East Cambs District Council, working with Cambridgeshire County Council as the lead authority of the Local Resilience Forum, is stepping up its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to safeguard the wellbeing of residents, staff, and members. The Council is taking a number of steps to support residents and keep its services operating.
The Council’s community hubs, which offer advice and support on a huge range of issues, will operate over the telephone, with new phone lines open for residents. Alongside this, the homeless prevention and support service continues to run and anyone concerned about a rough sleeper, or people who find themselves getting into financial difficulty with rent or mortgage payments should get in touch.
Waste collections will continue as normal and anyone who is self-isolating should follow advice published by DEFRA on their website. Planning and licensing services also continue as normal.
The Council is gearing up to implement rebilling of business rates to reflect the new discounts announced by the Chancellor, and implementation of the business hardship fund to ensure it gets to the people that need it quickly.
The Council will also be supporting the Local Resilience Forum in co-ordinating the volunteer effort which is going to be increasingly important as things change.
To limit face-to-face interaction, East Cambs have made the decision to cancel all council meetings and committees until the end of May.
In line with national guidelines set out by the Government and Public Health England (PHE), East Cambridgeshire District Council will be shutting their reception in Ely for the foreseeable future to end the risk posed by face to face contact between members of the public and staff.
Alternative methods of contact have been put in place to ensure that service levels are maintained throughout the reception closure.
Office hours will remain the same and services can be accessed from 08:45-17:00 Monday to Thursday and 08:45-16:00 on Fridays by contacting 01353 665555.
Cllr Anna Bailey, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Life has changed dramatically and drastically for us all and these are worrying times for everyone, but we will adjust and we will get through this by pulling together and helping each other. Fantastic and heart-warming initiatives are popping up all over our District to help support older people and those that are self-isolating or social distancing.”
“The health and wellbeing of our residents, staff, and members is our priority. The Council is and will continue to follow the national guidance to safeguard the wellbeing of individuals and communities and I would urge residents to do the same.
“We are working incredibly hard to ensure that service levels are maintained. Please be assured that we are here to help and support residents in these very difficult times.”
Contact numbers for services:
- For all Council service enquiries other than Housing Benefit or Council Tax, please call 01353 665 555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Out of hours emergencies: 07710 978 900
- Homelessness & Housing advice: 01353 665 555
- Community Advice and Support: 07717 498 707 or 07517 996 118
- Council tax enquiries: 01842 756 569
- Housing benefit and council tax reduction enquiries: 01842 756 566
- Housing benefit overpayment enquiries: 01842 756 569
- Business rates enquires: 01842 756 568
- You can report, pay and apply for Council services online at www.eastcambs.gov.uk