the COVID 19 outbreak, the reablement service is ensuring that they help to deliver care and support to those people who need it most.

If you want to volunteer and help your community find out more here

College meals for the vulnerable in Peterborough

Dedicated staff at City College Peterborough are supporting the community by rustling up delicious hot dishes and delivering them to vulnerable residents and homeless people.

A team at the college’s Brook Street campus have been busy using their catering facilities and vans to help those in need.

They’ve cooked meals including Beef Stew, Quorn shepherd’s pie and fish and chips while keeping the correct social distance apart from each other and ensuring the meals are delivered hot.

Pat Carrington, the college’s executive principal, said: “I’m really proud of the team – they’ve been fantastic and become a real well-oiled machine! They’re now in their second week of making hot meals – on their first day they made 20 but now they’ve got into a real rhythm and are making and delivering around 150 hot meals and 70 sandwich lunches a day – it’s an incredible effort.”

The City College also lent one of their chefs to help out at The Phoenix School when they were struggling due to staff sickness.

Meanwhile, college staff who are working from home have been busy creating online training programmes designed for people about to start care work or volunteering.

Pupils at St Laurence Primary send hope to all

St Laurence Catholic Primary School in Cambridge are just one example of our schools going the extra mile to support local children.

Despite pupil numbers dropping over the last week, a reduced staff crew at the school remain committed to support those in attendance. The low numbers hasn’t held back their creativity, with a hope rainbow now proudly adorning one of their windows.

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Peterborough – https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/healthcare/public-health/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services

Cambridgeshire – https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Tuesday 7th April 2020

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough leaders send their best wishes to the PM

Following last night’s admission of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intensive care after his Coronavirus symptoms worsened, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough leaders have extended their best wishes to the Prime Minister and his family.

Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We are all thinking of the Prime Minister and his family. I’m sure he will be heartened to see all the messages of support that have gathered online overnight when he makes a full recovery.”

Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “Like many of us, I was shocked when I heard the news last night that Boris Johnson’s symptoms had worsened. My thoughts and prayers are with the Prime Minister and his family and I wish him a full recovery.”

New £5m Communities Capital Fund to help Cambridgeshire community-led projects

A new £5m fund aimed at creating opportunities and improving lives and skills across Cambridgeshire has been launched by Cambridgeshire County Council today (Tuesday, 7 April).

The Communities Capital Fund will support projects that will make positive changes in the community, bringing people together and meeting the priorities that matter most to local people.

Grants of up to £500,000 are available to support community-led projects which improve the health, wellbeing, social and economic opportunities and outcomes in communities.

Projects will need to show how they will:

  • Bring people together and involve them in the design and implementation
  • Improve local places and spaces that are important to communities
  • Help to address local priorities e.g. increasing skills, reducing loneliness, improving physical and mental health
  • Improve access to new or existing services or activities e.g. sports, leisure, education
  • Demonstrate match funding – this include in kind contributions, land transfer etc
  • Minimise any potential impact on carbon emissions

The fund is open to any voluntary, community organisation or social enterprise alongside public bodies such as district, parish and town Councils, schools or any other organisation that can demonstrate how their project will benefit Cambridgeshire residents. Applications can relate to buildings, land, vehicles, equipment or any other capital related item.

The Communities Capital Fund was announced by Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Councillor Steve Count as part of the 20/21 Budget in February and its rollout will be overseen by the council’s Communities and Partnership Committee.

Community organisations that wish to submit an application must do so through their county councillor or community champion to ensure that projects meets with the strategic aims of the council and will add real value to local communities.

“We want to encourage bids for projects which will help to fill gaps in provision or service, and where the community wants some support to help them take the lead in meeting local need. For example, we want this fund to help more rural communities to have the same opportunities to engage with services or activities that more urban places already enjoy,” said Cllr Steve Criswell, Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities and Partnerships Committee.

Further details of the Communities Capital Fund are available on the Cambridgeshire County Council website.

Dr Liz Robin vlog about staying home this Easter

Today Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, reminds us that the national ‘Stay at Home’ rules need to be stuck to and shares details of the Councils’ ‘Stay at Home this Easter’ campaign – launched yesterday on Facebook and Twitter – to provide ideas of things to do at home and encourage us all to try something new.

Click here to watch today’s video blog.

Volunteers build protective screen in post office

A local community and volunteer group has pulled together to keep a vital village post office open during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sawtry Post Office was due to close last week over safety concerns for its staff and customers.

After hearing the news, the Sawtry Covid-19 action group and Councillor Simon Bywater decided what was needed was a Perspex screen on the counter to protect individuals and allow the post office to remain open.

They contacted the directors of local engineering company Spirotech, brothers Russell and Dave Gadsby, who provided the materials they needed.

The team from Spirotech worked to build the protective screen and the post office has remained open and continues to provide services for local residents. They then did the same at Boots pharmacy and have started work at another local shop, John Greens Newsagent.

Councillor Simon Bywater, at Cambridgeshire County Council and local member for Sawtry and Stilton, said: “If the post office had closed it wouldn’t have only affected Sawtry, but all the villages around it too. Russell and David have been very generous in their support for the village and I want to say thank you on behalf of the community.”

Director of Spirotech, Russell Gadsby, said: “We’re part of this community and wanted to do our bit so we’re only too happy to help.

“We’re so pleased the post office has managed to remain open, particularly as lots of people in the community rely so heavily on it.”

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough prepare for temporary mortuary facility following coronavirus outbreak

Work has begun on preparing to site a temporary mortuary facility at Marshall Aerospace and Defence in Cambridge, if existing provision is not sufficient due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Marshall Aerospace and Defence has given us one of its hangers as a temporary facility and work will start on Wednesday (8 April) to ensure the facility is ready if needed.

Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Cllr Steve Count said: “Local authorities have a duty to ensure that temporary mortuary facilities are available, and while we hope we don’t have to use them, we have to be ready.

“We’re grateful to Marshall Aerospace and Defence in playing their part in helping us deal with this emergency situation and we really appreciate them coming forward in this way.”

The facility will be a pre-fabricated building inside the hangar and will only be used by funeral directors and those looking after the site and run to the highest standards. There will be no public access or post mortem activity taking place at the site.

Houghton Primary share Easter joy

Staff at Houghton Primary School have put their own needs aside to help families whose lives have been affected by the lockdown.

The school became aware that some families of students who are not in receipt of free school meals were beginning to struggle because the Covid-19 outbreak has meant some parents are no longer able to work.

Following a plea in a closed staff Facebook group, donations of food flooded in, enabling staff to put together food packages for help families over the Easter period. A member of staff’s husband even made a special trip to the supermarket to get fresh food to donate to the packages.

Georgina Young, head teacher at Houghton Primary School, said: “I’m so proud of the amazing team we have at Houghton Primary School. None of our staff want any of our students or their families to struggle over Easter, particularly at what is usually a time of celebration. We want to do what we can for those families whose circumstances have changed since the Coronavirus outbreak began, and I know our food parcels will be well appreciated. On behalf of our school can I wish all our students, parents and staff a happy and safe Easter.”

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Monday 6th April 2020

Additional donations of vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to NHS frontline staff

A donation of additional PPE, including visors and thousands of protective masks, is being given to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough hospitals to help frontline staff stay safe during the fight against coronavirus, from two entirely difference sources.

Schools across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are using their Design and Technology Departments to make basic facial PPE visors for NHS staff.

Jack Hunt School and Arthur Mellows schools have already started making and delivering more than 650 protective visors to assist key workers and emergency services as they take to the frontline in hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes. The visors are already in use in Peterborough Hospital.

And a further 12,000 masks are being donated from China this week,  as a result of contacts made by Cambridgeshire County Council leader Cllr Steve Count, who over the past few years has been working  to build links between foreign investors in China and businesses in the county.

Cllr Count, and County Council chief executive Gillian Beasley have been working closely with Martin Garrett of Cambridge Cleantech and Dr Chenguang Sun from UK Cambridge Education Centre  to develop a strategic agreement which encourages local companies and investors to collaborate with Chinese companies and investors and vice versa – boosting economic opportunities for Cambridgeshire. And it was thanks to Dr Sun’s direct intervention that the additional donation is being made to help the county’s battle against the disease.

The donations from China – which are most useful in clinical settings – are being passed onto Addenbrooke’s Hospital. They will then be distributed to frontline staff and medical professionals battling Covid-19.

