Feltham, Hanworth, Bedfont and Sunbury have stepped up and are working together to try and help those in need across our community during the Covid19 crisis.
Borough COVID-19 Info
I am writing to invite you to take part in a survey that the Council have put together to help us understand how you and the people you live with have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We would like to know how your life has changed, what support you need, how you are feeling now and your thoughts on the future.
We also want your views on how the Council has responded – how it shares information, the support it offers and its services. We want to hear about what we do well and what we could do better so we can improve how we support our communities over the coming months.
Your views are really important in helping us understand the issues, and will inform and influence what we do.
You can complete the survey by clicking on the following link: https://haveyoursay.hounslow.gov.uk/communications/coronavirus-survey/
Please share this survey with your friends and family who live in Hounslow, to ensure anyone who wants to share their views is able to do so.
The Council is setting up a new Community Support Hub to provide support and advice to our most vulnerable residents in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Council will be working with voluntary and community groups to ensure that vulnerable residents have the support they need. There will be a dedicated email address and phone number alongside webpages to direct people to support and advice as well as a resource for those that want to provide help and join a local community or voluntary group.
In addition, the intention is for the hub to provide the co-ordination and distribution of supplies to those extremely vulnerable residents which the government has identified should be ‘shielded’ and self-isolate for at least 12 weeks. The NHS is currently contacting those residents and once we have the relevant guidance from the Government we will be able to provide further information.
Information taken from Hounslow Council Web site
COVID 19 – Please check the individual websites or contact your local food bank directly before turning up to collect parcels. Some may be serving pre-packed bags from the outside of each centre and operating with a very small staff team, with many volunteer’s self-isolating.
Can I get help from a foodbank?
In order to get help from a food bank you will need to be referred. Each food bank works with different professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and the local Citizens Advice Bureaux.
The referral agency or food bank will gather some basic information about your situation. This will help to prepare suitable emergency food and offer further support based on the situation you are in. You will be issued with a voucher, which you can exchange this for a minimum of three days’ emergency food at your nearest food bank.
If you are not working with an agency and are need of food, contact your nearest foodbank to find out how you can be referred to their services.
Similar to foodbanks, there are a number of local organisations that offer clothes for babies and children as well as toys and baby equipment. Again a referral is generally required and you can find out more from the organisations directly listed below.
Open Kitchen Hounslow run by Muslim Hands offers a hot meal for anyone between 12 noon to 2pm and 6pm to 8pm daily.
Emergency and out of hours services
Salma Food Bank – now covering West London. Interim food supplies delivered to you in emergency situations when your local food bank is not available.Is this information correct? Please sign in to update your record.
The council are trying to deal with anticipated increased number of homelessness enquiries by moving from individual cases being dealt with by specific caseworkers to a collective response to speed things up.
The email address to send cases to is firstname.lastname@example.org
The phone number is 02085833942
To receive regular updates or new announcements that could help we advise you to sign up to the Government alerts on GOV.UK about: Coronavirus (COVID-19):
Accessing Small Business Rate Relief
Businesses who have commercial premises and are in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Business Rate Relief are eligible for the small business grant funding.
The grant was initially announced as £3,000 but this has been increased to £10,000.
You do not need to apply. The local authorities are aware of those who are in receipt of the rate relief and will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant. Businesses are expected to be contacted from the beginning of April.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rate Relief
There is additional rate relief support available to retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. If you operate in these sectors:
• You will pay no business rates in England for 12 months from 1 April 2020.
• There will be no rateable value threshold on this relief – businesses large and small will benefit.
• You do not need to apply. The holiday will be reflected in bills by local authorities as soon as possible.
Those businesses which do have a policy for insurance for pandemics – you will be able to claim against this.
If you don’t have insurance, other measures are available – these will focus on business rates delays & cash grants for the most vulnerable of up to £25,000.
Planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the Coronavirus outbreak.
If you need to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay
All businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible. The refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee and is to be paid from day 1.
It will be best practice for employers to maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.
You do not need to apply. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the method of repayment and details will be announced.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A package of government-backed loans of up £5m has also been announced, with no interest due for the first six months.
This scheme will be provided by British Business Bank via high street banks. Full details on the eligibility criteria will be announced shortly and it is thought the first loans will be available week commencing 23 March. Businesses remain responsible for repaying any facility they take out.
If you are worried about accessing finance now, you should speak to your usual lender.
Please see here the information provided about this scheme by The British Business Bank:
If your unable to pay your tax bill (corporation tax, VAT, PAYE)
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
For those who are unable to pay due to Coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:
• suspending debt collection proceedings
• agreeing instalment arrangements
• cancelling penalties and interest where businesses have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately
Contact HMRC for support – 0300 0159 559
Help with your mortgage repayments
Mortgage lenders will offer a three-month payment holiday for those customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of Coronavirus.
Lenders across the industry have agreed to introduce a simpler notification process for residential customers to apply for this relief.
Please contact your mortgage provider to discuss how this will affect your repayment term.
If you rent your property
Government have announced new protective measures for those renting their properties:
• Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place
• No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis
• Landlords will also be protected as 3-month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages
For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/complete-ban-on-evictions-and-additional-protection-for-renters
In terms of other bills including utilities and council tax, it is highly recommended that you contact your provider to advise them of the situation so that you can put an adequate plan in place to offer you the best possible support.
Universal Credit and Contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly into your bank. It is available to those who are not eligible for SSP. The government has made sure for the duration of the outbreak, the process to apply has been relaxed to make is easier for people who have coronavirus or are staying at home according to government advice, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support.
People will be able to claim Universal Credit and access advance payments upfront without the current requirement to attend a jobcentre. You can find more information here: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
You may be able to access the Hardship fund
The government expects most of this funding to be used to provide more council tax relief.
For more information about this fund, you should contact the local authority (council).
Support with energy bills for vulnerable people
Agreed emergency measures with energy suppliers to support any customers in financial distress.
Help for customers with pre-payment meters who may not be able to add credit, the disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended.
If you are unable to top up your pre-payment meter you advised to contact your supplier immediately to discuss how you can be kept on supply.
This is the latest news from Hounslow Council on plans being put into place to help and assist residents
Please see the link below for the latest copy of Hounslow Matters