As part of East Suffolk Council’s response to the impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable residents, a new community fund of more than £70,000 has been launched to support those in need.
An ‘East Suffolk Covid-19 Community Fund’ will benefit from £1,000 of each of the 54 ward councillors’ 2020/21 ‘Enabling Communities Budgets’. This is in addition to funds from the Districts eight Community Partnership areas, which have allocated £2,500 each.
Funding can be used in many ways, including the support of pop-up food banks, buying essential goods or services for individuals, supporting telephone befriending services or providing funding for fuel to enable Good Neighbour Scheme volunteers to deliver medicines across the district.
Anyone wishing to highlight a resident or group in need of support - is asked to contact the Communities Team by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on applying for the East Suffolk Covid-19 Community Fund and for the most up-to-date information on how council services are being affected by Covid-19, please visit: eastsuffolk.gov.uk
Police here in Suffolk could now arrest people - if they ignore lockdown rules brought in because of the Coronavirus by the Home Office.
Police Officers will be able to tell those not staying at home, to go home, leave or disperse an area - and make sure that parents are stopping their children from breaking the law.
Those who do not comply could be fined £60 - while those who offend a second time may be given a fine of £120.
If these fines are not paid, then the penalty could mean being taken to court - where magistrates will be able to impose unlimited fines.
The new laws come into force as the Coastguard report that people are still going to the coast and beach despite Government warnings to stay at home because of COVID-19.
Right across the UK, the Coastguard is getting a number of calls reporting groups of people on beaches across the UK.
Pete Mizen, assistant director for HM Coastguard said: “At this time of the year the beaches aren’t lifeguarded - which is a double risk to you and our emergency responders. Help us to help you. Stay at home.”
A new Suffolk-focused community service has been set up to support people who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Called ‘Home But Not Alone’, the service has been launched to help connect people who want to volunteer in their communities with neighbours who are most in need.
The service will mean willing volunteers, charities, town and parish councils, community and religious groups can all log their details and offers of support on an app - while people who need help can phone to request support.
As the number of offers and requests grows, they will be matched so that the right help can be given where it’s most needed.
This support could include delivering groceries, medication or essential household goods, in line with Government social distancing guidelines.
The telephone number for those in genuine need of help is freephone 0800 876 6926 and will be staffed from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.
The Home, But Not Alone service was created by partners from Suffolk’s councils, police, health bodies and charitable organisations which come together as the Collaborative Communities Board.
The telephone line is not a general information line for COVID-19 queries, but those in need can seek information on support with care needs, loneliness and to connect with community support.
You can download the free app, called Tribe Volunteer from Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
East Suffolk Council is responding to new measures, laid down by the Prime Minister, relating to COVID-19 and is taking steps to ensure critical services are maintained.
The Council’s Customer Services team is responding to urgent enquiries, however customers are encouraged wherever possible to seek information about services online, by going to eastsuffolk.gov.uk.
Operational partners of the council, East Suffolk Norse - are continuing to deliver waste collection, fly-tipping and cleaning services – however this will be constantly reviewed and services will be prioritised should staff capacity be reduced.
East Suffolk’s office-based staff are now working from home and are undertaking no face-to-face meetings. However teams which retain a public health & safety responsibility remain operational, albeit with a reduced capacity.
Meanwhile, the Housing Team continues to manage a homelessness function and will carry out emergency repairs on council properties if the issue is urgent. Full social distancing procedures are being followed throughout.
East Suffolk’s Environmental Protection and Food & Safety teams will only respond to emergencies for the foreseeable future and the Building Control team will also deal with structural emergencies only where this is a safety risk to the public.
Councilor Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, said: “In these unprecedented times, we must follow the guidance laid down by the Government and I implore everyone in East Suffolk to pay heed to this incredibly important advice. Please stay home and save lives.
“We will however continue to deliver essential services to those who need us most and I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of our staff and partners who are putting the needs of other people first during this emergency.
East Suffolk Council is urging people to respect the official advice to practice social distancing to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
The sunny weather saw many people congregate in tourist locations across East Suffolk this weekend, despite official advice from the Government to practice ‘social distancing’.