Cllr Steve Count, Leader at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I am extremely grateful and thankful to our Chinese partners – and particularly Dr Chenguang Sun for his support in sourcing and donating 12,000 masks which will help to protect our incredible staff and NHS workers.

“The masks will be a welcome addition to those already being used across our health and social care system, and we are making sure they get to the services that need them as quickly as possible.”

Local doctors advise residents to stay in this Easter

Local medical and health experts have joined forces to tell the public that we can beat coronavirus if we stick to the battle plan.

 With Easter just round the corner and summer on its way, many people may want to start seeing family and friends again.

But to successfully tackle the virus, the doctors say we must continue following advice by staying at home and practicing social distancing.

Feature versions

  • CUH – Cambridge, East Cambs and South Cambs click here
  • Hinchingbrooke – Hunts and Fenland click here
  • Peterborough City Hospital –  click here

Schools helping ensure our vulnerable children can continue learning

Cavalry Primary School in March and William de Yaxley Church of England Academy in Yaxley have been going above and beyond to ensure some of our most vulnerable children can still attend school.

Staff at Cavalry Primary School have worked with the local authority to continue supporting pupils who are particularly vulnerable, whilst the option of moving them to a more specialist setting is explored.

William de Yaxley Church of England Academy, part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust, have also opened their doors to support vulnerable students who don’t currently attend the school. With the agreement of the Academy Trust, staff offered to educate students who would otherwise be supported at a school entirely unfamiliar to them during the outbreak, to ensure that they could keep on learning in a place that is familiar.

Graeme Hull, SEN Casework Officer at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “It’s so important that vulnerable children and those with additional needs are not forgotten. Cavalry Primary and William de Yaxley have shown what can be achieved if we work together at what is a challenging time for all of us. The Statutory Assessment Team is really proud of the support that they, and all the local authority schools, are providing to children with additional needs. I have to pay credit to these schools, and others who are thinking outside the box to ensure our children have a level of continuity during these difficult times.”

Message from Cllr Count – Leader of CCC

Friday 3rd April 2020

Cambridgeshire/Peterborough Together Against Coronavirus

Our councils are today (Friday 3 April 2020) asking communities to pull together to reach out against Coronavirus.

Cambridgeshire/Peterborough Together Against Coronavirus is helping people stay connected during self-isolation, particularly those at risk of feeling lonely.

While many of us are finding innovative ways of keeping in touch with the outside world – from regular phone or video calls to family and friends to online exercise classes – self isolation can lead to increased feelings of loneliness for people living on their own. These may be people living with disabilities or other vulnerable conditions, elderly people or those who are isolating for 12 weeks due to chronic health conditions.

There are already some great examples of people offering support in their communities, but we are now asking you to help us reach out to those who may be struggling to stay connected with the outside world.

Whether it’s offering to deliver food supplies or pick up prescriptions, or regular phone calls checking on their wellbeing, there are many ways we can all keep an eye on people, without the need to make physical contact.

So what can you do to help?

  • Share your stories of what you are doing to help people on your social media pages using the hashtags #ReachOut #PeterboroughTogether or #CambridgeshireTogether
  • Share your tips on beating loneliness
  • Download the campaign poster and other visuals on your social media pages or in your window to show what you are doing to help people in your neighbourhood
  • Help us remind people about the importance of staying at home

Your stories will help us remind people that help is at hand.

If you are shielding from the Coronavirus and are in need of food, medicine or other supplies, please contact us via our website www.peterborough.gov.uk/coordinationhub or www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coordinationhub or by calling 0345 045 5219

Library service changes in Cambridgeshire

Following Government guidance, all Cambridgeshire County Council library buildings closed on Monday 23rd March and will remain closed until further notice. During this time:

  • Overdue charges have been suspended and return dates have been extended throughout the closure period
  • Reservations for stock will not be accepted at this time. Any existing reservations will be satisfied when libraries re-open.
  • A number of digital services will be provided. To browse our eBooks, eMagazines, eNewspapers and three suppliers of eAudiobooks, visit our Online Library webpage
  • To stay up to date with the latest Cambridgeshire County Council library news, sign up the our e-newsletter
  • Further information about the library closures is on our website

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Schoolchildren encouraged to out-do the grown-ups by ‘creating their own community’

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough education teams are setting down a challenge for children – encouraging them to create their own town and community from scratch to win an iPad.

The competition, open for all Cambridgeshire and Peterborough infant, junior and primary school children, combines many areas of the curriculum including Maths, Art and Geography and requires those taking part of carry out research, explore their own creativity and make some really big decisions, perhaps the biggest being what to name their new settlement. Towny Mc Townville is the best we can come up with!

You can find out more about the challenge on our new online learning hub which was launched yesterday.

Changes to bus services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

As Government social distancing during the Covid-19 outbreak continues, a number of bus companies across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have announced changes to their timetables.

  • Call Connect in Peterborough – Call Connect has decided not to operate its services on Good Friday, Easter Sunday or Easter Monday. Bookings will still be taken for the Saturday service from 8.30am to 4pm (Welland) and 9am to 4.30pm (Lincolnshire). Visit the Call Connect website
  • Stagecoach timetable changes in Peterborough and Cambs – Updates to bus services – Further temporary changes to Stagecoach bus timetables will be introduced in Cambridge and Peterborough from Sunday, 5th April. Critical routes will be maintained wherever possible. Visit the Stagecoach website
    • Cambridge – Changes to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 13A, 13B and 13X, 16A, 18, 19, 25, H, X8 and 39.
    • Peterborough – Changes to services 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.

Some revisions to the Busway A, B and D timetables have also been made.

National Express temporarily suspending all bus operations

National Express is temporarily suspending all its coach operations from 11.59pm on Sunday (5 April). The closure will be continually reviewed in line with government policy and services will restart when possible. Until Sunday, the Emergency Timetable has been reduced. For more information, visit the National Express website

Thursday 2nd April 2020

Network of coordination and response hubs launched

A network of COVID-19 Coordination and Response Hubs has been launched across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

This includes the countywide co-ordination hub, which has been in operation now for almost two weeks, and local hubs that are being led by the district/city councils.

The countywide hub is focussed on supporting residents who have been identified as shielding and being of the highest risk. It will ensure that critical services across the public sector, such as care for the elderly, can continue through the support of staff who have been redeployed from other council services and partner organisations and the support of volunteers.

This work includes ensuring our most vulnerable residents have access to food, medicines and other important supplies, as well as ensuring broader social needs are met as far as possible, to minimise anxiety.

The district and city hubs will provide more local support, for residents across their communities and will respond to individual offers of help or requests for support. They will also connect with and support mutual aid and other community-led initiatives.

Working closely with the countywide hub, they will also respond to individual requests for help and offers of assistance that fall outside the scope of the support being offered to those who are identified as being of the highest risk.

Each of the district and city councils will have information on their websites from tomorrow about the local hubs including how people can get in touch and access help and support. We will provide more details of each hub in a follow up email to all subscribers of this Update.

To contact the countywide hub, people are being asked, where possible, to do so online at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus

The countywide hub can also be contacted Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1pm at communitycv@cambridgeshire.gov.uk  or on 0345 045 5219

Community Fund

The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund is offering grants to help Parish, Town, District, City and County Councils, along with local charities and groups to deal with issues affecting older and vulnerable people in our community as a result of the continuing threat of COVID-19.

Grants between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for projects that aim to tackle the impact of financial hardship, potential for hunger, lack of shelter, health issues, loneliness, isolation, etc.

Cambridgeshire County Council has contributed to the fund and several local groups have already successfully applied.

You can find more information about the fund and how to apply here:

https://www.cambscf.org.uk/cambridgeshire-coronavirus-community-fund.html

Please also spread the word about the appeal, which has had a fantastic response and is aiming to raise £300,000. You can find more information here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Coronaviruscommunityfund

Council staff doing essential work

Some people have questioned whether Council staff should be working in communities or in our offices when we are being asked to practice social distancing.

Please remember that, as well as health workers and police officers, many council staff are on the Government’s critical worker list because they are providing essential services so need to be out and about.

For example, health and social care workers supporting vulnerable families, carers and homeless people; school staff providing child care for key workers; refuse and recycling crews emptying bins and keeping our neighbourhoods clean; and bereavement services supporting people who have lost loved ones.

Other Council staff have been re-deployed to carry out critical co-ordination and complex planning work, which cannot be done from home, such as responding to vulnerable people through the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Coordination Hub, which is providing food, medicines and other supplies.

Key worker cards are being made and distributed to staff doing critical work in case there is a challenge from a member of the public or police. At all times, key workers are being advised to work at a safe distance to prevent the spread of infection.

