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Coronavirus 22 April 2020 - 2.00pm general update

This is today's round-up of the latest Coronavirus news on Wednesday 22 April 2020.

#StayHomeSaveLives  #HereForSwansea

Council staff changing roles to support our communities

Hundreds of our staff have radically changed the work they do to be there to help the most vulnerable through the Coronavirus crisis. Some of our building services team have taken on new roles to deliver 400 much-needed meals three days a week to elderly and disabled residents in the community.

The team is also delivering games, toys, bikes, books, and even chocolate eggs over Easter as well as water and energy drinks to paramedics on duty.

They're one group among hundreds of other council staff who've radically changed what they do to be here for the people of Swansea, helping the most vulnerable through the crisis.

 

Small business support

We've drafted-in additional staff to help process applications from businesses that have applied for business grant support.

We've paid out almost £31.5m over the last fortnight or so to more than 2,422 eligible small businesses. Following the completion of the majority of applications, the team will now be focusing on applications where queries have arisen.

Queries which have arisen have included cases where application forms have only been partly completed or the wrong account reference has been submitted. In some cases businesses that have applied may have applied under one name but are known to the council under another name and need to be checked out.

There is more information, including FAQs, at this link: www.swansea.gov.uk/covid19adviceforbusinesses

 

Need more recycling bags?

We've got a range of ways you can use to get fresh supplies:

  • Use the tag with the bags and leave it out so the crews can supply some more
  • Use the following link to find a list of locations that issue recycling bags www.swansea.gov.uk/morebags&nbsp.  But, please only go to one of these locations if you are already on a planned journey
  • You can order online for any type of bag required, including paid for garden bags at www.swansea.gov.uk/requestmorebags&nbsp

 

Helping the homeless

We're intensifying efforts to bring empty homes back into use to help homeless people cope with the Coronavirus crisis. The number of empty council homes is already at a record low, but in the last three weeks work to get them back into use as quickly as possible has seen 42 prepared for letting.

A team of 20 skilled trades staff, working alongside Housing's Homes Preparation Unit, are turning around properties in as little as 48 hours. Staff working in the city's District Housing Offices, in liaison with Homeless Caseworkers, are ensuring these properties are offered to those most in need.

 

Family activities

Our Enjoy Swansea Bay team has come up with some fresh and free ideas for families to spend their time during the Coronavirus lockdown. They've set up a new set of resources borrowing from council services ranging from our libraries and Dylan Thomas Centre to Swansea Museum and the Sports Development team. All the details are available at www.enjoyswanseabay.com 

For even more great ideas, the school's out pages provide advice and activities for those with additional learning needs, as well as activities for all the family and we have help on getting online during Coronavirus.

 

Well-being

If you're looking for a one-stop brochure packed full of information to help you through the Coronavirus crisis then a new well-being publication by SCVS might be what you are looking for. It's packed full of information about where you can get advice and support on lots of different issues ranging from benefits and financial problems to mental health and substance misuse. It's regularly updated and you can find it here: https://www.scvs.org.uk/corona-virus-mental-health-well-being-information

 

Covid-19 app

The First Minister and NHS Wales is appealing to us all to download a new COVID Symptom Tracker app to help the NHS response to COVID-19 in Wales.  The app is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play or for more information, see covid.joinzoe.com

 

Invoice payments

Our suppliers are being reminded that we are working hard to pay them as promptly as possible during these financially-challenging times. They can take advantage of the prompt payment service if they email to Accounts Payable team at Fin.Admin@swansea.gov.uk . If suppliers have previously posted invoices from the 18th March 2020 onwards and haven't been paid yet, they resend the document via e-mail.


Staff

The latest HR FAQs have been published. They reflect the latest guidance on travel to work and further guidance on flexitime and carry-over of annual leave and can be found here on www.swansea.gov.uk/staffcoronavirusFAQs

Managers are reminded of the newly-launched volunteering App. The information provided by volunteers  will complement and support the discussions that should already be taking place  to identify suitable opportunities for deployment, details of which can be found on www.swansea.gov.uk/stafftemporaryrole

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