District Roundup – 28 February 2022: Chichester District Council

Local updates

  • Council tax £150 energy bill rebate
  • Enabling Grant funding confirmed to help businesses grow
  • New support to help young people impacted by pandemic
  • Our resident and visitor parking permits application process has moved online
  • Reminder for local businesses to apply for Government financial support
  • Help for landlords and tenants to improve home energy rating
  • Culture Spark: a cultural celebration to showcase the district in 2022
  • Free ‘Weigh Better Life’ weight management course
  • Local tourism businesses invited to The Great Sussex Way’s Leaflet Exchange event
  • Other local news

Coronavirus news

  • Latest update
  • Local vaccination services
  • Vaccinations continue for children aged 5 to 11 who are at risk in West Sussex
  • People who are immunosuppressed can use the National Booking Service for boosters
  • International travel to the UK
  • Share this with a friend
  • Follow us

Local updates

Council tax £150 energy bill rebate

The Government has announced that council tax payers living in properties in tax bands A to D will receive a one-off payment of £150 to support households with rising energy bills. Customers who pay their council tax by direct debit will get this support quicker and are likely to receive the rebate to this bank account in April. If you are not already paying your council tax by direct debit, you can set this up in My Account on our website. For those who need help with their energy bills but are not eligible for the £150 rebate, local authorities will receive £144 million of discretionary funding to help. We will be updating our website with more information as soon as it becomes available so keep an eye on our council tax webpage.

Enabling Grant funding confirmed to help businesses grow

We are launching £71,000 worth of Enabling Grants from April for small businesses in the district to help them grow and develop. Businesses will be able to apply for up to 50% of the total cost of growth projects, subject to a maximum of £2,000. Smaller grants up to a maximum of £500 will be available for start-up businesses, without the need for match funding from the applicant. Further information on the eligibility criteria will be available nearer the time and businesses are encouraged to sign up to the council’s E-Biz newsletter to ensure they receive the launch announcements. You can sign up on our business and economy webpage.

New support to help young people impacted by pandemic

We’re pleased to say that we will be launching a pilot scheme to support young people across the Chichester District who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. Social prescribing is an opportunity for people to talk through some of the non-medical issues in their life which may be having an adverse impact on their health and wellbeing. Adult Social Prescribing services have proved so successful that funding has been sourced from a variety of partners for a two-year pilot project to support young people aged 13-19. The pilot will go live in the spring. For more information, email socialprescribers@chichester.gov.uk

Our resident and visitor parking permits application process has moved online

Our permit application process is now online, making it even easier to apply, renew or pay for your resident and visitor parking permits. The service can now be accessed anytime, anywhere on our parking permit webpage, with the aim of making the process more convenient for customers. Although our permits can no longer be purchased in person from our council officers, if you – or someone you know – can’t access our website or need support using the online system, please call our Parking Services team on 01243 534500.

Reminder for local businesses to apply for Government financial support

If you’re a business in the district, that has been affected by the Covid-19 Omicron variant, don’t forget that there are currently three different types of financial support available. See if your business is eligible, and apply on our business rates announcements webpage

Businesses can also use




HMRC’s digital assistant



to find more information about the Covid-19 support schemes.

Help for landlords and tenants to improve home energy rating

It is now illegal for landlords to rent out most properties with a low energy rating of F or G, unless they have a valid exemption. As a council, we are supporting landlords to improve their properties and can fine those who don’t take steps to do so. If you’re a landlord and need help to improve the energy rating of a property you own, you can find more information and details on grants at on our Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations webpage and contact our team for help by emailing: MEEScompliance@chichester.gov.uk

If you rent a property in the district, you can find advice, details on checking the rating of your property, and grants you may be eligible for, on our Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations webpage. If you know that your rented property has an EPC rating of F or G, please let us know by emailing: MEEScompliance@chichester.gov.uk

Culture Spark: a cultural celebration to showcase the district in 2022

Are you ready to enjoy an exciting season of vibrant cultural events here in the Chichester District? Culture Spark 2022 promises to deliver an outstanding calendar of large scale and community activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. Ranging from prestigious cultural premieres to fun filled waterside carnivals, with lots more in between. The season officially launches on 29 March with a series of First Sparks. Taking place at three spectacular heritage sites, the events will feature live music, dance and poetry performances, each culminating with a jaw-dropping digital lightshow. Get the dates in your diary for these free, family friendly evenings:

  • 29 March from 6.30pm – 7.30pm at The Cathedral Green in Chichester
  • 30 March from 6.30pm – 7.30pm at Medmerry Mill in Selsey
  • 31 March from 6.30pm – 7.30pm at Cowdray Ruins in Midhurst

Visit




The Great Sussex Way’s Culture Spark webpage



for more details.  