Wendi Ogle-Welbourn, Executive Director, People and Communities, Cambridgeshire County Council, says: “Where at all possible we want Council staff to work from home; there are however some situations where this is not possible and people need to physically come into work and practice social distancing.

“Everybody is working incredibly hard and also adhering to social isolation or social distancing to protect the most vulnerable people in our community. We all have a part to play and we need to understand that the parts we have to play are all different, but equally valued.”

Council’s new online learning hub is one stop shop for parents and children

There is no doubt parents are inundated at the minute, with online learning resources being offered from all angles. Rather than trying to add to the noise, the Education Team at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council has created a ‘one stop shop’, giving parents and children a single ‘go to’ place for a whole range of interactive lessons, projects, challenges and activities for children of all ages.

The ‘Home Learning Hub’ has been created by the collective brainpower of the Council’s Education Team, which includes Maths and English advisers and subject leads from many other areas. It offers interactive learning materials that will really get you thinking and keep your brain and body active, as well as covering important topics such as safety online, and links to content.

The team are continually adding to the Hub and are taking on board feedback from parents to ensure new content is really valuable – and fun! Click here to have a look and see.

Sport England to dish out funding to help local clubs and community associations

We know there are many sport clubs and community associations in both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that are worried about funding during the Covid-19 outbreak. Sports England has just announced it will be launching a £20million Community Emergency Fund.  Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available for grass roots organisations to bid for.  Find out more – https://www.sportengland.org/news/195-million-package-help-sport-and-physical-activity-through-coronavirus

Employment HR and Coronavirus webinar

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Association of Local (CAPALC) are offering a webinar on .

Each session would be about an hour including Q+A’s.

Key content will include:

  • HR basics to follow including:
    • HR Admin.
    • Communicating, and
    • Policies and Procedures
    • Job Retention Scheme and the process of furloughing.
  • Protecting the Workforce [Working from Home, Self-Isolation and Social Distancing, Hygiene Routines]
  • Sick Pay and SSP [on-line isolation notes and medical evidence]
  • Specific guidance for local authorities
  • Planning Short Term & Medium Term Response
  • Staff Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Business Continuity and
  • Business Risks

There will be 5 separate sessions (please note this is a 1 session webinar, NOT a series of sessions.):

  • Tuesday 7th April. 15:00 hrs
  • Weds 8th April. 10:00 hrs
  • Weds 8th April. 12:00 hrs
  • Thursday 9th April.  08:00 hrs
  • Thursday 9th April. 17:00 hrs

NOTE – these are open to ALL Parish councils not just those who are members of CAPALC.

The fee is £20 for members and £40 for non-members to cover costs.

All bookings to be made directly with CAPALC, by emailing Samantha Sharp –

 office@capalc.org.uk

Full details are available here: https://mailchi.mp/05c4db9cecaa/coronavirus-and-hr-webinar

COVID-19 scam alert

We have been informed by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board of a scam doing the rounds. People are calling claiming to be from Public Health England, asking residents if they had received their letter from the government and then asking if they have support from family and friends, etc. and trying to obtain personal details.

Please warn your family and friends and do not give out personal details over the phone.

Wednesday 1st April 2020

Community Fund offering grants

The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund is offering grants to help Parish, Town, District, City and County Councils, along with local charities and groups to deal with issues affecting older and vulnerable people in our community as a result of the continuing threat of Covid-19.

Grants between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for projects that aim to tackle the impact of financial hardship, potential for hunger, lack of shelter, health issues, loneliness, isolation, etc.

Cambridgeshire County Council has contributed to the fund and several local groups have already successfully applied.

You can find more information about the fund and how to apply here.

Please also spread the word about the appeal, which has had a fantastic response and is aiming to raise £300,000. You can find more information here.

Volunteers put ‘Diamond’ Cambridgeshire couple back in touch

Isleham Village Cricket Club has joined forces with Isleham Parish Council to launch a volunteer project which provides help and support to vulnerable people in the community.

Local resident, Mrs Jaggard, who is in her 80s, asked them for help after her husband was in hospital following a fall. After more than 60 years of marriage she was devastated they would not be able to see each other for 12 weeks.

To help the couple stay in contact, Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mark Goldsack and other volunteers from the group requested the loans of a tablet and a phone. One was delivered to Mrs Jaggard in her home and the other to the hospital for her husband.

The volunteers then stood outside Mrs Jaggard’s window and used the hotspot function on their phones so Mrs Jaggard could FaceTime her husband. The volunteers and the couple’s daughter captured the heart-warming moment the pair first saw each other on video call. The group has said they will do the same every three days so the pair can stay in regular contact.

Watch the video here of the couple reuniting using the devices.

Mrs Jaggard said: “I was so worried when my husband went to hospital and I didn’t think I’d be able to see him for the next twelve weeks or so. But having the phone and being able to see and speak to him has been amazing and it’s really helped be during isolation. It’s such a kind thing to do and I’m so grateful for the volunteers who have made it happen”.

Councillor Mark Goldsack, at Cambridgeshire County Council and local member for Soham North and Isleham, said: “Seeing Mrs Jaggard and her husband be able to talk again was such a lovely moment, it would bring a tear to anyone’s eyes. It was amazing to see two vulnerable people united when they thought that may not see each other again for so long.

“We need to share positive stories like this during such a difficult time and to help everybody’s mental health. I think it shows not just the amazing community here but also the others across our region that are all likely doing the same type of good deeds.”

Just a week since the volunteering project was launched, the group has also already delivered nearly £2,000 worth of garden equipment and items to allow people to access their green spaces in isolation.

They have delivered free potatoes, donated by a local fresh produce company, to the most vulnerable people in isolation. More than 60 shopping trips have been made and over 100 prescriptions have been collected and delivered to people who can’t leave their homes.

Cllr Goldsack added: “There’s about 40 or 50 people in the cricket club volunteering to help other people and meet the needs of the most vulnerable and they’re doing a brilliant job. Delivering the garden equipment will mean people can at least get out of their houses and have something to do and by delivering food and prescriptions it will stop people from making unnecessary journeys. It’s great seeing everyone come together during this difficult time.”

If people need more general help or want to offer help locally visit our Coordination Hub page or call us on 0345 045 5219.

Cllr Steve Count’s vlog on shielding

Today in his video message Cllr Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, encourages people who the Government has asked to ‘shield’ themselves – to sign up and make sure that they get the support that they need to help them do this. Those who have received a letter are asked to go to: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable where there is an online form or to call 0800 0288327 which is the dedicated government helpline.

People who haven’t received a letter but believe they should be in the shielded category are asked to do the same.

Once they register, their details will be passed to the countywide COVID-19 co-ordination hub who will make contact to establish what support they might need and so we can prioritise those at greatest risk. (NB: this will never involve asking individuals for money or their bank details).

How to help others safely

Across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, people are playing their part and providing essential support to their friends and family who are in isolation.

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons, and one of these is to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. Even when you are doing this, you need to do so safely. You should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres (6 feet) apart from anyone outside of your household.

This guidance outlines how you can help and importantly, how to do this safely.

Household Recycling Centres closed across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

All Household Recycling Centres across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are now closed until further notice. Residents are asked not leave waste outside the gate – as this is fly tipping.

The decision to close sites has not been taken lightly but it is essential to encourage residents to stay at home and limit the spread of Coronavirus. Anyone planning to visit a recycling centre, should hold onto the items they were planning to take until the centres are reopened.

Schools helping key workers find childcare

A number of schools and early years settings across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough remain open and are working hard to look after those children deemed vulnerable, and those of key workers. A dedicated team is now on hand to signpost parents to available options, including childcare provided by nurseries and childminders. If you are a critical worker and in need of childcare support, please contact the Family Information Service on:

  • Cambridgeshire – 0345 045 1360
  • Peterborough – 01733 864446 or visit the website

The services will also be available over Easter and the upcoming Bank Holidays.

Council services updates

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to Council services on our websites:

Cambridgeshire – https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services

Tuesday 31st March 2020

Council provides essential supplies for most vulnerable shielding from Coronavirus

Parcels of food and emergency supplies for the most vulnerable in our communities who are shielding from the Coronavirus are being delivered to residents across the county from this week.

The Government has promised that a national food distribution scheme will be up and running very soon, to support 1.5million people nationally who need to be shielded from the virus for at least 12 weeks because of serious health and medical conditions.

