SERVICE DISRUPTIONS AND INFORMATION IN DETAIL

To find out more detailed information about service disruptions and further information – please click on the relevant box below.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Our ASB Officers are still working with partner agencies to tackle Anti-Social Behaviour but it may not be possible to use the full range of tools available at this time (for example home visits and installation of mobile CCTV equipment).

What you can do

If you are experiencing problems with anti-social behaviour you can report this to Boston Borough Council in a number of ways:

If you want to report a non-urgent incident to Lincolnshire Police, you can call their non-emergency number 101, or complete an online reporting form.  Visit their contact us page for further details.

Assistance - groups/charities

Boston Children’s Centres – North

Booking is now open for Zoom sessions running from 1st – 5th June!
You can request to attend up to 2 sessions and we are making bookings in the order in which we receive the requests. Our booking team will send you a response as soon as possible.
Information about sessions beyond 5th June will be posted on the Children’s Centre Facebook pages, when it becomes available, so please look out.

To join:
1. Please select the session(s) you would like to attend, and note the Session Code(s).
2. Email beststart@eyalliance.org.uk with your full name, your child/ren’s full name, your postcode and the session code(s).
3. Use the details that you will be sent back to log in to Zoom for your chosen session(s). Don’t worry if you are new to Zoom, will send you some guidance to help.

Lots of spaces are available

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Emergency Funding for Mental Health Services Affected by coronavirus (England)
Emergency grants of up to £1,000 are available to user-led organisations and smaller unconstituted community groups in England which continue to provide mental health services and additional support during the coronavirus pandemic. Through the National Survivor User Network’s (NSUN) Covid-19 Fund, grants will be available to support community action, peer support, mutual aid, and other activities. This might include helping with costs such as moving support groups online, IT equipment, mobile data, fuel costs, and volunteer and training costs. Applicants must be members of NSUN and priority will be given to applications which support people facing other disadvantages and exclusions, with particular focus on people from racialised communities. Grants of up to £2,000 may be considered. Applications can be made at any time. https://www.nsun.org.uk/nsun-covid-19-fund

Support for Voluntary and Community Groups
For advice, guidance and support on setting up or running a volunteer or community group, Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Services (LCVS) can offer 1:1 support with a dedicated Area Officer. Their support includes help with planning support activities: establishing a board or committee: developing policies and procedures; safeguarding and DBS checks; funding strategies; identifying funds and preparing applications; and recruiting, managing and training volunteers. They can also help you network and link to other groups who can share their experiences with you or signpost you to more specific support.

You can contact your local LCVS officer or register to receive updates on the latest local and national advice on volunteering, group and funding support. You can call them on 01205 510888, email enquiry@lincolnshirecvs.org.uk or visit their COVID-19 support website pages http://www.lincolnshirecvs.org.uk/covid-19/

Lockdown/Self-Isolation Support Group
The Wyberton Support group now helps all residents in areas with post code PE21 7…
(This includes Wyberton, St Thomas/Skirbeck Quarter)
Anyone in this area needing help with essential shopping, collecting medicines etc should phone 01522 782189 or 07731 690034 or email wybertonpep@btinternet.com
Volunteers offering to help should email as above or phone 01205 350410

Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service
http://www.lincolnshirecvs.org.uk/fundraising-2/guidance-on-funding-applications/ 

Anglian Water £1 million Positive Difference Fund
http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/news/anglian-water-turns-on-the-tap-with-1million-fund-for-local-communities-adding-to-1million-assistance-fund-already-available-for-customers-in-need/

Western Power Distribution’s In This Together Fund
www.westernpower.co.uk/in-this-together

Lincolnshire County Council
Community Fund to support voluntary groups helping vulnerable people through COVID-19 Crisis
www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/communityfund

750 Million Coronavirus Funding for Frontline Charities (UK)
The Government has announced a £750 million emergency support package for charities across the UK to ensure they can continue their work during the coronavirus outbreak. The funding package consists of £360 million direct from government departments to charities such as hospices and victim support charities that are providing vital services and helping vulnerable people through the current crisis;
These will include:

  • hospices to help increase capacity and give stability to the sector
  • St Johns Ambulance to support the NHS
  • victims charities, including domestic abuse, to help with potential increase in demand for charities providing these services
  • vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
  • Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice during this difficult time

£370 million will also be available to smaller charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund. The National Lottery Community Fund is currently discussing with Government on how best to distribute the funding.
Government departments will identify priority recipients, with the aim for charities to receive money in the coming weeks. The application system for the National Lottery Community Fund grant pot is expected to be operational within a similar period of time.
The Government also announced the Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-sets-out-extra-750-million-coronavirus-funding-for-frontline-charities 

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund to Support Local Communities (UK)
Tesco Bags of Help has launched a new Fund in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. The new short-term fund is open to registered charities, voluntary and community organisations, schools, health bodies, Parish, Town and community councils, social enterprises, local authorities and social housing organisations across the UK.
Grants of £500 are available to organisations that support vulnerable groups whose demand for services has been increased or disrupted, or who need to put new services in place.
The fund will prioritise the following organisations:

  • Whose need for services has been disrupted – for example a food bank whose stocks are running low and need an immediate donation to enable the food bank to restock.
  • Require to put in place new services – for example charities setting up a new home service for the elderly who usually attend a monthly lunch club or a charity needing to set up a telephone service to support beneficiaries.
  • Have increased demand – a holiday hunger club needs more resources due to schools closing, or a children’s centre needs an additional temporary staff member.

