District Roundup – 21 October 2021: Chichester District Council

In this roundup

Local updates

  • Half term activities at The Novium Museum
  • Don’t miss Chichester’s ‘Cross Market & More’
  • Action Against Climate Change — COP26
  • Business Climate Hub
  • Help towards the cost of heating your home
  • Help with other housing payments and bills
  • WSCC and Chichester City Council by-elections
  • Christmas parking offers to support local businesses
  • Construction of new short stay homeless accommodation reaches key milestone
  • Over 8,000 trees to be planted in the district
  • Chichester Youth Hub launches to help young people into work
  • EU Settlement Scheme support for residents
  • Chichester Wellbeing offers support to Chichester District residents
  • Platinum Jubilee celebrations – organising a street party
  • Business email newsletter
  • Other local news

Coronavirus news

  • Latest press conference
  • Local vaccination and testing services
  • Update on Covid boosters
  • Vaccinations in schools for 12-15 year olds
  • Covid-19 medical exemptions: proving you are unable to get vaccinated
  • International travel update
  • Updates to Covid-19 guidance
  • Weekly reports, R value and growth rate
  • Share this with a friend
  • Follow us

Local updates

Half term events and activities at The Novium Museum
The Novium Museum in Tower Street, Chichester, is running a range of family-friendly events and activities this October half term, including a Halloween-themed drawing workshop, Make a Monster. Children aged 7-11 years old can work with Brighton-based children’s writer and illustrator, Aaron Blecha, to create their own creepy-crawly characters. Sessions run at 10:30am and 1:30pm on 28 October, and tickets cost £6.50 per child (including a sketch book to take home). You can also get into the Halloween spirit with an immersive ghost walk of Priory Park and The Guildhall, taking place on Monday 25 October.

Don’t forget to catch the must-see ‘




Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man



‘ exhibition before it closes on 13 November.

The Great Sussex Way have also put together a handy




half-term guide



with even more things to do in our area this half term. For events and activities across the district at any time of the year, head to our council’s What’s On pages.

Don’t miss Chichester’s ‘Cross Market & More’

A new quality street market showcasing the best products made by local designers and producers will be coming to Chichester city centre on Sunday 7 November. The Cross Market & More will feature a variety of different stalls, from textiles and jewellery to homemade food, prints and other arts and crafts, a delicious range of street food, and children’s entertainment including a carousel and bubble display. One of the main features of the market is to showcase the ‘traders of tomorrow’ and we are working with Chichester and Brinsbury Colleges to offer their students an opportunity to showcase and sell their products. The market will be held in North Street and East Street, Chichester from 10am-3pm. People can find out more and keep up to date with events in the Chichester District by following our new




Chichester District Events and Markets Facebook page



.

Action Against Climate Change — COP26

COP26 is the biggest and most important environmental summit the UK has ever hosted and takes place from 31 October until 12 November. It will bring countries together to create a plan to limit global warming, but you don’t have to be a world leader to make a difference in the fight against climate change. We know that residents, businesses and organisations across the district are already doing their bit by making changes — together we can make a big difference to our local environment. With COP26 just around the corner, we will be sharing one resident’s story about how he is taking steps to make his home more energy efficient, as well as sharing tips on how we can all do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint, and updating you on the work we are doing as a council to help combat climate change in our area, so keep an eye on our social media channels.

Business Climate Hub

The Government has recently launched the ‘




Together For Our Planet



‘ small business campaign to raise awareness of the actions that small and medium-sized businesses can take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The campaign also looks to encourage as many businesses as possible to make a formal commitment to achieving Net Zero ahead of COP26 in November. Signing up to this commitment means small businesses can access resources and promotional materials to publicise their pledge and have the chance to feature in the campaign. 

Help towards the cost of heating your home

Many of us will see an increase in our energy bills this winter due to a rise in the wholesale cost of gas. If you are on a low income, then the Government’s




Warm Home Discount



could save you £140 off your electric bill. Check with your electricity provider to see if you are eligible. You can get help applying from




Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice Bureau



.

Information is also available from 




Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice Bureau



if you or someone you know is worried about their energy costs this winter or would like to know how to reduce your home energy consumption.

Help with other housing payments and bills

A range of support is available to help financially vulnerable people in the district to pay their council tax bill. We’d urge anyone on a low income to first apply for Council Tax Reduction. It’s important to point out that people receiving Universal Credit are not automatically signed up for this. If you apply for this benefit and are still worried about paying your bill, or if you are already receiving this support, you can apply for extra support through the Discretionary Council Tax Reduction scheme.

We’d urge anyone who is worried about their finances to contact us so that we can help, by emailing: benefits@chichester.gov.uk. You can also call us on 01243 534509, although please be aware that when lines are busy you may have to wait longer than usual. We also have a web page dedicated to highlighting a range of financial support on offer.

