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Support for residents

  • General advice

    From 29 March there will be cahnges to current restrictions

    This will mean enhanced restrictions are in place:

    • Rule of six: socialise safely and outdoors only
    • Stay home ends. You should minimise travel and when you do travel, do so safely
    • Outdoor sports & leisure / facilities, such as tennis & football courts reopen
    • No holidays, overnight stays

    Weddings and funerals

    • Up to 6 people can attend a wedding or equivalent ceremony in exceptional circumstances
    • A maximum of 30 people can attend a funeral. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to 6 people.

    Businesses and venues which must close

    • Non-essential retail - these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect and delivery services
    • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs with the exception of providing food for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
    • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites
    • Leisure and sports facilities including indoor gyms
    • Entertainment venues and indoor attractions
    • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons

    Places that remain open

    • Essential retail such as supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
    • Market stalls selling essential retail
    • Libraries for essential IT services
    • Businesses providing repair services, where they primarily offer repair services
    • Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
    • Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
    • Funeral directors
    • Medical and dental services
    • Outdoor gym, pools, sports courts, golf courses and outdoor riding centres
    • Places of worship where strict social distancing is maintained
    • Crematoriums and burial grounds

    Travelling

    If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. The list of reasons you can leave your home and area include, but are not limited to:

    • Work, where you cannot reasonably work from home
    • Accessing education and for caring responsibilities
    • Visiting those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
    • Visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
    • Buying goods or services that you need, but this should be within your local area wherever possible
    • Outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
    • Attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services

    If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.

    Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble

    International travel

    You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

    If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you've visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice

  • Corona Kindness

    Blackpool Council is committed to maintaining essential services and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.

    We have established a community Corona Kindness helpline for those who want to offer help and for those that need help.

    The services that we can help with include:

    • Food shopping
    • Medical supplies
    • Social isolation and loneliness
    • Dog walking

    If you need to access any of those things or you feel you can help, please email helpneeded@blackpool.gov.uk or helpoffered@blackpool.gov.uk.

    If you need help call 0808 1963080.

    Find out more about Corona Kindness

    Corona Kindness hubs

    Twelve corona kindness hubs are now in the process of being established in Blackpool across a broad geographical spread to meet vulnerable people’s needs.

    Each hub will have a dedicated person to co-ordinate support to the people most at risk.

    Find out more about the Corona Kindness community hubs

  • Council Tax

    We would like to thank all residents who are able to continue paying, as your contribution is helping us to maintain essential services that are delivered to all in our town. It is important if your circumstances have not changed, you pay what you should, maintain your direct debit payments, or payment plan as detailed on your bill.

    If you are struggling to pay your council tax, we want to make you aware of the support available and how we can help if you have been affected.

    Council Tax reduction grants

    The chancellor announced additional hardship support for council tax payers in the recent budget.

    Local authorities have been asked to award a reduction to all Working Age Council Tax Reduction customers.

    The award will be £150 off their Council Tax bill or if less than £150 is owed in Council Tax after the award of benefit, the bill will be reduced to nil.

    Working age residents in receipt of Council Tax Reduction do not need to contact us as the awards will be made automatically and a new Council Tax bill will be issued in due course.

    If your financial circumstances have changed and you now need to claim Council Tax Reduction, please complete your application form as soon as possible

  • Financial support for those self-isolating

    This is to ensure individuals, who test positive or are identified as close contacts, self-isolate and minimise the possibility of transmitting COVID-19.

    If people do not comply you will be subject to fines of at least £1,000 and up to a maximum £10,000 for repeat or very serious offences.

    To assist people to self-isolate, the government has announced that individuals on low incomes will be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, if they meet certain criteria, in order to support them through their self-isolation period.

    The payments are only available to people who have been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

    Find out if you're eligible and make an application

  • Employment support

    We are working with the Lancashire Skills Hub to make sure people have access to the employment support and skills training they need during this difficult period and to assure you that there is help available whether you've been:

    • Made redundant
    • Furloughed
    • Are at risk of redundancy
    • Have been unemployed for a while


    Find what support is available in Blackpool to help you learn new skills, access training courses, get careers advice and guidance and get one-to-one support to help you get back to work.

  • Homelessness support and referral

    During the winter period, Housing Options has had an open offer of accommodation for rough sleepers to ensure they are made safe during the cold weather. We have now stood down this provision.

    Blackpool Housing Options remains committed to helping rough sleepers access accommodation where possible, and anyone experiencing homelessness should be referred to Housing Options for the appropriate advice and assistance.