The Fund is set up to support organisation need rather than fund specific projects and expects to make weekly awards.
Applications can be made at any time.
For any queries please contact: tescocv@groundwork.org.uk
https://tescobagsofhelp.org.uk/tesco-cv-fund/

TURN2US
Turn2us is a national charity helping people when times get tough. We provide financial support to help people get back on track.
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/

Domestic abuse services
We want everyone to seek and receive support should they need it and we would like to assure people that services are available as usual to help keep victims of domestic abuse safe at this time.

The EDAN Lincs Domestic Abuse Service is a registered charity covering the whole of Lincolnshire, providing support and assistance to those suffering from or fleeing from domestic abuse. Contact the service on 01522 510041, or visit edanlincs.org.uk. Anyone in immediate danger should call 999.

If you are worried about somebody else’s safety then report this to the county council on 01522 782111 if you are worried about a child, or 01522 782155 if you are worried about an adult – www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/safeguarding/report-concern.

Other useful contact details are:

Help is also available through Make a Change for those who are worried about their behaviour towards people close to them.

To get in touch to learn more, or refer yourself or someone you know please see www.makeachange.uk.net, phone 01522 246616, or email referral@makeachangelincs.org.uk .

Boston Craft & Gift Markets

Boston Craft and Gift Markets are cancelled through November and Thurs 3 December. We hope to run Thurs 10 & 17 December.

We request people visiting the market:
👍 only touch produce/products they wish to buy;
👐 wash your hands in line with government guidance when you return home;
🚶‍♀️ – 2m –🚶‍♂️ social distance when walking around the Town Centre and use the Market;
Queue as advised and follow guidance of signs and staff;

💷 Shop local and support the Market & Town Centre safely as we move forwards.

If you would like to book a stall please email events@boston.gov.uk or call 01205 314586

Boston Crematorium and Cemetery

 

H.M.Government has announced that face coverings must be worn whilst attending places of worship with effect from 10th August 2020. This will apply to all mourners attending funeral services at Boston Crematorium after that date.

The Government has issued the following advice regarding the management of funeral services:

Each funeral venue has to make a decision on what is appropriate and manageable whilst maintaining social distancing of mourners within the chapel. The chapel at Boston Crematorium can accommodate up to 24 mourners, whilst complying with social distancing guidance. This can now include close family and close friends if appropriate, and manageable within the maximum number. In order to keep everyone safe, the advice is that the number of mourners attending should be kept as low as possible in every case. Sadly, this means that families will need to make difficult decisions as to who will be able to attend a funeral, as we will not be able to admit any more into the chapel, and the doors will be closed during the funeral service. Additional Mourners should not gather outside at the front of the crematorium, outside of the cemetery gates, or along the approach route (large groups of people should not gather for a common purpose). External speakers will not be operational during these restrictions.

Funeral services can be live streamed (at the request of the Next of Kin only) and viewed via a secure link if desired, and this will be available on demand for 7 days. It is important to note that you need to obtain permission from the family of the Deceased to view live streams.

We are very sorry to have to introduce these measures, but this is necessary to protect everyone, and is in line with Government requirements and advice issued by the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities.

We are also taking the following measures to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Mourners are asked not to touch the coffin to avoid the risk of cross infection.
  • We have removed the hymn books because the guidance states that singing during a funeral service should be avoided, as it is a potential way to spread the virus. Favourite hymns or other pieces of music may still be played for mourners to sit and listen to.
  • We will be sanitising between services, door handles, seats, lectern, toilets and other surfaces.
  • Hand washing facilities with soap and hot water are available in the toilets.

Track and Trace requirements

Each family will be asked by their Funeral Director to supply a list of expected mourners with their contact telephone number or email address. This must be submitted in advance of the funeral service, and will only be used in the event of someone later testing positive for COVID 19, when all of their contacts need to be traced for isolation purposes.

We want to reassure you that we will take every possible action to ensure that your service will be as safe from the Coronavirus as possible.

The Book of Remembrance room is now open to the public, but it can also be viewed at: http://sites.bookofremembrance.co/index.php?task=main&site=boston

The office and public reception area is closed but contact can be made by telephoning 01205 314200 or emailing crematorium@boston.gov.uk

Boston Guildhall Museum

In line with the Governments public statement Boston Guildhall Museum remains closed. 

We are contactable for museum, wedding or private hire enquiries via email Guildhall@boston.gov.uk 

Boston Market

Boston Market will operate Wednesday and Saturday with a reduced stall selection of Fruit and Veg, Meat, Fish, Pet Food, Cakes, Eggs and Bakery.

Remember: Hands – Face – Space, at all times

Building Control

Boston Borough Council Building Control is taking a number of appropriate steps to protect staff, customers and stakeholders from the threat posed by Covid-19. Having reviewed our business practices, we consider site inspections are essential and therefore we will continue to provide this service on a case by case basis* until further notice. Please note that we are no longer facilitating face-to-face meetings at our office or attending external meetings, however we remain contactable by the usual methods, i.e. telephone and e-mail.