In light of the scenes seen across our part of the county this weekend, East Suffolk Council have said that it is more important than ever to remind residents that social distancing is not optional – it is mandatory.
Councillor Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council said that he “understands it is difficult for everyone, but it is essential that we all respect the official advice of staying indoors and practice social distancing to help protect the vulnerable people in our communities. The NHS is under extreme pressure dealing with an unprecedented situation and we must ALL do our bit.”
Meanwhile, following the Government’s announcement on Friday the 20th March that a series of businesses must shut their doors for the foreseeable future to help stop the spread of the virus, local authorities have been designated to take action.
The Coronavirus outbreak is now presenting a significant threat to the people of Suffolk with many vulnerable residents in our part of Suffolk facing several weeks of social distancing...
In response to the on-going situation, Suffolk Community Foundation has launched the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund.
Also - and in partnership with the National Emergency Trust - community foundations across the country will be distributing nationally raised funds at a local level.
Money raised will support charity groups and community organisations throughout Suffolk, to reach the most vulnerable during this pandemic.
This is clearly a developing situation - and as a result, the focus of the fund will continue to evolve in line with the support required.
The fund will currently support projects that address;
As part of the ‘Home but Not Alone’ Campaign, Community Action Suffolk are offering to connect potential volunteers with community groups, charities and local councils offering volunteer roles.
The aim is to build on the existing networks in the county, encourage more people to sign up as volunteers.
This will be a developing campaign, led by the local experts - and will respond to the areas of greatest need.
Roles will try to link you to the Suffolk Good Neighbour Scheme, Food Banks and Local Councils responses.
To start with some basic details are required, so you can be informed about potential opportunities in your local area - and this includes knowing if you have a current DBS - although this is not essential for all roles.
As the Government ramps up it’s advice around social distancing… The Suffolk User Forum have issued a warning for people in the county, regarding scammers that claim to be raising money for a cure for COVID-19.
In Halesworth Police have received reports of cold callers that are in our part of Suffolk, allegedly trying to sell Covid 19 vaccines door to door. There is NO vaccine currently available - and cold callers need a pedlar's certificate which should be presented on request - so call 999 if you're suspicious.
At the same time, Suffolk User Forum report that scammers are sending fake emails, making phone calls and also have websites - all looking for finances to raise money for a cure and other issues, relating to fighting the escalating outbreak of COVID-19.
Suffolk User Forum provides feedback to inform, shape and improve mental health services - and is active across the whole of Suffolk.
Relating to the latest scam to be reported, Suffolk User Forum have said that people should not give out their bank details either on the phone or online - as it is easy to be tricked, as the fraudsters can prove to be very convincing.
For details on this and other work the Suffolk User Forum does with individual mental health service users and their families - go online to: suffolkuserforum.co.uk
Police Officers have charged a man in connection with an attempted burglary at a property in St Peter’s Street, Lowestoft.
During the early hours of Tuesday 17th March there was an attempt to enter a property before the offender was disturbed and then left the scene.
A 45-year-old man was arrested later that morning on suspicion of burglary.
Jason Whitaker of Normanston Drive in Lowestoft was subsequently charged with attempted burglary.
He has now appeared before Norwich Magistrates’ Court, where he was remanded in custody and is due to appear before Ipswich Crown Court on 15 April.
Repairs to one of our busiest roads is schedule to get underway during this month.
The A146 at Beccles runs from Suffolk and up to Norwich - and has already seen travel delays because of the temporary traffic lights which have now been in operation for a few weeks.
Repairs to Waveney Bridge are scheduled to take place from Monday 23rd March for 2 weeks - with the temporary traffic signals remaining in place.
There will also be overnight closures for three nights from Wednesday 25th March - and these will be taking place between 7 o’clock in the evening and continue until 6 o’clock the following morning.
The presence of traffic lights over recent weeks, has led to some lengthy delays for traffic heading in and out of Beccles via George Westwood Way.
Diversions will be in place for the overnight closures, along Gillingham Dam and into Beccles along Bridge Street.