Covid 19 information update from your local Councillor Patrik Garten

Dear Residents

I hope that you are well. I am aware that local communities set up self-help groups and I am staying in contact with their key members. If there is anything I can assist with, please let me know by return email.

I do not want to overload you with information, but there have been some important local updates. I’ll try to keep this email short, please refer to the links for more information.

LOCAL INFORMATION

https://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/other-services/covid-19

Here you will find most links for support.

CONTACT POINT

If you or a friend  / neighbour needs support :

Kent County Council has now launched a 24/7 phoneline for residents across Kent.  There will be no ‘wrong door’ and residents can come to Maidstone direct or via KCC.

Maidstone Hub:

Freephone 0300 303 1650 Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

https://my.maidstone.gov.uk/service/Asking_For_Support_Form

Offering help with emergency food parcels, for those that are self-isolating.

Arranging help to have prescriptions delivered

 

KCC – Kent Together

Freephone – 03000 419292 (24 hour service)

www.kent.gov.uk/KentTogether

Assessing needs and liasing with Community Hubs to prioritise those that have urgent needs.

First point of contact for reporting welfare and social care needs.

 

HOT SITES

Please only contact your GP by phone if you are unwell.  Do not visit the surgery without prior appointment.  If your GP is concerned that you may have Corona symptoms (s)he’ll refer you directly to one of the two Hot Sites which have now been set up to accommodate the needs of patients who have COVID19 or  symptoms.

The hot sites in the borough are at Headcorn Aerodrome and Maidstone Leisure Centre.

 

VOLUNTEERS AND DBS CHECKS

 I presume that most of us know our neighbours and friends. The Government has produced a fact sheet and FAQ’s that may be of help

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-factsheet-community-volunteers-during-covid-19-outbreak

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-factsheet-community-volunteers-during-covid-19-outbreak/safeguarding-and-dbs-factsheet-faqs

 

BUSINESS GRANTS

Maidstone Borough Council is urging all local businesses that qualify for the government grants for help during the Corona virus Pandemic, to apply now.

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value over £15,000 and under £51,000 will receive a cash grant of £25,000. Around 425 businesses in Maidstone qualify for the grant.

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive a cash payment of £10,000.

All businesses in receipt of small business rates relief and rural rate relief – regardless of sector – will be eligible for a cash payment of £10,000. Around 1,800 businesses in the borough qualify for these £10,000 grants.

The Council has written out to all those that qualify, setting out what they need to do to set up payment details for the grant.

For more information on the Grants scheme please visit: https://businessinmaidstone.co.uk.

I am aware that there are businesses in the North Downs, which have not yet received a letter from MBC.  If your business is one of them, please email the business support team at covid19business@maidstone.gov.uk and copy me into your correspondence.

 

BENEFIT REASSESSMENTS

 In order to  provide reassurance to vulnerable people about the continuity of their benefits payments during the current pandemic, the Department for Work and Pensions have temporarily suspended all benefit reassessments for the next three months. You can read full details of the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3aBGkM2

FINALLY:  COUNCIL MEETINGS

All Council and Committee meetings are currently suspended. The IT team and Democratic Services are currently working on plans to allow for meetings to be held by Skype, as permitted by recent emergency legislation.  If we commence with this, the meetings will be held online and can be listened to live by the public. I will update you if / when this happens.