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Coronavirus 20 March 2020 - 3.00pm general update

This is today's round-up of the latest Coronavirus news on Friday 20 March 2020

Contact centre services

Now the contact centre has closed, revenue and benefits services normally conducted there for residents have moved online. These are the following: Housing benefit; council tax enquiries; ; Passport to Leisure; applications for free school meals; business rates; social care financial assessments and residential care payments; direct payments for social care. Details on how to access these services online can be found here: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/contactcentreservices

Cremations and burials

Funeral directors and bereaved families are being asked to limit to a maximum of 10, the number of people attending a funeral, cremation or burial at council-managed venues. 

Elections

The council by-election for the Castle Ward due to take place on April 9 is to be re-scheduled. Electors in the ward will be contacted with new polling cards when the date of the election has been agreed.

Housing

Until further notice, district housing offices are closed to the public for general inquiries. DHOs will remain open for rent payments and by appointment for all other matters. Please contact your local district housing office by phone or email and your enquiry will be dealt with or an appointment will be arranged. There is further information available on www.swansea.gov.uk/housingupdate

Waste and parks

Singleton Botanical Gardens will close from Monday 23 March 2020. All our other parks, including Singleton Park, will remain open.

If you are visiting our two main recycling sites at Llansamlet and Clyne we have put in place measures to enable more effective social distancing and create a safer environment for visitors and staff. This means larger distances between visiting vehicles. We are achieving this by coning off every other parking space. We would also encourage the public to visit only if absolutely necessary.

If you're wondering where you can get more recycling bags please go here: swansea.gov.uk/morebags - a limited number will be available to pick up outside district housing offices and libraries while they are closed to the general public.

Adult Services

Following the latest UK Government advice around Coronavirus over-70s, under-70s with an underlying health condition, and people with learning disabilities have been highlighted in the groups of people to restrict wherever possible social contact and isolate at home.

In line with this advice, the Council is closing our day services, respite services and social clubs for the foreseeable future as continuing to operate these services will put vulnerable groups at risk.

We aim to close these services from Monday 23 March.

We will be considering individual cases to identify and understand any additional support that may be required by individuals and families impacted by these closures.

As part of measures to shield the vulnerable and elderly, visits to council-operated residential care homes are being restricted to only those which are essential.

Child and Family Services

Child and Family Services is working with the Health Visiting service to  continue to  maintain contact with families as normally as possible within the guidelines set out by Public Health Wales. Needs and vulnerability are being prioritised. Staff in the most vulnerable groups are not making visits - but other skilled staff are completing this work instead.

All Flying Start childcare settings remain open despite schools closing so that staff and families will be able to access the settings and childcare will continue.

Our Respite home Ty Laura remains open and work is ongoing to ensure the continued safety of children and parents who use this provision. We are contacting parents and carers of our vulnerable children to understand what would be helpful to them during this period.  

Our family Contact centre remains open to offer contact between children and their parents at Palm Tree House although this is operating with a reduce service. Relevant families are being contacted.

Info-Nation will continue to provide services to young people who are most in need: the drop-in service has been temporarily stopped as part of social distancing, but information and advice enquiries will handled through their Facebook page. Cam Nesa will still maintain contact with their clients; BAYS+ clients will still be able to access emergency support but young people are being asked to phone in advance to arrange appointments on 01792 460 007. Emergency contacts and support will continue as normal.

The Information, Advice and Assistance Team within child and family services has been experiencing an unprecedented volume of calls. To ensure they can respond to all emergency enquiries straight away unless a call is an emergency callers are asked to contact via email at access.information@swansea.gov.uk  Those without email access should wait on the line.

Licensing

Until further notice we will be unable to receive applications for new taxi and private hire drivers.  Please email taxilicensing@swansea.gov.uk for more information or visit the website here: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/taxi

Wales National Pool Swansea

Wales National Pool Swansea is closing from 6.00pm today (Friday 20 March) to the general public. More details here: https://www.walesnationalpoolswansea.co.uk/

 

Staff

Those staff who have to work from the office or attend business-critical face-to-face meetings should ensure that they space themselves at least 2m apart from colleagues while there. Hand-washing with soap and water should be undertaken when you arrive at the building, use the kitchen or bathroom and at regular intervals through the day.

To support essential services there will be no enforcement of the time restrictions for Guildhall permit holders in the rotunda. There will also be no enforcement in the civic centre east car park, the central parking area (near security) and the western parking bays with the exception of disabled parking bays.

The Civic Centre and Guildhall are closed to members of the general public.

Members of the public can attend the Civic Centre only if they have made an appointment. Staff should book face to face meetings with members of the public at Civic Centre only if absolutely essential. This includes registrars, bereavement and funeral services.

Before booking meetings officers must risk-assess the person over the phone, checking that it is appropriate for the visitor to travel and that there is no other way the business can be conducted.

When appointments for Registrars and Bereavement Services are made these will be managed by the Registrars and Bereavement Services team and access will be via the usual Registrars' lower Ground floor entrance.

Other staff must inform the call centre team when an appointment has been agreed. The visitor will not be allowed in the building if the call centre team has not been informed. Staff making appointments to meet visitors must provide their contact telephone number to the call centre team so they can be contacted to collect their visitor when they arrive. 

Staff arranging the visit should direct their visitors to the Contact Centre door which will open when a member of staff approaches from inside. Appointments and Client Services customers will then be directed to the meeting point, reception room or till.

These arrangements are subject to any changes about the movement of people that may be introduced by the UK or Welsh Governments.

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