* For example, if there is any possibility of vulnerable groups being in the vicinity, such as completion inspections where we need to enter the building, we will not carry out the inspection. These inspections will be deferred until such time as it can be deemed safe to carry them out.

Building Control site inspections

During the Coronavirus pandemic, where we deem it safe to do so, Building Control site inspections will continue to be carried out as far as is practicable. Below is the list of inspections that we consider (taking all risks into account) can be safely carried out in the open air. Other inspections may be carried out virtually (such as submission of photographs) or postponed till such a time as is safe to do so. Please note that service delivery will be reviewed regularly, such as following any changes to government guidance.

As part of the inspection booking process the following questions will be asked:-

For the health, safety and wellbeing of you, your builder and our staff please answer the following questions openly and honestly:

  1. Are you and everyone else at the property clear of Covid-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperature, a loss of or change to sense of small or taste) at present? IF NO = NO INSPECTION
  2. Are you or anyone at the address in self-isolation due to symptoms of Covid-19? IF YES = NO INSPECTION
  3. Are you or anyone at the address currently “shielding” (they will have received a letter from the NHS if shielding applies to them)? IF YES = NO INSPECTION   
  4. Social distancing of 2 metres between all people in the property and officers is required at all times. To achieve this we are requesting that all residents remain in a separate room/s or outside away from the officer during the inspection and to avoid halls and corridors where the officer will need to enter and leave the property. Are you able to commit to this throughout the inspection? IF NO = NO INSPECTION

Please note – If this is not strictly adhered to and there are any actions, threats or breaches of social distancing guidelines which are perceived to present a risk to either party the officer may stop the visit / inspection and leave the property until the issue is able to be resolved.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO THE OCCUPIER – By allowing the officer to enter your property you are confirming your responses to the questions and agreeing to the above requirements.

As above, if any of the above answers are unsatisfactory then then a physical on-site inspection will not be carried out. Where it is possible a virtual inspection will be carried out if practical to do so, or the inspection will be deferred until a later date.

Any on-site inspections that can continue to be carried out safely in open air at private residences, commercial sites and housing sites will be and these include:-

  • Commencement/ foundation excavations
  • Foundation concrete (where possible in conjunction with other inspections)
  • DPC (where possible in conjunction with other inspections)
  • Oversite concrete (where possible in conjunction with other inspections)
  • Foul drainage (where possible in conjunction with other inspections)
  • Floor joist (in most cases and where possible in conjunction with other inspections)
  • Structural steelwork (in most cases and where possible in conjunction with other inspections)
  • Roof (in most cases and where possible in conjunction with other inspections)
  • Completion (in most cases where the property is unoccupied and an unaccompanied inspection is possible)

The above inspections would entail very little contact with equipment/ materials on site and so long as “social distancing guidance” with people on site can be observed the risk to all will be limited.

Other inspections can be carried out virtually, such as photographic evidence, these include:-

  • Insulation
  • Those inspections listed above (excluding completions) that are not able to be safely carried out.

For the safety of our staff, our applicants and their builders, the following inspections at private residences and other occupied premises will cease for a duration as noted above, these include:-

  • First fix
  • Occupation
  • Completions

Please note that we reserve the right to cancel any on-site inspection that has been previously booked, or curtail any inspection where it is deemed (for either party) it is not safe to continue.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now open for applications.

The temporary scheme will support small and medium-sized businesses with access to working capital, including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance, of up to £5 million and for up to six years.

The government will also make a business interruption payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any fees charged by the lender, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

It will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan, subject to pre-lender cap on claims, and the scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer this scheme, including all the major banks.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible for the scheme if:

 

How do I apply?

To apply, you should talk as soon as possible to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers offering the scheme and discuss your business plan with them. Check their websites to find the best way of contacting them, as some branches may currently be shut down to enable social distancing. All major banks are offering this scheme.

If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website.

 

Businesses and venues which can remain open during lockdown

Other businesses are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods or services, including:

  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences.
  • Petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
  • Outdoor playgrounds
Business Owners - Advice

Important safety information for our local businesses.

The challenges businesses have faced over the last few months have been unprecedented; whether the business you pay business rates for has remained open or will be re-opening in the near future, we want to continue offering you all of the support and assistance we reasonably can.  To help us do that, we would be really grateful if you could email us at Covidcomms@boston.gov.uk to either confirm what hours you are currently operating (where applicable) or let us know when you hope to reopen and what hours you are planning to operate?

As you should already know, every business, whether trading currently or waiting to reopen, needs to have a plan in place about how your work can be carried out safely during the Covid-19 pandemic and how you can keep as many people as possible at least 2 metres apart from anyone that they do not already live with.

