Coronavirus (COVID-19) - information for residents and businesses

 

We’ve created this page in response to the ongoing situation with coronavirus. This is where we will publish the most up to date information about our services.

We are working as close to normal as possible and essential services are being provided. We are helping to keep people across the borough safe, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities.

You can help by staying alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (at least one metre apart, more where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

For the very latest information, take a look at the government website and NHS 111. You can also subscribe to receive email alerts.

Information about meeting people from outside your household from 4 July.

Information about Test and Trace.

If you have to go out to work, refer to guidance for employees and going to work.

Our buildings

Customer First in Scarborough is open only for the most vulnerable residents, 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday. Please do not visit unless absolutely necessary and you have no other way of contacting us.

Please self-serve online or call our customer service team on 01723 232323.

The following sites are closed to the public until further notice:

  • Customer First offices in Filey and Whitby
  • Everyone Active centres in Scarborough and Whitby
  • Falsgrave Community Resource Centre (access maintained for businesses)
  • Evron Centre (access maintained for businesses)

Public toilets are open.

Seasonal and annual chalets have been accessible since Saturday 4 July.

Support for vulnerable residents

We are working with North Yorkshire County Council and the voluntary and community sectors, playing an important role in the co-ordinated effort to support our borough’s most vulnerable residents.

This is led by Age UK for the Scarborough and Filey area and CaVCA for Whitby and the northern area. Our Home Improvement Agency is also part of the collective effort, providing practical support for people that are socially isolated.

Anyone that cannot access support through family, friends, neighbours or established community groups, should call 01609 780780 for assistance. This will ensure you receive the most accurate and up to date information about who can help you in your area.

A growing list of local producers, many of which are offering home delivery of food and other essentials to people that can't get out to shop and those that don't feel comfortable doing so, is available from Discover Yorkshire Coast.

Our critical support service for the homeless continues. If you are worried about your housing situation please contact 01723 232323.

Support for businesses

For information on working safely in a wide range of business sectors during coronavirus, including hospitality, see government advice for working safely.

Test and Trace workplace guidance.

To help you understand and access the financial support available, including information about paying your employees, sick pay and tax, business rates relief, business support grant funds, support for the self-employed and support for different types and sizes of businesses, refer to government information about financial support for businesses.

Government's Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses.

Advice for culture, tourism, leisure and sports sectors.

Advice for food businesses, including food hygiene information.

New! Information about Eat Out to Help Out and how to register your business.

New! Guidance on temporary reduced rate of VAT for the hospitality sector.

Sign up to the new 'We’re Good To Go' industry standard from Visit Britain and Visit England to give extra confidence to your returning customers.

Below you will find additional information, including details about how we are helping businesses at a local level.

Supporting a COVID-19 safe return to the hospitality and retail sectors

As restaurants, cafés, pubs, bars, hotels and other guest accommodation return to business from 4 July, we have introduced some practical measures to support communities to trade as safely as possible.

We have produced two guidance documents to help you prepare safely for opening your business. One is for restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs and takeaway services. The other is for hotels and other guest accommodation. You can view and download these from our business pages.

We have also produced guidance to help non-essential retailers prepare safely for opening, which can be viewed and downloaded from our business pages.

If you have any queries, irrespective of the type business you operate, please contact us via covid19businesssupport@scarborough.gov.uk or 01723 232323.

Signage advising people to maintain social distancing, practise good hand hygiene, pick up their litter and pay by contactless payment where possible, has been rolled out in Filey, Scarborough and Whitby. The messages feature on street signs and lamppost banners, in shop windows and on floor stickers. If you wish to supplement our efforts by commissioning signage for your business, you are welcome to use our artwork, courtesy of Blue Raptor Signs. We have also commissioned artwork specifically for hospitality and retail businesses to use.

You can download all the artwork here.

We have installed 30 hand sanitiser units throughout our three towns. Social distancing ambassadors are on hand in town centres and busy seafront areas to offer advice and help businesses and customers to remain COVID-19 safe.

