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

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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 two metres apart)
  • 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.

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.

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
  • Public toilets
  • Everyone Active centres in Scarborough and Whitby
  • Falsgrave Community Resource Centre (access maintained for businesses)
  • Evron Centre (access maintained for businesses)

Chalets will not be accessible until 31 May. We have been contacting chalet customers to offer a full or partial refund for the time the chalets are inaccessible. It has not been possible to contact a small number of chalet holders. If we have not been in touch with you, please email chalets@scarborough.gov.uk

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

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.

Discretionary support scheme for small businesses - further details on the scheme are yet to be announced by government.  More information will be provided on this page once the criteria for funding has been agreed.

For general information, including guidance on social distancing in the workplace, see government guidance for employers and businesses.

If you are unsure about whether your business is allowed to open, refer to guidance on closing businesses and venues.

Advice for culture, tourism, leisure and sports sectors.

Advice for food businesses.

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

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 will be able to 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 being offered on a first come, first served, basis.  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 are in the process of sending out updated bills for those businesses eligible for the new government reliefs. Please do not call us about the reliefs; we will issue updated bills automatically if your business is eligible.

If you have a direct debit set up against a business rates account, which is eligible for full business rates relief, no payments will be taken for the 2020/21 financial year. You do not need to notify us to cancel your direct debit arrangement. 

If we do take a payment and you think we shouldn’t have done, please let us know.

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.

Business cash 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 Tuesday 19 May 2020, we have paid 4,710 grants, equating to £53.6m. We will continue to prioritise processing the grant payments. If you have provided an email address for your business, we will send you a remittance advice.

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 are closed until further notice. Please refer to their website for service updates. You can help us by postponing your spring clear outs until their centres open, to minimise impact on our green and blue bin collections. Thank you.

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

In agreement with North Yorkshire County Council, we are concentrating our parking enforcement on dangerous and obstructive parking. In order to help residents parking outside their homes while working from home or self-isolating, enforcement will be relaxed in residential areas across the borough. Motorists should still adhere to parking restrictions such as double yellow lines and ensure they are not causing an obstruction so that access for emergency services and public transport can be maintained at all times. This will allow our staff to concentrate their efforts on keeping key routes running normally.

Funeral services

Funeral services are taking place as normal but we are restricting services to immediate family only.

The waiting room, office and other public spaces at Woodlands Crematorium are closed. Services can be streamed live online, free of charge, for the benefit of mourners not attending the service in person. For more information, email bereavement.services@scarborough.gov.uk or call 01723 372652 / 354393. You can also contact your funeral director.

To help keep people safe, we have closed the book of remembrance chapel at Woodlands Crematorium, which is an area subject to a high level of touch, until further notice. You can still 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.  All non-essential meetings have been postponed until further notice.