Every one of those people is being contacted by the NHS to advise them of this, and to ask whether or not they have a reliable support network in place to make sure they receive food and medicines, and other supplies, to prevent them from having to leave their homes.

Those who don’t have such a network will be provided with food and medicines via a national scheme which is being developed with food wholesalers, supermarkets and community pharmacies.

In the period up until this national scheme is fully operational, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been working with the British Red Cross to ensure that those residents who need food, medicine and emergency supplies are looked after.

During the weekend council staff telephoned residents who they knew were shielding to see if they needed help and then arranged deliveries of items to those that did.

Yesterday (Monday) a team of council staff and British Red Cross volunteers packed tens of boxes with emergency supplies which have been delivered by the Government, which will be delivered to residents who are shielding at home in the coming days and weeks.

The council and British Red Cross have also been supported by a planner from the military and staff from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A warehouse facility has been secured in the centre of the county, from which distribution of the parcels will take place via the local hubs network.

Residents are asked to note that they will NOT be asked for payment or bank card details, either at the door or by any other contact.

If you are at home and shielding because of serious health or medical conditions and we have not been in touch, please visit our Coordination Hub page or call us on 0345 045 5219

Please visit our Cambridgeshire or Peterborough websites for further contacts details.

Shielded Patients List

NHS Digital has published the shielded patients list (SPL) which is enabling partner organisations across government to support and protect those who need shielding at this time.

People who have not yet received a text or letter from NHS, can self-register (or register a family member) if they are extremely vulnerable and think they should be on the NHS Shielded Patient list https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

People who believe they have been included in error on the list can ignore the communication provided they have checked the list of identified conditions does not apply to them, and may wish to contact their GP or clinical specialist for advice

Community translation videos

The Government’s information about staying at home for all but essential reasons, keeping your distance when you must go out, and washing your hands when you return is vitally important for everyone to know and understand to prevent the spread of the virus. Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council identified that there was a problem reaching some people in our communities with this message who may not have understood the important public health messages, either because they cannot read or understand English or because they cannot access translations.

As a result we have worked with people across our communities to produce video messages of this advice in other languages. Video blogs have been produced covering 29 different languages so far – with more being added every day – and these are available to view and share on our websites and on all our social media sites. People across our communities have been sharing the messages and we are asking other organisations to use them widely to reach as many people as we can.  Cambridgeshire Constabulary is already doing this.

Please help us to share the videos as widely as you can, helping to reinforce the message that people must stay at home unless for the reasons set out by Government. Take a look at the video blogs on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough websites.

Domestic abuse and COVID-19

We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them.

During the current coronavirus ‘stay at home’ situation, one of the concerns is that there will be an increase in reports of domestic abuse. Home is not likely to be a safe place for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and they will be increasingly isolated from sources of support.

The window of opportunity for anyone with an abusive partner to make a call and seek help is often very limited and that window is now likely to be even smaller. Research undertaken in China during the Wuhan lockdown revealed an increase of a third in reported domestic abuse incidents.

Councillor Mark Goldsack, White Ribbon ambassador and lead member for community safety and domestic violence at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “As a White Ribbon ambassador, domestic abuse of all kinds is constantly in my mind. Under current rules for COVID-19, families will be under new and different pressures which could put vulnerable people in a heightened risk of domestic abuse.

“We want to make sure that despite the conditions our support services are available for those that may need them. Please stay safe and contact specialist support services or the police if you are suffering any form of domestic abuse, sexual violence or coercive behaviour.”

Councillor Irene Walsh, Cabinet Member for Communities at Peterborough City Council, said: “Under the new ‘stay at home’ rules in place for coronavirus, families will be under new and different pressures which could put vulnerable people at a heightened risk of all kinds of domestic abuse.

“We want to make sure that despite the current circumstances, our support services are available for those that may need them. Please stay safe and contact specialist support services or the police if you are suffering any form of domestic abuse, sexual violence or coercive behaviour.”

Find all the contact details and read more here on our news pages at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Dr Liz Robin vlog

Today Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health, reminds us the measures we are taking will help to beat the spread of coronavirus and give us five simple tips that you can do every day to improve your mental and physical health.

Click here to watch today’s video blog.

Dr Liz Robin is available for down the line interviews about the current COVID-19 situation or the contents of today’s Vlog.  Please contact the Communications team if you would like to set one of these up.  

Support for businesses in Peterborough

From tomorrow (Wednesday), businesses in Peterborough will begin receiving financial support from the city council, following a package of measures announced by Central Government last week to support businesses which have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

12 month Business Rate Holiday

This applies to any retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and also non-local authority childcare providers. These businesses will have nothing to pay from tomorrow (Wednesday, 1 April) for 12 months. The collective saving for these city businesses is £33m and revised bills – with zero to pay – will be sent.

Small Business Grant Funding

All businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief (over 2,000 businesses in Peterborough) will automatically receive £10,000. The collective payment for Peterborough businesses is £22million. We are getting in touch with these businesses and will make the payments over the next two weeks.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funding

This affects almost 640 businesses in Peterborough who will each receive £25,000. The collective payment is £16million. We are getting in touch with these businesses and will make the payment over the next two weeks.

Support for city residents

Central Government has now provided the council with further clarification over which households should receive a slice of a national £500million Hardship Fund to help ease financial worries during Covid-19.

Over 7,700 city households will be eligible for a £150 payment. Residents across the city will collectively receive £1.6million. This will appear as a credit on their April council tax bills.

Businesses in Cambridgeshire

The Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Combined Authority (CPCA), working with the County Council and Peterborough City Council, wants to ensure businesses across Cambridgeshire are fully aware of the various financial support measures being made available by Government and that as many businesses as possible secure the support they are eligible to receive.

The CPCA have set-up an email address to receive and respond to general business queries – business@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk

Further support and advice for businesses can be found on our websites: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

 Junction 18 (Rhubarb Bridge) works complete in Peterborough

The works are now complete, the bridge has been strengthened and traffic can flow at the main roundabout. The contractors will return as soon as possible to put the finishing touches to the pedestrian crossings, which then means they can be used. In the meantime the footbridge is open as usual.

Children in school are all smiles

While the current situation may be difficult for many of us, it is certainly not holding back those children attending Cherry Hinton Primary School in Cambridge. Not just content with keeping the positivity to themselves, they have been helping those passing by the school keep in good spirits too!

Bin collections in Peterborough

City residents are being asked not to overload bins and to ensure that recycling, general waste and food waste is in the correct bins. Crews are noticing some residents are having non-essential clear outs at home and are filling bins with many more items than usual. This means crews are taking longer to complete their collections and could place strain on the teams if workers begin to fall sick and are unable to come to work during the COVID-19 outbreak.

For more information about what should go in your bin, visit our website.

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus: what you need to do

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Sharing Parish Updates

You are welcome to share this Parish Update by forwarding the email to people in your community, who can also subscribe to receive updates from Cambridgeshire County Council by registering and selecting ‘Parish and District Updates’ from the list under Covid-19.

Monday 30th March 2020

Covid-19 Community Support help available

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is impacting on everyone’s lives and Cambridgeshire County Council is working with our partner district and city councils and other partner organisations to ensure that the most vulnerable in our region are well cared for.

We are deploying council staff and recruiting volunteers who can help others.  We are receiving a very high volume of requests and we are working on these as fast as we can.

If you or your organisation needs help – or can offer help – you can find useful information and links on the Covid -19 Community Support pages on the website. Please share this information.

NALC and CAPALC

The National Association of Local Councils is publishing updated information on a regular basis, please regularly visit their web page  https://www.nalc.gov.uk/coronavirus

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils (CAPALC) is also sending out regular emails to all of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Parish Councils where they have email addresses for Clerks and Chairs.  If you are not receiving those emails and wish to do so please contact office@capalc.org.uk

If you have any other queries which are specific for your parish council, please contact ParishesCV@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Sharing Parish Updates

You are welcome to share this Parish Update by forwarding the email to people in your community, who can also subscribe to receive updates from Cambridgeshire County Council by registering and selecting ‘Parish and District Updates’ from the list under Covid-19.

Refuse collectors praised in Peterborough

Peterborough City residents have been leaving drawings and messages of support on wheelie bins for our Aragon Direct Services bin collection crews.

These have been welcomed by the crews who are key workers doing a vital job. The structure and nature of their duties mean that, at times, they need to be in closer proximity to people to carry out their work, as is the case for doctors, carers and police officers. For example, crews must travel together in the same refuse collection vehicle.

