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Access to district and county council services and help

Vale of White Horse District Council

http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-and-advice/coronavirus-community-support   01235 422 600

The District Council has set up a telephone-based support service to help vulnerable and isolated residents who need help with shopping, collecting medical supplies, and other day to day tasks. This service is there for anyone who doesn’t have friends or family around to help and is for anybody who hasn’t been identified by the NHS as high-risk. To contact our service call 01235 422600 or email communitysupport@southandvale.gov.uk.

Operating hours – phone lines are open:

  • 8.30am to 8pm Monday to Friday

  • 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are putting a range of measures in place to help people who are being affected financially by the Coronavirus pandemic, including support for individuals and for businesses.

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-from-the-government/

OCC has a support line service for vulnerable high-risk residents who have been advised to stay at home for 12 weeks. Anybody in this situation who has nobody around to help should call 01865 897 820 or email  sheild:oxfordshire.gov.uk  for support.

Operating hours – phone lines are open:

  • 8.30am to 8pm Monday to Friday

  • 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday

Schools, childcare and early years

Many schools, early care and childcare settings, are closed until further notice, but some will be open for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

  • If you need help to find a school place for a key worker child or vulnerable child, email schoolplaceavailability@oxfordshire.gov.uk 

  • Details of open early year providers are here. If you’re having difficulty finding a suitable place for early years, call 01865 323332 or email  . 

  • Government helpline to answer education-related questions about COVID-19: 0800 046 8687 or email: fisenquiries@oxfordshire.gov.uk  (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm. Weekends 10am-4pm).

  • The latest guidance for education settings is available on GOV.UK.

  • Advice for Ofsted-registered childcare provider, including childminders, nurseries and wraparound childcare and clubs (before-and after-school and holiday care) here.

  • Guidance for meeting needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) available from government here.

  • For advice regarding ‘free school meal’ national vouchers, contact your child’s school. More information here.

  • Online educational resources for schools and parents to help children to learn at home here.

  • For latest DfE updates, please click here

Registration
 

Our Registration (births, deaths and marriages) Service is currently working hard to meet the needs of Oxfordshire people despite the different ways of working required by the current national situation.

The council undertands that for a bereaved relative or friend  it can be a distressing time and that one of the key services we provide is registering a death. For more information visit here

All the registration offices in Oxfordshire are now closed. Death and still-birth registrations are now undertaken by telephone.

Libraries

Libraries in Oxfordshire are closed until further notice. All loans will be extended during this period – people will not incur any fines or hire charges.

Public Health well-being services

There are a range of well-being and health services that are affected during this period. If you need to find out about services such as: support to quit smoking, sexual health clinics and weight management sessions, please click here. 

Other council services

For important information on many services including the Coroner, residents parking permits, The Oxfordshire Museum and The History Centre, school transfers, the Oxfordshire Music Service and fire training courses visit here

The council has made a decision to allow the use of a concessionary bus pass 24/7 during the period of uncertainty with the Coronavirus. This is a temporary arrangement which will allow older and disabled people to travel before 9.00am to access shops and essential services. Visit here.

Waste

The advice for resident is as follows:  if the bins on your street are not emptied, please leave them out for up to three days (including weekends) and the waste team will try to catch up. If they are still not emptied, please bring them back in and the waste team will empty them on the next planned collection day.

Collection of kerbside small electricals and textiles recycling has been suspended.  The waste team is asking residents to keep these items until the service has resumed and making it very clear that they must NOT go in the general rubbish or recycling bins because of the fire risk to waste collection trucks.

If anyone in your household has or is suspected to have Coronavirus, all personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Oxfordshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) remain closed

Hardship fund for people on Council Tax Reduction

The government has confirmed details of a £500million hardship fund.  Under this scheme, people in receipt of Council Tax Reduction will receive a minimum of £150 off their council tax bill for 2020/2021, unless their bill is less than £150, in which case their bill will be reduced to zero. This is in addition to any support they already receive.  

The councils are now working to confirm the amount each individual qualifying household will receive off their bill – as soon as this is complete, revised bills will be issued. 

Council tax payments
 

Where possible, people should continue to pay their bills as normal.  If someone is genuinely having difficulty paying their council tax, they should contact our council tax team on:

Vale residents – vowhdc.counciltax@secure.capita.co.uk  / 0345 302 2315

People who are currently not being paid, and are struggling to pay their bill, are encouraged to apply for Council Tax Reduction – their account will then be put on hold for 30 days while their application is processed.

To apply for Council Tax Reduction please visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ctrs

For more information about support and advice for individuals please visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/covid19

Advice and support for businesses

The councils are prioritising awarding the extensions to retail rate relief to existing accounts and working to identify eligible ratepayers.  Work has also taken place to identify and collate the necessary information to allow the councils to pay Small Business and Retail Grants.

Letters have gone out to ratepayers who we believe qualify.  To claim a grant, businesses should complete the required form which can be found at:

Payments will begin to be processed from week commencing 6 April. 

Those that can pay their bills should do so as normal, however those businesses who are genuinely having difficulty paying their business rates should contact our business rates team via www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/businessrates

The South & Vale Business Support team publishes the latest government advice and support on svbs.co.uk and via twitter (@TeamSVBS), including about rates relief and business support grants.  Business can also sign up to receive an e-newsletter via the website.

The website also lists the latest job vacancies for individuals seeking temporary employment, exercises to stay healthy while working from home, and links to mental health organisations.

The government has advised those who are self-employed who are in urgent need of financial assistance to apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction.  This will provide them with support until a grant for the self-employed becomes available in June.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/access-to-district-and-county-council-services-and-help/