Preventing the spread Covid-19 within businesses must be managed and must be done by assessing the risks through a risk assessment, which all businesses have to do.  As you know, you need to put in place safe systems of work to make sure that you protect yourself, your employees, your contractors and members of the public from being infected with Covid-19 through any and all of your business activities.  If you have five or more employees then your risk assessment must be written down and you will need to share the results of your risk assessment with all of your colleagues. Advice from the Health and Safety Executive on how to carry out a risk assessment is accessible at https://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/

In addition to the Government’s ‘5 Steps to Working Safely Guidance’, and the Health and Safety Executives ‘Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak – a short guide’, the Government has produced eight business sector specific guidance documents to help you manage your risks; as responsible businesses, you will have already seen these we are sure; however, for ease, all of these documents can all be accessed from the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/5-steps-to-working-safely

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/working-safely-guide.pdf

As employers supporting the national response tackling this pandemic, your role in ensuring that all of your staff fully understand their role and responsibilities in adhering to your safe system of work is essential and we remain fully committed to helping you comply fully with all of the Health and Safety requirements placed on you by the Law.

If you would like any further advice or information then please visit our website at www.mybostonuk.com ,  email us at Environmental.health@boston.gov.uk , or contact us on 01205 314200.  We have enclosed an easy read leaflet that we hope you find useful.

Our very best wishes to you and all of your teams.
Boston Business, Tourism and Community Support Team

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Legionella: Advice for businesses owners and holiday accommodation providers during lockdown

What is the risk?

Legionella bacteria are commonly found in water. They multiply where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available. The bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia, contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. Such droplets can be created, for example, by hot and cold water outlets, wet air conditioning units and whirlpool baths or hot tubs.

Anyone can develop Legionnaires’ disease, but elderly people, smokers, heavy drinkers and those with cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory or kidney disease are at greater risk.

All employers and holiday accommodation owners have legal obligations to maintain the water systems in their premises to prevent growth of Legionella bacteria, and this advice will help them comply with this duty.

In vacant or partially unused properties, water can stagnate within hot and cold water systems.  This can lead to Legionella bacteria growing to harmful levels that could lead to someone contracting Legionnaires ’ disease when water systems are brought back into use.

The risk of this happening also can increase during warmer weather and where equipment that produces water aerosols is used, for example, showers, high pressure hoses and mist systems.

How can employers and owners of holiday accommodation reduce the risk of Legionella?

Outlets on hot and cold water systems should be used at least once a week to maintain a degree of water flow and to minimise the chances of stagnation.  To manage the risks during non-occupancy, consideration should be given to implementing a suitable flushing regime or other measures such as draining the system if it is to remain vacant for long periods – see https://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/legionella-landlords-responsibilities.htm.  This guidance also applies to workplaces which become less occupied.

Consideration should be given to other water systems that are no longer in use, such as leisure, sports and swimming and spa pool facilities.  For these facilities, you should follow the procedures described in the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group Code of Practice: https://www.pwtag.org/code-of-practice/.

Simple guidance has also been produced by the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease on managing Legionella in building water systems during the COVID-19 pandemic:

https://www.escmid.org/fileadmin/src/media/PDFs/3Research_Projects/ESGLI/COVId_buidling_water_system_guidance_27_3_20_v4_DS.pdf

Where can I get more information?

For more information on Legionella and your duty as an employer, visit: https://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/index.htm

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legionnaires-disease-guidance-data-and-analysis or contact Boston Borough Council Environmental Health on 01205 314200 or email: environmental.health@boston.gov.uk

Business Rates

UPDATE 26/3/2020

More businesses forced to close because of the Coronavirus will be exempted from business rates, the Treasury has announced.

Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls will now be granted a business rates holiday from 1 April 2020.

Eligible businesses will be sent new bills with 100% discount. Those that have already made payments will get refunds from their council. The government says councils will be fully compensated.

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*** New Changes to Business Rates – budget and post budget announcements ***

Retail Relief
 It was announced in the budget (and amended since then) that Retail Relief will be increased from 50% to 100% from 1 April 2020 for one year only. This would be for qualifying businesses, plus it has now been extended to the Leisure and hospitality sectors and can now apply to all properties regardless of Rateable Value.

Pub Relief
From 1 April 2020, pub relief is being increased from £1,000 to £5,000.

Small Business Grant
Click here to go to our business grant page https://www.mybostonuk.com/businessgrant/

Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant
On 17 March the Government announced that all businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value below £51,000 will be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000.

We are waiting for full details from the Government on the schemes’ implementation and will provide further information as it becomes available.

Car Parking

FREE parking in Boston with displayed ticket

From 1 January to 31 March 2021 Boston Borough Council is offering 1 hour free parking in all Boston Borough Council owned car parks to replace the previous 2.5 hour free parking scheme.

The 1 hour free parking will be available with a free hour’s ticket either from the machine or virtual via MiPermit in the following car parks: Bargate Green, Custom House Quay, Cattle Market, Botolph Street, Doughty Quay, West End, St George’s Road, Artillery Row, Maud Street, Buoy Yard, Victoria Place, Staniland, George Street, Spayne Road and Tunnard Street.

For permit information and prices please visit: https://www.mybostonuk.com/town-centre/car-parks/

Council Tax Support

The government announced a national support fund to assist those in need of support with their council tax. The support available is for those most vulnerable where a claim for council tax support is already in place.