Extra safety steps are being followed by the crews to limit the likelihood of spreading Covid-19 as much as possible, while ensuring they can still provide an essential service to residents.

Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member for waste at Peterborough City Council, said: “The overwhelming support that our Aragon refuse collectors have seen from city residents is very much appreciated by the crews. They are key workers doing a fantastic job during the Covid-19 outbreak and it’s great that they are being supported so much by their local community.”

Supporting local businesses

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards is offering free advice to businesses affected by the Government’s closure order if they are not providing essential services, to minimise spread of the Coronavirus.

Any business that is unsure whether the rules apply to them should contact Trading Standards urgently for advice free of charge.

Councillor Steve Criswell, Chairman of the Communities and Partnership Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is understandably a difficult and uncertain time for businesses but it’s essential that we follow the Government’s advice and do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus. I urge any local business, large or small, that is unsure if the mandatory closure applies to them to contact Trading Standards as soon as possible.”

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities at Peterborough City Council, said: “No part of our society is unaffected by the Coronavirus. We need to make sure that we all help to stop its spread, including those businesses who have sadly been instructed to close until the virus is under control. Please contact Trading Standards as a matter of urgency if you’re not sure whether the new rules apply to you.”

Visit our websites for more information, support and advice: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough or fill out a Trading Standards contact form:  www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/regulatorycompanion

Consumer concerns at increased prices

There have been reports that some businesses have been increasing the prices of goods during the Coronavirus outbreak. Whilst local businesses are free to set their own prices, the Competition and Markets Authority has set up a taskforce to examine the scale of the issue and are asking people to report instances via an online reporting form or via email to covid.monitoring@cma.gov.uk

Play areas reminder in Peterborough

All play areas, skate parks, outdoor gym spaces have been closed and messages are clearly displayed at the entrances. Please can we remind all residents, who are using the open spaces, not to meet in groups and adhere to safe social distancing of at least two metres/six feet apart from others.

Cambridgeshire Customer Services Contact Centre

Library and Trading Standards phone lines closed on Friday (27 March) to allow us to focus and prioritise critical services which need to remain open.

Bus Services in Peterborough

Service X4 Northampton – Kettering – Corby – Peterborough has reduced to a Sunday service. This changed yesterday (Sunday 29 March).

Changes to council services

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Peterborough – https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/healthcare/public-health/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services

Cambridgeshire – https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/disruption-to-council-services

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus: what you need to do.

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Friday 27th March 2020

Cllr John Holdich Vlog

We’re sharing a regular video blog from Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich, giving guidance to city residents and council updates during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to watch today’s video blog.

Cllr Steve Count’s Vlog

We’re also sharing regular video blogs from Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Cllr Steve Count, watch him thank families who are following guidance and helping keep children at home, plus some helpful signposting for home learning here and him talk about a group which has been set-up to help businesses across Cambridgeshire here.

Promote your Community Support (Covid-19)

Please list brief details of the voluntary support your community is offering on the Cambridgeshire Online Directory.  This will help people within your community find you.  Scroll half way down the page and you will see a section titled ‘I want to promote the support we offer (COVID-19)’.

Advice on Covid-19 scams

The National Trading Standards Scams Team has produced some materials to promote scams awareness around coronavirus scams. The team has published various tools that will help spread the message that criminals are exploiting fears about coronavirus to be able to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. Please help us to share these across your media platforms.

Rough Sleepers in Peterborough

It’s never been more important for rough sleepers to be safer off the streets than now. The Safer Off the Streets partnership – of which Peterborough City Council is a member – is working together to help support those sleeping rough during the COVID-19 outbreak, including:

Accommodation

Self-contained accommodation is being provided to vulnerable rough sleepers to self-isolate in. The Peterborough Winter Night Shelter and emergency crash bed facility also closed last night due to the latest Government guidance. Rough sleepers who accessed these services are also being moved into self-contained accommodation.

Outreach services

The council continue to engage with everyone we know who is sleeping out, including handing out a COVID-19 information leaflet. Anyone falling into the vulnerable groups have been provided with accommodation where they’re able to self-isolate.

Drop-in services

Light Project Peterborough’s Garden House drop-in centre currently remains open for rough sleepers to seek help as an emergency service. To minimise numbers coming in the Garden House they are only able to support those sleeping rough. Hygiene and social distancing is being observed.

Food Banks

Peterborough Food bank continues to provide emergency food parcels at all of its location, however from today (Friday 27 March) it will be moving to one location at Dogsthorpe Methodist Church, six days a week between 11am and 1pm. Referrals will be made via e-vouchers/unique codes. The foodbank is an essential emergency service for people unable to afford food. People self-isolating who can afford to buy food but cannot leave their homes should contact the local council who are setting up a co‑ordination hub to help.

Meals

Peterborough Soup Kitchen unfortunately has had to cease operation today due to issues with social distancing. Discussions are in progress on a solution on how to stop large groups gathering for food and they hope to be up and running again shortly, possibly at a different location. Food stock is also reduced and demand is increasing.

Appeal for public help

Demands on Food bank, Soup Kitchen and Light Project Peterborough services have increased and volunteer numbers decreased.  Members of the public are encouraged to continue to donate food supplies or money to their local food banks, the Peterborough Soup Kitchen and Light Project Peterborough.

Parking enforcement in Cambridge

From Monday (30 March), we will be suspending parking enforcement in Cambridge, other than using a skeleton staff to deal with dangerous parking, during the COVID-19 crisis.

This is being done in partnership with Cambridge City Council and will complement the measures they are taking, which includes providing free car parking in their car parks for key workers, during these challenging times.  Together, this will help key workers access their places of work in order to protect the vital services they provide.

It follows the Government’s ‘Stay at Home’ guidance and will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

Cllr Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We have taken these steps with the City Council to try and help critical workers during this unprecedented time.

“We want to make sure critical services can continue to operate and we hope by suspending parking enforcement, keeping the roads flowing for emergency vehicles and essential deliveries to food shops and pharmacies this will make it easier.

“We want our streets not to be cluttered with badly parked cars and allow customers to park for essential visits e.g. near food shops, the hospital and pharmacies. We also need to consider the safety of the traffic officers based on the latest Government guidance.”

Cambridge City Council Leader, Cllr Lewis Herbert, said: “We are in unprecedented times and by making our car parks free for key workers including NHS staff we are helping them to keep the most critical services running.

“All Cambridge residents need to follow strictly the government Stay at Home advice for their and their family’s safety. They should also ensure that they and their whole families adhere to essential guidance on social distancing at all times, plus hygiene and hand washing advice.

“People who may be volunteering to help support vulnerable people, along with those working in health services and other public services, need all the support available to do their essential work and we will help them wherever we can.”

Our enforcement officers will assess dangerous parking within the area and if they believe it is obstructive or dangerous we will ticket where possible.

Audio clips for communities in Peterborough

We’ve produced a number of public information audio clips to share important messages about the Coronavirus outbreak with communities. Please download them and share them as widely as you can.

Libraries in Cambridge

The Library Presents Spring programme has been postponed, this includes all performances and workshops planned until June 2020. We will continue to engage with our audiences and communities using our digital channels to share light-hearted, fun, friendly and exciting arts and ideas for activities that can be done at home. Follow on Facebook and Instagram or join the mailing list through the website.

Councillors share thanks to education staff for hard work so far

Councillors have shown their appreciation for the hard work and collective effort shown by those working in education across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough:

Cllr Simon Bywater, Chairman of Children & Young People Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We are in unprecedented times and the ever changing nature of our current situation is testing us all professionally, and personally. The last couple of weeks have been enormously challenging for everyone involved in education.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in schools, early years’ practitioners, childminders, partners and local authority officers for the dedication and superhuman effort they have shown so far. I have seen some fantastic examples of people coming together and going above and beyond to ensure those children in attendance are safe, and those who are at home have the resources they need to continue learning and developing.

“I also want to thank our parents for keeping your children at home. It helps ease some of the pressure, and is helping prevent the further spread of the virus.

“This period may run for some time yet, but I am fully confident the Council’s education teams and the wider education community will continue pulling together.”

Councillor Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “The last couple of weeks have been enormously challenging for everyone involved in education. You have all had to deal with an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation.

“So I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved – staff in early years’ settings and schools, governors, pupils and parents for your dedication and all-round brilliance. Everyone has worked tirelessly to keep things working as well as possible, it really has been an incredible team effort and I’m very proud of you all.

“Rest assured, our council’s education team will continue to work to offer all schools the support and guidance that they need.”