Free ‘Weigh Better Life’ weight management course

Chichester Wellbeing’s free Weigh Better Life weight management course has returned with sessions being run across the district in Chichester, Selsey, Midhurst, Petworth and virtually on Microsoft Teams. To be eligible for the course you must be over the age of 18 and have a BMI of between 25 and 40. You can register for the course by completing the




Weigh Better Life online registration form



. If you have any questions or would like more information, please email wbl@chichester.gov.uk or call Chichester Wellbeing on 01243 521041.

Local tourism businesses invited to The Great Sussex Way’s Leaflet Exchange event

The Great Sussex Way is holding a Leaflet Exchange event for local tourism businesses on Wednesday 9 March, 10am-1pm, at Chichester Festival Theatre’s Brasserie. The event offers businesses the chance to network and share promotional material with colleagues from across the tourism industry. There’s still time for exhibitors to register for the event. More information, including how to book, can be found on the




Great Sussex Way’s Leaflet Exchange webpage



. The event is free to attend for companies who wish to network but not exhibit.

Other local news

Keep up-to-date on all the latest council news by visiting our Latest News page

Here, you can find the latest media releases, including an update on the council’s scheme to help young people access employment, the return of our popular Cross Market & More event in Chichester, and an update on the council’s Tree Chichester District scheme.

On this page, you’ll also find the latest District Dispatch column, and previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.

A quick reminder that our Customer Services Centre opening hours at East Pallant House are now 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday. The quickest, easiest and safest way to access our services, is on our website. Our phone lines remain open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, you can call our friendly customer services team on 01243 785166.

Coronavirus news

Latest update

The Government has removed all remaining domestic coronavirus restrictions in England and has published its




plan for living with Covid-19



. There is no longer a legal requirement for people to self-isolate after a positive Covid test. However, if people do test positive, they are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. People no longer need to take daily tests or self-isolate following contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

Testing is being scaled back in line with the reduced risk from Covid-19. Students and staff in most education and childcare settings no longer need to test twice a week. Free testing for most people will end on 1 April. From this date, there will be some limited ongoing free testing for a small number of ‘at risk’ groups and the Government is working with retailers to establish and develop a private market for lateral flow tests, so that the public can manage their own personal risk and the risks of those who they come into contact with.

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme has ended. People who were told to self-isolate before 24 February can still make a claim for this support up to 6 April on our test and trace payments webpage.

The Prime Minister has also announced that




the most vulnerable will be offered an additional Covid-19 booster vaccine from the spring



. This will be offered to people aged 75 and over, residents in care homes for older adults, and people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed.

For the most up to date information and advice on keeping yourself and others safe, visit the




Government’s Coronavirus



webpage.

Local vaccination services

Our NHS colleagues are urging young people to come forward for their Covid-19 vaccinations. Anyone aged 12 and over can now receive two doses, with anyone aged 16 and over also eligible for a booster. School visits have been taking place across Sussex, but anyone who missed their school session or was not able to have it at the time, can attend a specific walk-in session or arrange an appointment on the




National Booking Service website



. All walk-in services can be found listed on the




Sussex Health and Care Partnership’s



website.

Vaccinations continue for children aged 5 to 11 who are at risk in West Sussex

Parents and carers of children aged between 5 and 11 years old who are most at risk of Covid-19 (or who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed), are being urged to book their child in for their vaccination as soon as they are invited to. More than 6,200 eligible children are being offered the protection of vaccination in Sussex, and vaccination teams are currently contacting families and arranging their appointments at specific clinics for this age group. Parents and carers are being advised to wait for the NHS to contact them for when it is their child’s turn to get the vaccine.

People who are immunosuppressed can use the National Booking Service for boosters

People who are severely immunosuppressed and aged 16 and over can use the




National Booking Service



to arrange their booster vaccine (fourth dose) online or calling 119. This group includes people having treatment for conditions such as cancer, or those with long-term chronic conditions where their condition puts them at greater risk if they were to get Covid-19.

International travel to the UK






Fully vaccinated passengers no longer need to take a Covid-19 test when arriving in the UK



. Eligible fully vaccinated travellers are now only required to fill out a simplified passenger locator form, confirming their vaccination status, travel history and contact details. Arrivals who do not qualify as fully vaccinated only need to take a pre-departure test in the two days before they depart for the UK and a PCR test on or before the end of day two after they arrive in the UK, as well as completing the passenger locator form. These passengers will not need to self-isolate on arrival and will only need to do so if they test positive.

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