COVID-19 Briefing 01/04: Food distribution, support for vulnerable and council tax-shifting

John Lodge, R4U Chair and Council Leader at UDC has issued the following Coronavirus update:

Since the Government’s lockdown announcement, Uttlesford District Council has been working on a number of measures in readiness for the expected increase in COVID-19 cases in our district over the coming weeks.

Project ‘Community Shield’ has been launched as part of the national programme to get food parcel deliveries to our most vulnerable residents. UDC has already designated a local distribution hub and it is expected to be stocked, staffed and active within days (more information on the UDC website here).

John Lodge (R4U)John Lodge
R4U Chair & Leader UDC

UDC’s new Community Response Hotline is now live at 03333 408 218, and is available to residents who are isolated and in need. Those who want to volunteer in their communities can also contact the Hotline and be connected to the most appropriate team.

UDC has implemented a ‘tax shift’ programme to allow those experiencing a substantial drop in income to reschedule their Council Tax payments. Council tax is usually paid over 10 months from April to January. Under this programme those that qualify will be able to delay payment for 2 months. The council has designed this shift in collecting taxes to sit alongside the zero-hours/self-employed support scheme that the government has put in place nationally, which they plan to activate by June.

Please be assured that UDC officers are working hard for you. The council has published all relevant information and advice on its website. Please visit www.uttlesford.gov.uk/coronavirus.  Please also visit the R4U website to access the Business Directory to get the latest status of customer collect and home delivery services offered by local businesses across our district: www.residents4u.org/coronavirus.

Across the district, the community response and volunteer work in our villages and towns has been staggering.  A series of different volunteer-led Good Neighbour programmes, often working with flexible local businesses, have stepped up to help. People love where they live and it shows.

I’d also like to thank residents for heeding the government’s social distancing advice. Staying indoors and limiting trips outside only for essential supplies and exercise is very difficult especially now that spring has started; but we must do this to keep all residents safe and well.

Cllr John Lodge