    If you are a member of the public and have identified a rough sleeper, you can telephone us direct on 01253 477765, or email us at HSAT@blackpool.gov.uk

    Additional details on how to access help for rough sleepers.

    Advice on eviction

    Ban on eviction

    The government has announced that they have extended the ban on landlords evicting tenants and the courts will not hear repossession claims by landlords until 20 September 2020.

    Your landlord must give you 6 months' notice, rather than the normal 3, until at least the end of May 2021, unless the case involves a serious issue.

    Despite this, you should continue to pay your rent to your landlord if you are able to.

    More information is avaliable on the Shelter website

    Help with rent arrears

    If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing costs do not cover your rent and you have fallen into arrears, you can apply for a discretionary housing payment from the council.

    You will need to complete an online application form and we will look at your circumstances, your income and expenditure and give you advice if required.

  • Support for unpaid carers

    Throughout the pandemic, unpaid carers have played an invaluable role, stopping people from entering formal care for preventable conditions, absorbing and reducing strain on the NHS, and providing support for those they care for.

    Blackpool Council is partnering with Blackpool Carers Centre to ensure the PPE and vaccination messages reach as many informal carers as possible.

    PPE

    Informal carers who do not live with the person they care for and who provide personal care, can access basic PPE such as masks and gloves, provided free of charge by Blackpool Council, and distributed by Blackpool Carers Centre.

    Carers who would like to collect a supply of PPE can do so Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm from the centre at Beaverbrooks House, 147 Newton Drive, Blackpool FY3 8LZ.

    Anyone not sure whether they are a carer who would qualify for the free PPE can contact Blackpool Cares Centre on (01253) 393748.

    COVID-19 vaccinations

    It is excellent news that informal carers are now included in the JCVI Cohort 6 roll out of vaccinations in a phased approach.

    Some carers may have already been able to take advantage of a pro-active, spare vaccine approach when their cared for loved one was vaccinated, other informal carers will receive invitations to book their vaccination appointments if they are known through the following routes:

    • Those known to GP's who have a ‘Carers Flag' on their primary care record
    • Those in receipt of Carers Allowance or those entitled to Carers Allowance
    • Those known to Blackpool Council following carers assessments or where there is a note of caring role
    • Those receiving care and support from Blackpool Carers Centre

    Carers who feel they may not be covered by the above, including new informal carers, can contact Blackpool Carers Centre on 01253 393748 for help, support and advice.

  • Government benefits

    Support for children with complex needs

    The Department for Education has announced that low-income families with children that have complex needs and disabilities can apply for a grant to make their lives easier during this period of social distancing.

    The grant can be used towards a number of resources, such as computers and tablets, specialist equipment and educational toys.

    A proportion of funding has been committed specifically for families that are staying at home more than usual to shield themselves from COVID-19, and are looking after and educating critically ill or disabled children themselves.

    For further information and to apply, visit the Family Fund website.

  • Information for tenants/landlords in the private rented sector

    The current COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy, including housing and the private rented sector.

    To support both landlords and tenants, temporary measures have been published by central government in relation to the private rented sector.

    View the information for tennants and landlords.

  • Mental health support

    What to do if you’re struggling with your mental health

    If you are concerned about your mental health, or you are worried about the mental health of a relative or someone you care for, the first thing to do is speak to your GP. Due to coronavirus, GPs are offering telephone appointments, so you will not need to attend the surgery unless the GP tells you that a face-to-face appointment is necessary.

    Urgent mental health support

    If you cannot contact your GP, and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, it's important to get help straight away - support is still available even if services seem busy at the moment because of coronavirus.

    If you are in Blackpool and need urgent help, you can contact the Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust mental health crisis line

    You can also find out where to get the right support in a crisis on the NHS website

    Further support

    These organisations offer signposting and ongoing support, advice and self-help tools.

    Healthier Lancs and South Cumbria A wide ranging list of mental health support services available for adults and children in Blackpool.

    Every Mind Matters Practical advice, from how to deal with anxiety, to boosting your mood and sleeping better. Information for adults, children, young people and parents. Create your own Mind Plan and learn techniques to help your mental wellbeing while staying at home.

    NHS talking therapies Find out about talking therapies available through the NHS and self-refer if you need to.

    Healthier Blackpool Get Vocal Get 5 tips for better mental health and access local support services in Blackpool.

    Free listening services

    Samaritans are available to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Call 116 123 to talk to a trained Samaritan, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours.

    Text "SHOUT" to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text "YM" if you're under 19.

    If you're under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.