No let-up in learning for local school children

Schools and early years settings across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have quickly stepped up to ensure pupils can continue learning whether they are attending school or not.

Marshfields School in Peterborough have set up a YouTube channel which is proving popular, delivering practical lessons such as cookery and dance and ensuring those at home don’t miss out. This is just one example of the many ways schools and early years settings are rising to the challenges, and we will be sharing more of these stories with you.

Finally…

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council communications team would like to thank all the district, parish and town councils for their support and use of these daily update briefings. We hope you find them useful.

You can keep up-to-date with any changes or disruptions to our services via our websites:

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Coronavirus: what you need to do

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6.5ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Remember, anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Thursday 26th March 2020

Coronavirus scams prevention

Wash your hands of Coronavirus scams!   Read it.  Share it.  Prevent it.

The National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team has produced some materials to help promote awareness around Coronavirus (COVID-19) scams at this difficult time. The team has published various tools that will help spread the message that criminals are exploiting fears about Coronavirus to be able to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends.

On the Against Scams Partnership pages of our website you will find a page for scam prevention resources where you will find:

  • Coronavirus infographic – this is printable and sharable via social media or email.
  • Link to the updated FAS training materials
  • Social media pack – please share on all your platforms (Word and PDF files available)
  • Letter template – for partners who want to contact people in vulnerable situations in their area. Please add your own logos and contact information and edit as you wish.

Please share amongst your partners, groups, communities and social media platforms to support us in this campaign and help share the important scams awareness messages. If you haven’t already please follow @AgainstScams and @NTSscamsteam.

Please join the fight against scams by registering to become a Friend Against Scams

Follow the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP) on Facebook or Twitter or visit our website for more information.

Dr Liz Robin vlog

We’re sharing a regular video blog from our Director of Public Health, Dr Liz Robin, explaining the public health advice about dealing with the Coronavirus. Click here to watch today’s video blog.

Garden Waste changing to one collection every four weeks in Peterborough

This will ensure essential refuse services (general waste and recycling) can be maintained to all residents during the Covid-19 outbreak. Further advice being issued includes:

  • No extra garden waste placed by the side of the bin will be collected as this would slow down crews and would require more resources
  • Bin lids should be shut and not overflowing
  • Garden waste should not be put in the refuse bin
  • The Aragon Direct Services bin collection crews are key workers doing a vital job, please show your support by driving safely near them.
  • Ensure bins are placed out for collection by 6.45am

Further information is available on our website.

Aragon Direct Services are also actively working with their subcontractors who work on their behalf for example Tree Services, to ensure social distancing procedures are put in place where possible.

Change in working for refuse collectors in Peterborough 

Aragon Direct Services bin collection crews are key workers doing a vital job. The structure and nature of the duties carried out by key workers means there are times when they need to be in closer proximity to people to carry out their work, as is the case for doctors, carers and police officers. For example, crews must travel together in the same refuse collection vehicle. The following safety steps, have been put in to limit the likelihood of spreading Covid-19 as much as possible, while ensuring they can still provide an essential service to residents:

  • All vehicles have been issued with specialist wipes, and instructions given to staff on which surfaces to wipe down regularly
  • Crews always have gloves as part of their issued personal protective equipment and the vehicle have hand sanitising facilities
  • At the depot hand washing and hand sanitising facilities has been increased
  • Early last week Aragon introduced new procedures for shift patterns for front line staff to reduce mass gathering at the start and end of shifts
  • Staff are being updated daily with information around symptoms, safe working practices and changes in government guidance.

Aragon Direct Services are also actively working with their subcontractors who work on their behalf, for example Tree Services, to ensure social distancing procedures are put in place where possible. Daily management meetings are being held to ensure staff safety is paramount while still delivering key frontline services.

Road projects across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

In light of the Government guidance about ‘stay at home’, after speaking to our contractors and in order to protect the public and our workforce, we have taken the decision to close down all project sites.

During these difficult times, we have taken the latest advice, assessed the staffing issues due to COVID-19 and taken into account a number of supply chain partners who have already begun to withdraw. We also want to keep our roads open and available for key workers and emergencies as well as protect the workforce and our contractors who are not able to work whilst adhering to the 2m/6ft distance rule. We will make our sites safe and close down.

This will include, the Dutch-Style roundabout project in Cambridge and the King’s Dyke advance work. The A15 junction 18, Rhubarb Bridge works will complete tomorrow (Friday) as planned, with just minor finishing elements such as landscaping to follow at a later date.

All emergency, safety critical work and essential maintenance will continue and resources will be prioritised for this to be carried out.

Cllr Steve Count, Leader at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “It is absolutely vital we all follow the advice from Government and stay at home. We have assessed this impact on our highway services contracts and the ability to deliver on the ground and adopt a managed approach to the tightening restrictions and reduce risk. That is why both councils have taken this decision.”

Cllr John Holdich, Leader at Peterborough City Council, said: “We have to be sensible and protect the public as well as our workforce. With a number of supply chains shutting down their operations, the need for social distancing, along with the pressure on resource we have had to take this decision to close down our sites. The work on Rhubarb Bridge is in the closing stages and will finish tomorrow as planned.”

Helping provide schools and early years settings with clear information

As the Local Authority we have been listening to schools and early years settings, and along with daily updates and conversations already taking place, have now provided comprehensive answers to the most commonly discussed topics.

Jonathan Lewis, Service Director for Education at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council said: “We have been working hard to provide schools and early years settings with clear information to help them navigate the ever-changing situation. Yesterday we wrote to our Heads and Leaders to share a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions, which we complied based on the intelligence we have gathered from working closely with schools and Trust leaders, and through our daily meetings with the Department for Education. We will keep these updated on a daily basis.

“With regard to Free School Meals in particular, we have been working hard with schools to put in place plans to continue our provision, so those families in receipt do not lose out.   A government scheme was planned for vouchers but this has been delayed.  Unfortunately we have been told about a scam where fraudsters have targeted parents so I want to reiterate, if you do receive an email asking for your bank details in relation to this, do not give them over, just delete the email straight away.”

As of yesterday (Wednesday), only 2% of school children registered in Cambridgeshire were in attendance, while in Peterborough this was 1% – this shows parents are continuing to do their bit to stop the spread of the virus by keeping their children safely at home.

The Government has launched its free WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service. Parents and the public are encouraged to sign up to receive trustworthy and timely general information and advice about the Coronavirus.

To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

Wednesday 25th March 2020

Food and Supplies Donations – Staff at both Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been delivering emergency supply hampers to vulnerable young residents in need. Last week, our corporate parenting teams delivered 12 hampers, filled with food, toiletries, cleaning products, books and clothing. These went to young people in care and care leavers. Thank you everyone who donated these items. If you or someone you know owns a restaurant, café or pub which is currently closed, we’re urging you not to throw out food or supplies. Instead you can donate it to us so we can deliver more hampers to those in need. Get in touch with joe.gilbert@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

News for businesses in Cambridgeshire – Cambridgeshire County Council is leading the establishment of an ‘economic recovery sub-group’ that has been set up as part of a Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) looking at the impact of Covid-19. Working with the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Combined Authority the County Council is driving forward the early set-up of this group to ensure businesses across Cambridgeshire are fully aware of the various financial support measures being made available by Government and that as many businesses as possible secure the support they are eligible to receive.

Support and advice for businesses can be found on our websites: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Families follow guidance and help keep children at home – Our schools and early years settings across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough remain open, as they continue to look after those children deemed to be vulnerable, and those of critical workers.

It seems parents across both counties are listening to the advice set out by Government – to keep children at home where safe to do so – with the number of children in attendance much lower than originally predicted.  There are lots of resources on our ‘learn together’ website to help parents who are keeping their children at home.

Jonathan Lewis, Service Director for Education in Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Council said: “I want to say thank you to those parents who are following the advice of Government and keeping their children at home. You are playing a big part in helping relieve the pressures on the system, and allowing us to prioritise our resources where they are needed most. We are seeing children from critical worker families attending, but I want to reiterate that we will also provide for children who are supported by social care and who have safeguarding and welfare needs.

“We continue to work closely with the Department of Health, our teachers, practitioners and childminders, and have put measures in place to ensure the safety of those children and staff who are in attendance. We are in this together.”

The Government’s definition of critical workers and children who are vulnerable is available here.

Be aware of free school meals scam – We have had reports of parents and carers in receipt of free school meals being targeted by fraudsters. They are contacting parents and carers with messages such as ‘if your child is entitled to free school meals send your bank details to the school and they will help with funding while the school is closed.’