Selected road closures and on street parking suspensions on busy days are being deployed by North Yorkshire County Council, to help manage flows of people and maintain social distancing.

These interventions are government funded as part of the national agenda to support the reopening of town centre high streets.

Free membership to the Federation of Small Businesses

We realise that not all businesses in the borough, particularly the smallest firms, can get help from the government's job retention, business rates discount or support grant schemes. We are investing £50,000 to fund memberships to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The offer is to the self-employed, micro and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

Up to 300 businesses can access the free membership, which provides a range of services, from legal help and advice to cyber protection and assistance to access funding opportunities.

Applications are still being accepted.  You can apply for the free membership offer by emailing nick.bradley@fsb.org.uk. Please add the words ‘Scarborough Borough’ to the subject field of your email.

Business rates relief

We have now issued amended business rate bills in all cases where the extended retail discount applies. If you have not received an amended bill and you think that your business is eligible for the relief, then please email local taxation. Information about other existing business rate reduction schemes is available on our business rates pages.

Business rates payment deferral

Payments due to be taken by direct debit on day 15 and day 25 of the month can be deferred for two months, as can instalments due by cash, which includes PayPal, online debit card payments and telephone card payments. Please complete this form if you wish to defer your payments.

The government continues to add new sectors to the list of business premises that will receive full retail relief for 2020/2021 on a daily basis. If you are entitled to this relief, we will prioritise awarding it to your account over moving your instalments, as this will result in a nil business rate bill and nothing to pay for 2020/2021.

Discretionary Business Grant Scheme

Certain small and micro businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property related costs that are not eligible for the Small Business & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants (as detailed below) may be eligible for a grant from our discretionary scheme.

We have paid 184 discretionary grants from the first phase of applications, equating to 1.94m. Application windows relating to this grant scheme have now closed and we are in the process of assessing submissions received for the period from 8 July 2020 to 20 July 2020.

You can check the eligibility of your business in our Discretionary Grant Scheme Policy. The policy has been amended from phase one to extend the categories of business that can apply. 

After the closing date, we will analyse the applications received and award grants in line with national and local priorities, as set out in our Discretionary Grant Scheme Policy. We have received a capped sum of £3.23m from the government for the discretionary scheme and 1.95m has been paid out to businesses from phase one applications. The allocation for phase two applications is therefore 1.28m so grants awarded will be managed within this limit. The individual level of grants paid to certain business types in phase two is not guaranteed to be the same as those paid to identical businesses in phase one due to these financial constraints.  

Small Business & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants

The government has issued guidance and criteria on the payment of cash grants for eligible businesses. You will need to submit a data form for each business you own to start the process; we will take care of everything else. To find out more about the grants available and complete the form go to payment of grants related to COVID-19.
 

As of Friday 10 July 2020, we have paid 5,158 grants, equating to £58.4m.

We are currently focusing on more complex and incomplete applications i.e. those where we need to seek further clarification. We are also chasing businesses who have not yet applied for their grant. Business owners seeing our number (01723 232323) on their caller display, should answer the call so that queries can be answered and their grant processed as quickly as possible.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) advice

Before ordering equipment, please read the current guidance via the links below:

What steps should I take to order PPE?

  1. Try your normal suppliers
  2. Get in touch with other local suppliers
  3. Link to national suppliers

If all the above suppliers are unable to help you, you can contact us at procurement@scarborough.gov.uk to see if we can assist.

Advice for landlords

Other resources

The government has scaled up its business support helpline in light of the current situation.  As a business owner you can speak directly to an advisor. The number to call is 0300 456 3565.

HMRC has launched a tax helpline to help your business if you are concerned about paying any taxes due and Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus means you need more time to file your accounts.

Advice and information is also available from the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Waste and recycling

Our collections of waste, recycling and garden waste (for those households subscribed to the service) are continuing. Please continue to put your bins/sacks out on your usual day.

We are suspending commercial waste collections where businesses are unable to operate, which will keep bins on site, enabling collections to quickly resume when government advice allows businesses to reopen. In these instances, please do not cancel direct debits as our systems automatically invoice for the remaining billing period. If you’re still operating and require collections or wish to report any issues, email commercialwaste@scarborough.gov.uk call 01723 232323.