Those who are eligible for this payment will have received a new council tax bill for the financial year 2020/21, where a maximum of £150.00 award will have been made.

You do not need to apply for this, we have sent out revised bills. If you do not think you have been granted this or have any questions relating to this award please continue to contact the office by email in the first instance at Revs@boston.gov.uk or by telephone on 01205 314202.

Commercial Services

Commercial tree and grounds services have been suspended until further notice 


Commercial waste and recycling (trade) operating as normal

Economic Support

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) will be made available to eligible businesses in the District that are impacted directly by the four week National lockdown. In a similar way to the Small Business Grant/Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds which were delivered earlier this year, the grant will be available to rated operating businesses hereditaments (to qualify, a hereditament must be rated as of 05/11/20) that are required by law to close due to restrictions and will be eligible for the following grant payment:

  1. For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per four weeks;  
  2. For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per four weeks;  
  3. For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per four weeks. 

The Government is also making provision for businesses that do not qualify for LRSG support, although the ‘discretionary’ element (the ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’) is unlikely to be available at this time.  Further updates will be provided once the scheme has been approved.

All eligible businesses/hereditaments will be required to make new applications – applications to previous schemes will not be considered for the new funds. We expect that eligible businesses will be able to make an application for LRSG funding in mid to late November, with payments following (10 working days after successful application submission). Please note: these timescales are not definitive and subject to change.

For more detailed information, please consult the Government guidance (opens new window) and we will publish updates on this page.

Environmental Health Services

Routine food hygiene inspections have now begun again, but with the normal format changed due to the ongoing pandemic. Food businesses where an inspection is due, or overdue, are being contacted by phone in the first instance, with a short follow-up visit to the premises where appropriate. Food hygiene complaints are being investigated in the normal way.

Anyone entering a retail shop or takeaway food shop must now wear a face covering and observe social distancing rules, and nobody is allowed to gather in groups of more than six indoors or outdoors, including in pubs, cafes and restaurants.

These arrangements are subject to change without notice if government restrictions are introduced.

Environmental Protection will continue to carry out inspections in terms of permitted activities and caravan site licences where such inspection can be carried out safely.

In terms of nuisance complaints regarding noise, odour, smoke etc. we will continue to respond to such matters however this service may be limited at times. For example we shall not at the current time be installing noise equipment within residential properties where we may have previously done so to investigate noise complaints.

 

 

Feedback and FOI

Please be advised that in response to customer Feedback (such as comments and complaints); requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Council strives to respond in a timely manner. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic we may be slightly longer in responding and ask customers for patience and understanding.

Fraud prevention and advice

Don’t fall for it – that’s the advice from law enforcement agencies as scammers try to cash in on the Covid-19 pandemic.

They are calling on the public to be on their guard against fraud, particularly if asked to share their financial or personal information.

And they’re urging people to take three simple steps to protect themselves from fraudsters:

Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to ActionFraud by email or on 0300 123 2040.

Among the scams already being investigated are:

  • Criminals targeting people trying to buy medical supplies online;
  • Sending emails offering fake medical support and scamming people who are vulnerable or increasingly isolated at home;
  • Making appeals for you to support bogus charities or those who are ill;
  • Online shopping scams where orders never arrive;
  • Fake testing kits being offered for sale;
  • Using Government branding to try and trick people, including reports of using HMRC branding to make fake offers of financial support through emails, phone calls and text messages.

Police expect a surge in phishing scams or calls claiming to be from government departments offering grants, tax rebates or compensation. To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact phishing@hmrc.gov.uk

Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex

Please visit www.mybostonuk.com/gmlc for updates


The FREE to join Facebook group for the community of Boston Borough  is still running with live fitness classes. 

Please follow this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/843448586167671/ – you must read and agree to the rules of the page and answer the question before you can be accepted into the group. Please note: you MUST click the link to join!

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers and Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers

These rules mean that you must not travel in groups of more than 6 people in England, whether you are using public or private transport, unless you are all from the same household or support bubble, or are travelling while undertaking an activity that is exempt under the rules.

When travelling on public transport, aircraft, taxis, private hire vehicles, coaches, ferries or other maritime vessels in England you must not gather with others outside of your group, and should try to keep within your group and distance yourself from others where possible.

There are some activities for which individuals are permitted to travel in groups of more than 6, but only where this travel is reasonably necessary in order to carry out the activity, including:

  • with work, or as part of voluntary or charitable services, for example, transport organised by an employer during the course of your work
  • with registered childcare, education or training, for example, transport organised by schools
  • as part of supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups, but only where those activities are provided by a registered professional
  • providing support to a vulnerable person
  • providing emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm
  • making arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents
  • training or competition, where the person concerned is an elite sportsperson
  • where fulfilling a legal obligation such as attending court or jury service

For the full guidance, including the mandatory requirements for face coverings please see:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Temporary Protective Screens (TPS) for Licensing Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles

In light of the COVID-19 virus and the impact it is having on the hackney carriage and private hire trade, Boston Borough Council is working with the trade to assist licensed drivers to continue to work throughout the outbreak.

Where a request is received, the council will permit, as a temporary measure, the installation of a protective screen.  The screen must be fitted behind the driver and front passenger seat (in between the rear passenger compartment and the driver).