The email contains links for the parents to follow, these emails and links are fake. Do not give your bank details. If you think you have been targeted by a fraudster, do not reply to the email. Instead, contact your school directly.

Funerals/Cremations Grounds/Cemeteries in Peterborough – There will be some changes to these services to take into account Government advice around reducing the spread of Covid-19 and the importance of protecting key workers. These are:

Attending funerals – We will be limiting funeral gatherings in chapels to the immediate family only – including spouse/partner, parents/carers, brothers/sisters, children (and partners of children).

Crematorium Grounds/Cemeteries – These are still open, however please be mindful of keeping at least six feet (two metres) away from other visitors.

Bereavement Services Office – This is closed, although we will take appointments from families to collect cremated remains, however please avoid this if you possibly can.

Waiting Room – This will be closed from today (Wednesday, 25 March). Attendees are asked to stay in their cars until the cortege arrives at the crematorium

Book of Remembrance – This will be closed from today (Wednesday, 25 March), however the inscription can be viewed from the outside of the building and there will be vases available for any tributes left.

Scattering/internment of cremated remains – We will not be taking any further bookings. If you have a scattering/internment booked, a member of the Bereavement Team will contact you.

First day for volunteers – Following our campaign to increase the number of people available to provide care to vulnerable people in their own homes – and keeping them out of hospital – that we launched last week, we’ve had an amazing amount of support with more than 75 new volunteers with suitable skills and backgrounds identified and 12 recruited already.

The new volunteers had their first day of training yesterday (24 March) to help them support vulnerable people in the community. They will be providing personal or health care to vulnerable people in their own homes or in a care setting. This will include showering, giving medication and helping someone use the toilet.

Adrian Chapman, Service Director for Communities and Safety for Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We would like to thank the volunteers that have come forward so far to help us provide vital services, their contribution has already been inspiring.”

Councillor Steve Criswell, Chairman of the Communities and Partnership Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We’re grateful for the people who are coming forward in these challenging times, if you feel you can contribute, please get in touch and find out who you can help.”

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities at Peterborough City Council, said: “These volunteers are bringing in a range of skills and experience that will be essential to keep people safe and keep providing care and support so thank you.”

If you have experience of personal or health care, please contact us to share your contact details, experience and availability so we can find out more about how you could help.

Road signs in Cambridgeshire – Following a request from the Department for Transport, we will be helping to give consistent and widespread messaging about the need for people to stay at home during the Covid-19 crisis by displaying messages on our road signs.

Bulky Waste Collections in Peterborough – The service will be happening as normal, but we will no longer be conducting face-to-face quoted jobs or estimations.

Child care – With children now being asked to stay at home where safe to do so, more and more parents will be turning to childminders and alternative childcare to help out. The government guidance is clear – children should not be cared for by any friends or family who should be stringently social distancing – such as the elderly or those with underlying health problems.

Parents should also be fully confident they are using childminders who are fully registered. The Council provides a list of these here – CambridgeshirePeterborough 

If you are offered any unregistered provision, or you feel someone may be acting illegally, let Ofsted know immediately by contacting enquiries@Ofsted.gov.uk using the subject heading ‘Early Years setting – possibly unregistered’. Help us keep our children safe and well.

Play Areas, Outdoor Gyms and Skate Parks in Peterborough – All will be closed to stop people using equipment on which they could potentially pass on the virus with a message put up clearly at the entrance asking residents to continue using the rest of the open space, while adhering to safe social distancing of at least two metres/six feet apart from others.

Toilets in Central Park, Peterborough – These are now closed, according to the Government guidance on shutting park buildings.

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus: what you need to do

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Tuesday 24th March 2020

Covid-19 Update

Business Rates

Businesses who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak will be supported by Peterborough City Council over the coming months, following the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily briefings over the past week. The council is putting in various support measures in place and more information can be found in our news release available  here

Peterborough Council Tax

We are awaiting information from Central Government giving us details on how to make sure that city residents who need it the most, benefit from the £500million national Hardship Funding set aside by Government. While we are awaiting this, the various decisions have been taken regarding income already due from council tax: more information can be found in our news release here

Household Waste Recyling Centres

IIn light of the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, all recycling centres across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be closed from today (Tuesday) until further notice. The decision to close sites has not been taken lightly but it is essential to encourage residents to stay at home and limit the spread of Coronavirus.

If you were planning to visit a recycling centre, please hold on to the items you were planning to take until they are reopened.

During this time, we ask residents to act responsibly and not place items such as DIY waste, garden waste, or recycling into their kerbside general rubbish collection. This will take up space in the collection vehicles needed for general household rubbish. Try to limit your food waste by home composting and using your freezer. If you have food waste it can be disposed of in your general waste bin or in Peterborough, people should put food waste in their food waste caddys as normal.

For more information please visit our websites: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Dr Liz Robin vlog

Every other day there will be a video blog from our Director of Public Health, Dr Liz Robin, explaining the public health advice. She will also be available for down the line interviews, please contact the newsdesk to check availability. https://youtu.be/khAI7ZOB1u

Latest Government guidance can be found here

Support for schools

Despite the difficult circumstances, schools and early years settings across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have already begun adapting to new ways of working, often with the support of parents and members of the local communities. It may not quite be business as usual, but the show definitely goes on.

We are also supporting home to school transport providers to make sure they are not disadvantaged and during this challenging time are paid for any service disruption. Across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, both councils have committed to continue funding transport operators up to Easter and post Easter we are going to fund 85% of the contract value as providers will not be incurring fuel costs on the routes. This will be until the end of June at which point the position will be reviewed further.

Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council buildings

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, we have taken the decision to close all CCC and PCC buildings to the public from today (Tuesday). People can still get in touch with us, please visit our websites for more details – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

In an emergency people can call Cambridgeshire on 0345 045 5200 and Peterborough on 01733 747474.

Archives – Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archives search rooms will be closed to the public until further notice. We regret that we will be unable to offer our usual enquiry services during this period but we will continue to monitor and respond to emails as far as the available staffing allows.

Health and Personal Care volunteers

A campaign encouraging people with experience of adult health and personal care to volunteer to provide additional support has been launched across social media. This is to support out domiciliary care service, which assists older and vulnerable people who still live in their own homes, but require additional support with household tasks and personal care. More than 30,000 people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been reached so far since the campaign launched, and more than 310 have filled in a survey capturing their skills so far. This is part of COVID-19 Coordination Hub Cambridgeshire and Peterborough councils launched last week to help those most affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Services for older people and those with learning disabilities

Our day services that support older people and people with Learning Disabilities closed yesterday (Monday 23 March) until further notice. Alternative home-based care provision has been arranged for clients of the day services who need this, and staff from the service are actively being redeployed elsewhere in the Council to support vulnerable people in the community.

Support for adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism at our Kingfisher Centre, Industrial Hub and City Centre Hub in Peterborough has been scaled back, providing support for the most vulnerable.

Bus services in Peterborough

Service X4 Northampton – Kettering – Corby – Peterborough

The frequency will be reduced to hourly Mondays to Saturdays, two hourly Sundays – most of the journeys still operating via Lynch Wood. This is due to commence from Monday 30th March.

Cambridgeshire Customer Contact Centre

In order to re-direct our resources to critical services, we will be closing the Greater Cambridge Partnership, Parking Policy and Park & Ride phone lines from close of play tomorrow and the Trading Standards phone line from close of play on Friday. This will allow us to focus and prioritise critical services which need to remain

Registration services

Following the update from the Prime Minister last night, as of today all ceremonies are cancelled until at least the end of April. A number of other changes have also been made to the registration services being offered by both councils to ensure the government advice around social distancing is being followed. Measures have been put in place for birth and death registrations. More information can be found here on our websites:

Cambridgeshire County Council  https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/births-deaths-and-marriages

Peterborough City Council  https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/residents/births-deaths-and-ceremonies/peterborough-register-office

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Monday 23rd March 2020

COVID-19 Coordination hub

Following yesterday’s press conference by the Prime Minister, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, in response to the MHCLG direction, have already launched a COVID-19 coordination hub to provide targeted support for those most at risk during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The hub will have a specific focus on providing access to food, medicines and other supplies in the first instance. As well as co-ordinate the need to make sure there is adequate staff and resource capacity to serve a significant increased level of demand in critical service areas, such as the NHS and social care.

We’re waiting for guidance and instruction from Government in relation to the coordination of food, medicines and other support to the highly vulnerable list, the details of which will be shared with us this week and will draw in all necessary support from our partners, including the military, to support this vital work.