WSCC and Chichester City Council by-elections

By-elections for both West Sussex County Council’s Bourne Division and also Chichester City Council’s North Ward will be taking place on 4 November between 7am and 10pm. Covid safety measures will be in place at polling stations and we ask that voters wear a face covering and keep a safe distance from other voters and staff. If you are voting in this election but are experiencing coronavirus symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate, please do not go to your polling station — instead, please call our Elections team on: 01243 521010. More information about this election, the candidates, and the polling stations, can be found at on our current elections webpage.

Christmas parking offers to support local businesses

As part of our Support Local Christmas campaign, we will be introducing a to encourage people to use local businesses this Christmas:

  • select two hours and get a third free in most council-owned car parks across the district during December when using the MiPermit app.
  • free parking every weekend in December in the Avenue de Chartres car park in Chichester.
  • free parking after 4pm in the Avenue de Chartres car park for the Christmas light switch on and late night shopping events in Chichester.

This is one of many things we will be doing to support our local businesses this festive season. The past two years have been incredibly tough, and so it is vital that we all play our part by shopping locally and supporting our local businesses wherever we can. We’re really pleased to say that partners from across the district will again be helping us to deliver our Support Local Christmas campaign this year and we’ll be keeping everyone updated on this. In the meantime, you can find out more about these parking offers on our latest news page.

Construction of new short stay homeless accommodation reaches key milestone

As you may know from previous updates, we are working on a project to redevelop our existing temporary accommodation to provide an additional 17 flats for people who find themselves homeless in our district. Work to renovate space in some of our existing accommodation has now been completed, which means that we can now provide an additional three flats. In keeping with the council’s commitment to protecting and enhancing our local environment, we’re very proud of the sustainability features that form an important part of this project, and you can find out more about this and how the project is progressing on our latest news page.

Over 8,000 trees to be planted in the district

More than 8,000 trees will be planted across the Chichester District during the upcoming planting season thanks to a free tree initiative we launched in July. We received over 100 applications from residents, community groups, schools, parish councils, charities, businesses, landowners and tenant farmers. This is all part of our Tree Chichester District scheme, which was launched in January and funded by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. If you missed the chance to apply and are interested in the scheme, please email: treescheme@chichester.gov.uk to register your interest for upcoming funding that may be available to you. More information on the scheme can be found on the Chichester District tree scheme page on our website.

Chichester Youth Hub launches to help district’s young people into work

Earlier this year, we received funding from the Department for Work and Pensions to launch the Chichester Youth Hub, which aims to support young people on Universal Credit into work by helping them gain skills and confidence. We’re really pleased to say that this new initiative has now launched. Working with local businesses, the Chichester Youth Hub supports clients into finding employment, work experience, apprenticeships or Kickstart roles.

EU Settlement Scheme support for residents

While the deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme was earlier this year, members of the public can still apply if: they have a later deadline — for example, they are joining a family member in the UK who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020; or, they have ‘reasonable grounds’ for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 — for example they are suffering from an illness or the victim of domestic abuse. If this applies to you, or someone you know, you can find more help and information on the Government’s




information for late applicants



page and futher information in the Government’s




EU Settlement Scheme leaflet



. You can also access support from Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice by calling free on: 0808 2787969 (Mon to Fri 9am – 4:30pm). Access to interpreters is also available.

The Government has also put together a collection of




guidance for individuals and families



, which includes advice for UK and EU citizens on travelling, working and studying both in the UK and EU.

Chichester Wellbeing offers support to Chichester District residents
Our Chichester Wellbeing service continues to offer free and confidential wellbeing support and advice on a range of topics including weight management, stop smoking, alcohol reduction, physical activity, emotional wellbeing and more. Anyone over the age of 18 years living or working in the district is able to access the support of a friendly Wellbeing Advisor with an initial telephone appointment followed by either ongoing telephone or in-person support. If you would like to have a Wellbeing Check In or access support with a particular aspect of your wellbeing the team can be contacted on 01243 521041 or info@chichesterwellbeing.org.uk.

Platinum Jubilee celebrations – organising a street party

If you are planning to hold a small private street party to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations in 2022, you may find it useful to know that the Government has published guidance setting out helpful tips, advice and support on




preparing a street party



. There is also a dedicated




Platinum Jubilee website



, which includes an interactive map that will display events and activities that will be taking place across the UK to celebrate the occasion— this is open for anyone to add their events and activities.

Business email newsletter

We’re keen to remind local businesses of all the support that is available to them, from free training packages and grants, to events and webinars. To keep up to date on all the support on offer, district businesses can sign up to our




EBiz email newsletter



. This dedicated newsletter also includes updates on new schemes, such as a




free online training package for independent retail businesses



 and you can access the training on the




West Sussex Retail Hub



website. Further business support and advice can be found on our business advice and support webpage.

