Coronavirus: Changes to funerals announced and housing improvement programme suspended by Chesterfield Borough Council
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The authority has issued an update on council services and said that help was available for tenants concerned about paying their rent.
Councillor Chris Ludlow, cabinet member for housing, said: “We want to reassure all of our tenants that no one will lose their home. If you are in financial difficulties, we can help”.
Anyone whose circumstances change due to coronavirus and who is concerned about paying their rent should contact the council on 01246 345000 to discuss their situation. More information can also be found on the website www.chesterfield.gov.uk/housing.aspx
Announcing a number of changes to services, the council said: “We recognise that this is a very concerning time for individuals and families with regards to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our daily lives.“Information is changing rapidly and we encourage all our tenants to follow the latest health guidance, which is continually updated on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/“Our focus, as always, is on maintaining customer safety and providing high quality services, but in the short term we will need to change the way we deliver some services in line with Government guidance.”Housing service
Any housing tenants who need to contact the housing service should call 01246 345000 or visiting the dedicated housing related pages on the website www.chesterfield.gov.uk/housing.aspx.Home visits will only be undertaken in emergency situations as social distancing measures continue.
The council has also decided to relocate their On the Move services in the Customer Service Centre from March 23. While the centre is currently open as normal, people are being asked to only visit in person if it is absolutely necessary. Please ring the service on the above number or use website forms or email addresses in the first instance.
Housing repairs, improvements and safety checks
Emergency repairs to keep people safe are currently being prioritised.
The modernisation and improvement programme for council housing is being suspended until further notice, but jobs will not be left unfinished and it is expected they will be completed in the next couple of weeks.
Annual checks of gas and electrical systems will continue, so it is important that if you are self-isolating because you have coronavirus symptoms or are in a vulnerable health category you advise staff before they enter your home.
All tenants will be asked a number of questions by the staff member who will be visiting you at home, this is to keep you and them safe.
Car boot sale
The car boot sale that takes place every Sunday at Rose Hill Car Park in Chesterfield is being cancelled until further notice. The decision has been made to cancel the car boot sale because it is not a priority service and the council needs to focus its efforts on maintaining essential services.
Anyone organising a funeral service at Chesterfield and District Crematorium, is asked to restrict the number of people attending services due to considerations of social distancing in relatively small spaces inside the chapel.
If large groups are attending a service, wherever possible please sit a respectful distance away from each other.
Mourners are being encouraged to wait in their cars or outside the chapel ahead of services, rather than congregating in the waiting room to reduce the risk of infection.
Service books have also been removed from the chapel as a precaution. Printed service sheets will be provided by the crematorium team or your funeral director, and mourners are encouraged to take these away with them after the service.
Hand shaking is also being discouraged with ministers, celebrants and funeral directors until further notice.
If you or a member of your family has symptoms of the virus, you are advised to follow government advice and self-isolate at home as needed.
Webcasting of funeral services can be arranged by contacting your funeral director.
Extra cleaning processes are in place in all public areas at the crematorium and hand sanitisers are available for all visitors to use.
Council decision making
Normal elected member decision making processes have also been suspended to ensure that proper social distancing measures, as recommended by the Government, can be maintained.
This means that cabinet, council committees, and full council will not meet for the coming weeks or months. Instead, decisions will be taken by single cabinet members or particular officers, where appropriate in consultation with the committee or relevant members.
The position will be reviewed as soon as conditions improve or at the end of June, whichever is first.
Further information about changes to council decision making can be found at https://chesterfield.moderngov.co.uk/ieDocHome.aspx?bcr=1x
The Customer Service Centre currently remains open as normal, however, only visit in person if absolutely necessary; please ring the team on 01246 345345 between 8.30am and 5pm or use website forms and email addresses to get in touch.
Payments for council services can be made by telephone on 0345 6020214.
Extra cleaning measures are in place at the centre to protect both staff and residents and there is hand sanitiser available to use for all visitors.