You must not order, purchase or fit a screen without prior approval from Boston Borough Council.

The protective screen:

  • Must not contravene any prevailing legal requirements;
  • Must only be fitted across the rear of both front seats of a vehicle, creating a partition between the front and rear seats; and
  • Must not affect the structure, integrity or manufacturer fitted safety provision of the vehicle whatsoever

Process to be followed when wishing to fit a Temporary Screen:

  • Provide details of the screen you wish to fit for consideration by the Taxi Licensing Section and await approval before ordering or purchasing;
  •  Provide the Local Authority with written approval from your insurer to install a TPS.
  •  Agree in writing to remove the TPS within a maximum of 21 days after the current social distancing restrictions relating to COVID-19 have been removed.

 We would refer all licensing hackney carriage and private hire vehicle proprietors, drivers and operators to the prevailing Government Guidance. At the time of publishing this guidance this was “Working Safely during COVID-19 in or from a vehicle” dated 11 May 2020.

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Licensing of new Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles.

Boston Borough Council has now recommenced granting new licences for Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles.

To ensure that this can be done with the minimum of risk to all parties the following process MUST be followed by applicants for a new vehicle licence.

  1. Applicants must submit their application, accompanying paperwork and fee either in hard copy via the council letter box or electronically.  If submitted electronically please telephone the council on 01205 314214 to arrange payment. Please send electronic applications to licensing@boston.gov.uk
  2. An MOT, less than 1 month old and undertaken at an MOT testing station within the Boston Borough Council area must be provided with new vehicle licence applications. In the case of a wheelchair accessible vehicle, IVAs are not currently being undertaken by the DVSA testing station so we are unable at present to licence wheelchair accessible vehicles.
  3. If a vehicle of the same make and model has not previously been licensed by the council, the applicant will be required to submit a video to licensing@boston.gov.uk showing that the measurements of the vehicle comply with our vehicle specification.  A copy of this specification can be found on our website at

           Hackney carriages https://www.mybostonuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Hackney_Carriage_Full_October_2017_v4.1.pdf

           Private Hire Vehicles https://www.mybostonuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/PH_Full_October_2017_v4.1.pdf

  1. The applicant will be contacted by an officer of the council to make an appointment to present their vehicle at the carpark at the rear of the Municipal Buildings.
  2. On arrival at the appointed time, the applicant must ring the offices to confirm their arrival.
  3. If the vehicle is fitted with a meter, a video must be taken when you arrive at the council offices to evidence that the meter is correctly calibrated with the Hackney Carriage Tariffs.  The video must then be emailed to the council (Licensing@boston.gov.uk)
  4. The applicant or their representative will then fully open all of the vehicle doors and boot, ensuring that the fire extinguisher can be visually inspected.
  5. The applicant or their representative must then stand a minimum of 2m from the vehicle and await the officer attending to inspect the vehicle.
  6. The vehicle will then be visually inspected (condition of interior and exterior of the vehicle)
  7. The officer will return to the office to process the application in the usual way.
  8. Your licence and plate will be posted to you by Royal Mail, Second Class.

Please bear in mind Taxi Licensing Officers are currently only available at the Municipal Buildings one day per week so a same or next day service for licensing vehicles is not achievable.  Please ensure that you submit your application at the earliest opportunity so that we can book the vehicle in to be inspected on the next occasion that an officer is available.

Homeless/Rough Sleepers

Anyone who is actually homeless or threatened with homelessness should contact the housing team at Boston Borough Council via one of three ways:

Please leave as a minimum your name and contact details (both telephone/mobile and email if you have one).  A member of the housing team will then speak with you or contact you to progress your application

 Centrepoint Outreach: as at 26 March 2020

Following updated government guidance, Centrepoint Outreach will now offer takeaway drinks and snacks only (no entry to the building) Monday to Saturday between 9.30 and 12.00 for those who are homeless.

Food provision: as at 26 March 2020

In addition to Centrepoint Outreach above:

Centenary Methodist Church: will, supported by Restore Church, continue its Saturday evening soup kitchen 

Restore Church: will provide its evening mobile soup kitchen on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings

Foodbank: has moved to Blenkin Memorial Hall (near the Stump) for the time being.  E-vouchers can be obtained via the normal referral agencies including requests to Citizens Advice, DWP/JobCentre and Boston Borough Council

Household Waste Recycling Centre (tips)

Visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/clickandtip for the latest information.

 
Housing Condition / Standards Complaints

If you are experiencing disrepair issues with your rented property, in the first instance please refer to the following webpage for advice and information https://www.mybostonuk.com/housing/my-home-tenant/disrepair-information-for-tenants/

If you have then completed a housing disrepair complaint form, depending on the seriousness of the complaint, we will then endeavour to resolve the matter between you and your landlord via phone/ email and photographs. Due to the ongoing pandemic currently visits and inspections are only being conducted in the most serious circumstances and only when Covid-19 Secure and other requirements are able to be met.      

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

If you live in an HMO, you and all the other residents should:

If you’re shielding because you have a high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, spend as little time as possible in the shared areas. Speak to your local council about finding new accommodation if you cannot effectively shield in your current home.