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:

  • news that the council has adopted a modern slavery transparency statement outlining the steps we will take to help prevent modern slavery;
  • an announcement that a new LEGO® bricks exhibition — Brick Wonders — will open at The Novium Museum this December; and
  • a piece on how the council’s Foreshores team has been hard at work keeping the beaches at Bracklesham, Selsey and East Wittering safe and tidy.

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

You can continue to access our services safely, quickly and conveniently here on our website. We’re really pleased to say that our improved online services earned our Parking Team a national award, and you can find out more about this here. If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, our friendly customer services team can help: 01243 785166. If you need to visit our Customer Services Centre at East Pallant House, we ask that you continue to wear a face covering, unless exempt.

 

Coronavirus news

It’s important that we all continue to take simple steps to protect ourselves and each other, such as remembering good hygiene practices, wearing a face covering in crowded places, giving each other space, enjoying the fresh air, and getting double vaccinated against the virus.

People are also reminded to take regular coronavirus tests, you can 




order a lateral flow test



 for free on the Government’s website or from




West Sussex County Council



. If you test positive, or have symptoms, you should self-isolate and get a PCR test. If you haven’t taken a lateral flow test before, or you’d rather not do it yourself, you can have one at a




local pharmacy



, where trained staff will be able to help you.

Covid-19 contacts no longer need to self-isolate if they are either double jabbed or under 18. Instead, they are asked to take a PCR test instead. You can find out more about how




the new test and trace rules



on the Government’s website. 

Latest press conference

This week, the Health Secretary gave a statement on Covid-19 and provided an update on the vaccination programme and the work of the




Government’s antivirals taskforce



. In his statement, he confirmed that the national booking service will be opened up to younger teenagers to book their Covid-19 vaccinations outside of school. He reminded people to take up the offer if they are offered a booster vaccine. He also highlighted the importance of ventilation, wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces and hand washing.

Local vaccination and testing services

The Chichester vaccination service now operates from Northgate car park in Chichester. If you haven’t had your first or second vaccination, you can book online through the




NHS vaccination booking



website, call 119, or attend a walk in clinic. You can find a full list of loacl walk in clinics on the




Sussex Health and Care Partnership



website.

The Covid testing site continues to be located in Northgate car park. People with Covid symptoms should book appointments at the test centre on the




NHS website



.

Update on Covid boosters
The Covid-19 booster vaccination programme is underway and those who are more vulnerable to the virus are being invited to top up their protection ahead of winter, six months or more after receiving their second jab. Those in line for a booster jab include: everyone aged 50 and over; frontline health and social care workers; and, those aged between 16 and 49 with an underlying health condition putting them at greater risk from the virus. People are urged to come forward as soon as they are eligible to make sure they receive this top up protection ahead of the winter months.

GP led local vaccination services are contacting people directly, and there are hundreds of appointments available daily through the




NHS booking website



 and by calling 119. 

Vaccinations in schools for 12-15 year olds

More than 8,500 12 to 15 year olds have now received their Covid-19 vaccine in Sussex. It comes after the Government announced last month that all 12 to 15 year olds would be offered one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine. Parental consent is sought in advance and only children with consent in place will be offered the vaccine on the day of the visit.

There have also been reports of parents receiving emails asking for payment for the vaccine for their child or children. Parents and the public are being urged to remember that the Covid vaccination is free on the NHS and no-one will be asked to pay for it. If there are any concerns about an email or communication you have received, please contact the Vaccine Enquiries Team by emailing: sxccg.vaccineenquiries@nhs.net

Covid-19 medical exemptions: proving you are unable to get vaccinated

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance on how people can apply for official proof that, for medical reasons, they are unable to be vaccinated and/or tested for Covid-19, you can find more information about this on the




medical exemption



page within the Government’s website. All exemptions will be confirmed by a doctor, specialist clinician or midwife. If approved, the NHS Covid Pass can then be used by an individual to prove their status.

International travel update

This week, the Transport Secretary provided an update on the




changes made to international travel rules in October



. The changes include:

  • replacing the traffic light system with a




    single red list



    and simplified travel measures for eligible arrivals from the rest of the world based on passengers’ vaccination status
  • removing the requirement for eligible fully vaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test, providing that they are arriving into England from a non-red list country or territory and have not been to a red list country or territory in the last 10 days.

The Government has also published guidance on




how to quarantine and test at home if you’ve been in a red list country and have permission to quarantine at home



. The guidance sets out the quarantine and testing requirements for individuals who have been granted an exemption from managed quarantine in England and are instead required to quarantine at home or the place they are staying.

Other updates to Covid-19 guidance
The Government has updated:

Weekly reports, R value and growth rate

The Government continues to publish




weekly national influenza and coronavirus reports



. Updates on the




number of cases of variants of concern



are also published weekly.




The latest R value and growth rate



can be foundon the Government’s website as well. You can see the latest Covid-19 figures for West Sussex.

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