Peterborough Community Centres

We are aware that in light of the government advice on social distancing some Community Centres have already closed and we suggest they all consider doing the same in order to keep staff and our communities safe. We have recently launched a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Coordination Hub to help those in our communities most affected.  Our hub will work alongside community centre groups and ensure we can reach everyone who needs our support at this difficult time. For more information visit our website

Changes to bus services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council has been told of the following changes to bus services:

Delaine Bus Route Changes in Peterborough

  • Service 101 (Morton – Bourne – The Deepings – Peterborough) – normal service apart from last bus from Peterborough 19.15, Sunday departures from Peterborough now 10.00, 12.00, 14.00 & 17.00
  • Service 102 (The Deepings – Peterborough) – Full Suspension – departures from Peterborough now 07.30, 09.45, 11.15, 12.45 & 14.15
  • Service 201 (Bourne – Stamford – Peterborough) – normal operation

Changes to CallConnect service

CallConnect is a bus service for rural communities which can be requested by pre-booking only. The times the buses operate will be unaffected. However, the call centre that users phone to request a service will be reducing its opening hours by one hour at the end of each day. These temporary changes will help the service ensure it has sufficient staffing levels. The revised opening hours will be:

  • Mon-Fri – CallConnect emergencies and cancellations: 8am-6pm, Drivers: 6.30am-6pm, Main booking service: 8.30am-5.30pm (Welland and North Lincs 8am-5pm).
  • Saturday – CallConnect emergencies and cancellations: 8am-5pm, Drivers: 7.30am-5pm, Main booking service: 9am-4.30pm (Welland and North Lincs 8.30am-4pm).

Stagecoach

Changes will be made to the following services provided by Stagecoach. For full service changes visit the Stagecoach website:

  • Guided Busway – postponing launch of busway service until further notice and service changes
  • Cambridge Park & Ride
  • Cambridge Service
  • 99 Service
  • X5 Service
  • Bedford Service
  • Peterborough Service
  • Cambridge City Sightseeing Tour
  • Fenstanton Service

Gladstone Park Community Centre

The Gladstone Park Community Centre will be closed from today (Monday) until further notice because of the impact of COVID-19. All bookings have been cancelled until the end of April in the first instance, and arrangements are being made for staff to continue to be available remotely to take enquiries during the centre’s normal opening hours.

Cambridgeshire libraries to close

Following the Prime Minister’s words on Friday (20 March), increasing social distancing by closing many social venues, we are striving to maintain key functions of the library service across Cambridgeshire.

We must do this in a way which minimises the risk of infection to our customers and staff as we face the COVID- 19 pandemic, so from next week we plan to focus on increased digital and online offer, and an appointments based system for all Cambridgeshire County Council libraries.

This means that from today (Monday), our Library buildings will close but the service is working to create an alternative service offer including:

  • Appointments to use IT for those who most need it
  • A drop off / collection service for item reservations on an appointment basis – with items quarantined for 72 hours between loans

During the closure period, there will be no fines for overdue materials. Loans will also be extended until isolation advice is lifted for everyone.

An online offer will be available to give people access to digital books at home, more information about our online library service can be found here

Vivacity

Vivacity have closed all their services in line with Government guidance, this includes libraries and leisure centres in Peterborough, including the Key Theatre. For more details visit their website

Schools and Key workers

Following updated advice from central government, we’ve contacted schools and early years settings across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to clarify the national position on school closures and key workers.

The message from Government is clear – if it is possible for children to be at home safely, then they should be. Parents should not rely on, or ask for, childcare to be provided by anyone who should be stringently social distancing, such as grandparents or those with underlying health conditions. Schools will be asked to provide optional care for those children who are deemed to be vulnerable. Read more here

Children whose parents are ‘Key Workers’ – those whom the government deem critical to the COVID-19 response – will also be considered if they cannot be cared for at home. This will be the case if one or both parents are classed as key workers, and there is no means by which to keep the child at home, or in single parent families where the parent’s occupation falls within the list.

Garden Waste Collections for Peterborough

Anyone signed up to receive garden waste collections will no longer need to renew this service in April. Subscriptions will automatically be extended until July free of charge and the recurring direct debits will be paused.​ During this period no new subscribers will be able join the service and collections frequency will reduce to monthly. This will enable the council and Aragon Direct Services to prioritise collection of Green Recycling, Black Residual and Grey Food Caddie bins for all residents.

Peterborough Bereavement Service – Peterborough Crematorium

The following changes will be taking place:

Funerals

Following Government advice there is currently no ban on funeral gatherings, however for chapel services, families are asked to consider restricting attendance to close family and friends only.  If anyone is unable to attend a service due to self-isolation or underlying health problems, a live web cam facility is available at a reduced cost throughout this period. For further information in regards to this, please contact your funeral director

Bereavement Services

This will change to an appointment only based service. Please contact the team on 01733 262639 to make an appointment or for advice.

https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/residents/births-deaths-and-ceremonies/memorials

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:

Our advice and latest information on Coronavirus can be found on both websites – www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Information for specific groups

Advice and support for specific groups including Gypsy, Roma, and Travellers; health advice for Migrants and non-English speaking residents, together with those suffering financial hardship is available on the Covid-19 pages of Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils’ website.

Prime Minister’s Statement on Coronavirus

On 16 March, the Prime Minister made the following statement:

  • 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 fourteen 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

Friday 20th March 2020

Governance Process

From the NALC website:

On 16 March 2020, local government secretary Robert Jenrick MP addressed over 300 council leaders and sector bodies in a call on the government’s response to coronavirus. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to supporting councils to focus their efforts on the priority area of social care, providing vital support for vulnerable people and supporting their local economies — read the full press release on MHCLG’s website. NALC is awaiting confirmation that these changes will be applicable to local councils, plus legislation will need to be passed for this to come into effect and we are seeking clarification on the detail. In particular, the MHCLG press release states:

  • The deadline for local government financial audits will be extended to 30 September 2020
  • It will consider bringing forward legislation to remove the requirement for annual council meetings to take place in person
  • It will consider bringing forward legislation to legislation to allow council committee meetings to be held virtually for a temporary period

We will provide further updates as we find them out.

The work on the hub continues to develop, a website is currently being developed to allow easier access to information and self-serve to be able to register offers of help. Already, we are starting to see a great response from both communities & local businesses offering support and supplies.

A Community Reference Group is being established and will meet early next week – this has been mandated by the Strategic Coordination Group and brings together community and public sector partners to co-ordinate community messaging and action, and to feed community intelligence up through the command structure

Please join the fight against scams by registering to become a supporter of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership,   become a Friend Against Scams at https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/elearning/Cambridgeshire  and follow @CPAgainstScams on Twitter or Facebook – CAPASP19

Thursday 19th March 2020

Reach out …and help us combat coronavirus together.

Parish Councils

A COVID-19 coordination hub has been launched across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to help those in our communities who are most affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are working closely with partners to call upon people across the county to get in touch if they can volunteer their time to help others in a co-ordinated effort, which will offer safe support and reassurance county and city wide.

The virtual hub – staffed by a range of council workers –  will manage offers of help, thereby maximising support for communities, working alongside existing voluntary and community organisation partners.

The hub will link those who volunteer, with over 70s and others who fall within the vulnerable groups listed by the Government, who have been advised to self-isolate.

People can email CommunityCV@cambridgeshire.gov.uk and will be matched with those who need help based on their skills, time and willingness.

Adrian Chapman, service director for communities and safety for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, said: “We are seeing examples across the county of residents and communities setting up support groups which are working really effectively and  mobilising people who can and want to support their neighbours.

“Our hub will work alongside those groups which are already in existence to ensure that together we can reach everyone who needs our support at this incredibly difficult time.

“If you are someone who wants to offer your help, but aren’t necessarily sure how or where you can do so, please get in touch. We will match people to roles which they are comfortable with, ranging from food delivery to personal care.

“We also want to hear from voluntary groups who are doing good work in our communities who might be struggling to continue to offer support because of reduced numbers or resources. Please email us if you need our help to continue doing what you are doing.”

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough hub is in support of a request from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to establish a national network of hubs to provide targeted support for those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

People who are already part of support groups in their community are being asked to continue to do so. Residents who want to help but are not sure where their skills can be best used,  can get in touch with the hub.

NALC and CAPALC

National Association of Local Councils is publishing updated information on a regular basis, please regularly visit their web page  https://www.nalc.gov.uk/coronavirus