Please go to the Home page to find out which tier applies to Lincolnshire.

Meetings

We are still using virtual meetings when meetings are necessary.

Our Council Meetings are broadcast live on our YouTube Channel at https://www.mybostonuk.com/youtube

Planning Services

There continues to be minimal disruption to the Planning Service at this time. The majority of the team are working away from the office. Our key priority is processing applications from receipt -validation – assessment – decision and we are not currently experiencing major delays in these key tasks.

General enquiries and requests for information are being processed as normal and we aim to respond within our usual timescale of 21days.

Contact with the Planning Department may be limited and outside of our usual service standards. We will respond to any queries as soon as we can, we actively encourage people to contact us by email using the following: Planning@boston.gov.uk. Officers are responding to call-backs as soon as they are able. If you require a call-back, please provide your contact details.

Application submissions;
If you are intending to submit a new application, we would encourage you to use the Planning Portal’s comprehensive online submission and payment service. Please see our website for how to apply through the Planning Portal, along with our Local Validation checklists;

Applications made directly to the Council by email or post, could take longer to process. We encourage payment by debit/credit card via our Customer Services Team – 01205 314200; payments by cheque are discouraged.

Site Visits
Site visits are still being carried out as an integral part of the application assessment and in the majority of cases officers should be able to make an assessment without the need for interaction or entering buildings. These site visits are subject to restrictions in line with Government advice and risk assessment. You may be contacted and asked a series of questions before a site visit is undertaken. Where we cannot make contact, or it would not be safe or appropriate to undertake a visit, the case will be delayed until this is can be undertaken.

Extension to time limit for commencement
The Business and Planning Act 2020 makes temporary modifications to The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to enable certain planning permissions and listed building consents in England which have lapsed or are due to lapse during 2020 to be extended.

Where an unimplemented planning application which was due to lapse between 19 August 2020 and 31 December 2020 will automatically be extended to 1 May 2021; there is no further approval required.

All Listed Building Consents which expire between 23 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 will be extended to 1 May 2021. Listed Building Consents will not be subject to a requirement to obtain Additional Environmental Approval.

We are in the process of writing to developers who may benefit from this temporary extension.

Additional year to commence development on new planning approvals;
From 18th May 2020, all permissions where the legislation allows us to will now be granted with an additional year extension, thus allowing a four-year period within which to commence the consent for full applications and for outlines allowing an additional year for submission of Reserved Matters. The Council feels that this approach to extend the life of permissions we are issuing now may help in the longer term to aid recovery.

Where it is considered appropriate to impose longer or shorter time scales, we will still continue to do so, this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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New Legislation has been issued to permit Restaurants and cafes (Use Class A3), drinking establishments and drinking establishments with expanded food provision (Use Class A4) to temporarily provide takeaway food* for a temporary period until 23rd March 2022, without the need to apply for Planning Permission. There is a requirement to notify the Local Planning Authority of a change of use of this nature: for more information and to apply please see https://www.mybostonuk.com/hotfoodtakeaway/

Public Conveniences

Bargate Green and Lincoln Lane toilets are open Monday to Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

Central Park toilets remain closed until further notice.

Please note: all three of our toilet blocks have access to the disabled toilets for those using radar keys.

Reporting social distancing related issues

If you have any concerns about individuals not following social distancing rules please report to the Police on 101 where you concerns will be investigated  

Shop safely
  • Stay 2 metres away from other customers and staff.
    • Keep clear of people on the way to and from the shops, and when inside them as well, if possible.
    • Be patient and take your turn to access items in fridges and freezers. Some supermarkets are helping to do this by limiting the number of people who can be inside a shop at any given time. Please be patient.
    • When purchasing your shopping, try to keep your distance from shop workers as well.
    • With self-service checkouts and pin pads, you may have no choice but to come into contact with surfaces that have been handled by many people. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth until you have washed your hands.

 

  • Shop alone, not in groups.
    • There will be exceptions eg, single parents with small children who cannot be left at home, but where possible you should try to shop alone.
    • This will reduce the number of people inside stores, making physical distancing easier to achieve.
    • It also reduces the number of people in your household exposed to the outdoors. Remember: studies show that, on average, people can have coronavirus for five days before they develop any symptoms, and all that time they can be unwittingly spreading it.

 

  • Only buy the essential things you need.
    • Panic-buying means there will be shortages of food and medical products for people who rely on them.
    • There are reports of increased food waste as people have stockpiled perishable goods that they could not possibly have consumed in time.
    • If everybody buys only what they need, there will be enough for all.

 

  • Respect shopping hours for healthcare workers and the vulnerable.
    • Many shops including supermarkets are setting aside certain hours of the week specifically for shopping to be carried out by key workers, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions that mean they are trying to shield themselves from exposure to the virus.
    • Be considerate when you choose to visit the shops to avoid coming into contact with these groups.

