CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 UPDATE

April 2020

Struggling to pay your council tax?

We collect Council Tax on behalf of Essex County Council, Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, along with all of the parish councils across the district. These organisations are all providing a vital role in keeping critical services running, keeping you safe and looking after our most vulnerable people. Only 10p in every pound comes to Braintree District Council.
If you are experiencing financial problems as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) there are a number of options open to you:
•If your household is on a low income, your Council Tax bill could be reduced through the Local Council Tax Support (LCTS). You can see if you are eligible for this and get more information on the range of support available on our apply for council tax webpage (Please do not apply if you have savings of over £16,000).
•If you are eligible for Local Council Tax Support, you may also be entitled to further assistance under the recently announced Hardship Fund set up by Central Government. We are awaiting further details on this so please bear with us.
•To help reduce your monthly payments you might prefer to pay your bill over 12 months as opposed to over 10 months. If you would like to do this please contact us.
•Universal Credit can help you with your living costs if you’re on low income or out of work. Find out if you can apply on the GOV.UK website.
If you still need have a question which isn’t answered above please contact our council tax team by email at counciltax@braintree.gov.uk. Our council tax team is receiving a high number of calls so please bear with us.
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Our latest bonfire statement

We are receiving lots of queries about bonfires and the burning of garden waste.
We know it’s difficult with the Essex Recycling Centres for Household Waste closed and garden waste collections suspended, but in view of the health implications linked to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (respiratory condition), please DO NOT BURN your garden waste, or any other waste.
Smoke from bonfires is anti-social and can cause problems for neighbours and we will continue to investigate any complaints we receive and will take formal action where appropriate. The surrounding local air quality can be affected by increased burning and problems may arise for people such as those with asthma, other breathing-related illnesses and children (who are particularly vulnerable to air pollutants).
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service are also requesting that you do not burn waste as there has been a 100% increase in call-outs mostly caused by fires which have got out of control.
Please home compost your garden waste or store it in your garden until collections are resumed.
Please do not fly-tip any waste as this is an offence and offenders will be prosecuted.
•Find out how to make great compost and other useful tips, visit Love Essex: www.loveessex.org
•For bonfire help and advice, visit braintree.gov.uk/bonfires
Please be considerate to your neighbours during the coronavirus outbreak.
Be safe, be thoughtful, be kind, be sensible.
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How to dispose of waste if you are self-isolating or have Coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you and your household is asked to self-isolate, either as a precaution or because of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19), please follow this advice to dispose of your household waste to ensure the virus is not spread via personal waste:
•Place all personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, securely in a plastic bag or bin liner
•This plastic bag should then be placed in another plastic bag and securely tied
•These bags must be stored separately to other waste for at least 72 hours before being placed in the general rubbish collection.
Read more on our website.
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Ways you can support your bin collection crews
•Please maintain at least 2 meters and don’t approach our frontline staff working across the district
•Please avoid putting out additional waste for collection. If every household puts out more waste than usual, the collection vehicles will fill up quicker. This could result in some households not having their waste collected, as well as placing additional strain on collection crews
•Please place your bins or recycling sacks at your collection point by 7am on your collection day
•Please be mindful where you park your car on collection day. With more people at home, residential roads are busier with parked cars making it harder for collection vehicles to get through.
•When you bring your bin back in, remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds following the HM Government and NHS guidance.

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Helions Bumpstead Paris Council is working to keep all residents of the village as safe as possible during the current Coronavirus outbreak. To this end, the Village Hall has been closed until further notice, no services will be held at St Andrew's church, and the Three Horseshoes remains closed. We are setting up a volunteer support group within the village to help anyone who needs it.

Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered to provide help and support to neighbours during this current pandemic.

We have received offers of help from 28 volunteers, and residents of Helions will be able to call upon them to assist with shopping, collecting prescriptions, dog walking or just for a chat. In addition, the Church and the Mutual Support Network have already made contact with a large number of residents offering support. What a fantastic village we live in!

If you are having to self-isolate due to illness or if you or a member of your household is designated as vulnerable due to age or an underlying health condition, and you need help or support with shopping or anything else then please do not hesitate to contact one of the following:

Sue Kehr 730819
Jane Catchesides 730422
Charlotte Purdie 730323

who will then be able to arrange assistance from one of the volunteers living closest to you.

Please stay safe and healthy everyone.