North Yorkshire County Council’s household waste recycling centres in our area have reopened. Before you set off, please check locations and opening times on their website.

Benefits

Please do not come into our Customer First centre; call us on 01723 232372.

You can email any documents to us at benefits.office@scarborough.gov.uk or post to Benefits Office, PO Box 148, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2ZH. Originals are not required; you can send a copy. You can also email a photo of your documents to us.

COVID-19 hardship fund

As part of its response to coronavirus, the government is providing local authorities in England with grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area. 

The expectation is that we will provide all recipients of working age Local Support for Council Tax (LSCT) with a further reduction in their annual council tax bill of up to £150.

Where someone’s liability for 2020/21 is, following the application of LSCT, less than £150, then their liability will be reduced to nil. 

If you currently receive LSCT, there is no need for you to make a separate claim for a reduction under the scheme. We will assess who is eligible for support from the hardship fund and automatically rebill those people once the computer software is available.  

When assessing eligibility for the reduction, we will not take into account whether or not you have been affected, directly or indirectly, by coronavirus.

Job retention scheme

If your employer has temporarily closed their business due to coronavirus, they can carry on paying you under the job retention scheme. Your employer will need to contact HMRC to apply. Under the scheme, employers can claim a grant of up to 80% of your normal pay, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. More information is available on gov.uk and the Money Advice Service website. Speak to your employer about this scheme.

Changes in your circumstances

If your circumstances have changed due to coronavirus that means you might get more benefit then you can tell us here www.scarborough.gov.uk/home/housing/housing-benefit/changes-your-circumstances or email benefits.office@scarborough.gov.uk

Other assistance

The government has provided guidance on who can get statutory sick pay (SSP). Those who aren’t entitled to SSP are advised to claim universal credit and/or new-style employment and support allowance.

You can use the government benefits calculator to find out what other means tested benefits you may be able to claim. The Money Advice Service also provides up to date information and guidance.  

You can apply for LSCT here.

If you are receiving housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit and you are struggling to pay your rent, then you may qualify for a discretionary housing payment.

The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a new website that will be updated regularly, which provides the latest guidance on new and existing benefit claims, sick pay and self-employment. 

Council tax

If your income has changed and you are worried about your ability to pay your council tax, we can help. We can review your monthly payments or arrange payment deferral.

Please complete this form if you wish to defer your payments.

Parking and car parks

In agreement with North Yorkshire County Council,  on street parking enforcement was reintroduced on Monday 15 June. Charging and enforcement in our off street car parks also began on the same date.

People are encouraged to pay for parking ‘hands free’ using the RingGo app. Anyone needing to pay by cash (or card where the parking machine has that facility) is asked to use hand sanitiser before and after using the machine to minimise their risk of catching or spreading the virus.

NHS and critical care staff, NHS coronavirus volunteers and social care key workers still benefit from free parking as long as they display identification of their employment in their vehicle. This is a nationally recognised scheme and permits can only be issued by the worker’s employer.

Anyone with an expired parking permit should reapply here or email parking@scarborough.gov.uk or call 01723 232323. Due to reduced capacity within our Customer First centre, permits can only be renewed online or via the telephone/postal application option and not face to face.

Funeral services

The waiting room at Woodlands Crematorium remains closed, but the reception area to the main office is open to visitors.

Funeral services are taking place although we are limiting the number of family and friends that can attend services to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Please ask your funeral director for more details.

Live streaming of services online is available for a modest fee. For more information, email bereavement.services@scarborough.gov.uk or call 01723 372652 / 354393. You can also ask your funeral director.

We have re-opened the book of remembrance chapel at Woodlands Crematorium. You can also access the online version of the book.

Thank you for your understanding.

Public meetings

We’re reviewing essential meetings on a meeting-by-meeting basis. Some meetings are being streamed on our YouTube channel. All non-essential meetings have been postponed until further notice.