 

  • Use delivery services where possible
    • The fewer people on the streets and in shops, the less chance there is for people to pass on coronavirus.
    • If you can get delivery services, this will reduce the amount of times you have to leave the house.
    • This will help slow, and ease, the peak of infections in the population that politicians and scientists worry will overwhelm health services.
Support for the clinically extremely vulnerable

The Government has announced new national restrictions to help control the spread of Covid 19. From 5th November until 2nd December the Government has taken the following action:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes
  • Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes
  • Closing certain business and venues, like hospitality and non-essential retail

The full details of these rules can be found at gov.uk/coronavirus  At the end of the lockdown period, each area will return to area specific guidance – dependent on infection levels in that area.

The Government has also issued new guidance to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people. Approximately 31,000 people in Lincolnshire have been identified by the NHS as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (considered to be at highest risk of becoming very unwell if they catch Covid 19).

All Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people across the country are due to receive a letter from the NHS which will act as a formal shielding notification. The letter confirms the Government advice for CEV people and advises that whilst there will not be a return to the very restrictive shielding advice that was in place earlier in the year, CEV people are strongly advised to follow extra precautionary shielding measures to help keep safe for the duration of the lockdown. These include:

  • Staying at home as much as possible, but encouraged to go outdoors for exercise and health appointments
  • Strongly advised to work from home – if CEV people cannot work from home, they should not attend work
  • CEV children are advised not to attend school during this period
  • Not to go to shops or pharmacies – advised to online shop, or rely on family, friends, local support services / volunteers

Support is available to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people. CEV people are advised to register at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support to:

  • Request access to a priority supermarket delivery slot (if not already in place)
  • Tell the local council if you need support in order to follow the guidance that cannot be arranged or provided by family, friends or other support networks
  • Make sure their contact details are up to date
  • Those with urgent needs are advised to contact their local council directly

In Lincolnshire the support pathway developed in the first lockdown is active. People who register for support via the national website https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support and those who contact the Lincolnshire Covid helpline directly (01522 782189) will have their needs assessed. The Wellbeing Lincs Service (District Council partnership) is ready to assist those who need support through these pathways and has moved back to 7 day working.

We continue to work as a Lincolnshire wide partnership as part of the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum. Our ability to meet the needs of Lincolnshire residents continues to be enhanced by the fantastic local volunteer networks that remain in place.

If you become aware of anybody who may need support to stay at home safely during this difficult period, please advise them to contact the Lincolnshire Covid 19 Helpline on 01522 782189. If you would like any further information or advice about the services or support available, please contact:

Michelle Howard (Assistant Director, Housing & Wellbeing) – michelle.howard@e-lindsey.gov.uk  
David Postle (Wellbeing Lincs Service Manager) – david.postle@e-lindsey.gov.uk

Test and Trace Support Payment

Ensuring infected individuals and their close contacts isolate is one of our most powerful tools for controlling the spread of coronavirus. Self-isolating helps prevent your family, friends and community from catching the virus, as well as helping to protect the health and care system.

Change in the Law

  • From Monday 28th September people will be required to self-isolate by law if they test positive for COVID-19 or are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service
  • If people fail to comply with these rules, they will face tougher penalties
  • Fines for breaching the law will start at £1,000 and rise to £10,000

Test and Trace Support Payment

  • The government has introduced a new grant to support people in work on low incomes to self-isolate
  • You may be able to claim a £500 lump sum payment if you cannot work from home and are required to self-isolate
  • This payment aims to help make up for any lost income people may face due to having to stay at home

Who is eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment?

To be eligible for the support payment, all of the following must apply.

The applicant must:

  • Have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because of positive coronavirus test or recent close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • Be employed or self-employed
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result;
  • Be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit

If you think you are eligible please get in touch. You can e-mail us at stayathomesupport@boston.gov.uk or call 01205 314202 to leave you details and someone will get back to you to let you know when and how to apply.

More information about the new package to enforce and support self-isolation is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-package-to-support-and-enforce-self-isolation

 

 

 

Waste Services
Due to the coronavirus pandemic we are currently experiencing some disruption to recycling and refuse waste collections. Unfortunately we have been unable to collect in certain areas that can be found at www.mybostonuk.com/missedbins
 
Any additional waste can be presented in black refuse sacks at your next scheduled collection. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
 

Key Lines

  • wash your hands, before and after handling your recycling bins or boxes
  • cloths, wipes and gloves or any other personal protective equipment (PPE) that you use for cleaning should be placed in your general waste bin
  • do not put tissues in your recycling bins or boxes – there are people sorting your waste, please respect their health and safety
  • if you have a wheelie bin, always disinfect your bin handles and lids before and after collection.
  • if you have a wheelie box/recycling box, always disinfect the handles and flaps before and after collection
  • taking these steps will help stop the spread of the virus to your waste collectors, your neighbours and to others. 

At this time we are asking any households where residents are self-isolating due to the Coronavirus outbreak to follow this advice when disposing of household waste.

Personal household waste
In line with the advice from Public Health England, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection, personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your green household waste bin (please avoid putting these in any of your recycling bins). Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

By taking these actions you will help us to try and ensure that our staff remain safe and that we are able to continue providing the normal level of waste collection services for as long as possible.

If you have any questions about disposing of your waste please contact 01205 314200.

 

 

Re-Opening Of Our Economy

Business information and guidance when re-opening stores during Covid-19

Useful Links: