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.

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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The Chancellor announced that there would be £750m worth of funding to be made available to support frontline charities. “The Coronavirus Community Fund” opened for applications on 20th May

Further information on the Coronavirus Community Support Fund and other financial support available to voluntary, community and social enterprises: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19#community

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Could your club benefit from the Sport England community emergency fund?

Has your club / organisation been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic?

Sport England have announced a £195 million package to help the community sport and physical activity sector in England cope with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

This includes a £20 million Community Emergency Fund which is open for clubs and community organisations to bid for grants between £300 and £10,000.

To find out link to https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/community-emergencyfund

There is also £1 million Crowdfunding Support for Sports Clubs and Organisations:

Sport England has committed another £1 million to combating the impact of coronavirus by match funding money raised by sports clubs and community activity groups through the fundraising platform crowdfunder. Through the Active Together Partnership with crowdfunder, Sport England are matching crowd funds of up to £10,000 raised by clubs and organisations hit by the coronavirus crisis. Clubs and organisations can sign up to via the crowdfunder website. They will need to set their crowdfunding target and put in place incentives and rewards. Once 25% of the crowdfunding is met, Sport England will confirm the match funding – up to £10,000 – and can distribute the money within seven days of being raised.

To find link www.crowdfunder.co.uk>funds>active-together

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Emergency funding for frontline Armed Forces charities

On 12 May, the Government announced £6 million in funding for Armed Forces charities and Community Interest Companies (CICs) who are delivering services to veterans, Armed Forces families and others from the Armed Forces community.

Grants of up to £60,000 are available. In exceptional circumstances, grants of up to £125,000 or more are available.

If you are awarded a grant, you will need to spend it all by 31 October 2020.

Check out our website for full details and to apply. Closing date, 29 May 2020.

Wondering if you’re eligible to apply?

There are some key eligibility criteria you’ll need to meet.

  • Be able to show a strong history of work with people from Armed Forces communities; and your organisation must have at least one year’s worth of published accounts.
  • Have fewer resources coming into your organisation, due to Covid-19.
  • Have the same, or increased, demand for the services that you deliver to people from Armed Forces communities.

Full details are on our website, including handy guidance and FAQs to help you.

Deadline for applications is 29 May 2020, but we encourage you to apply earlier if you can.

Emergency funding for frontline Armed Forces charities working with Armed Forces communities

Funding to support Community Business affected by the coronavirus (England)
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Power to Change have launched a £12 million crisis support package to provide immediate and medium-term support for community businesses supporting the vulnerable and isolated in England. The emergency package includes £7 million in rescue funding, which offers grants of up to £25,000 to contribute to trading incomes losses incurred between April and June 2020. This will initially be available to current and previous Power to Change grantees, and to community businesses which are members of Co-operatives UK, Locality and Plunket Foundation. £5 million in recovery funding will be made available later in the year to help rebuilding and recovery. The support package will be open for applications from the 11th May 2020. https://www.powertochange.org.uk/get-support/covid-19/

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

Barclays’ 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme (UK)
Barclays‘ Bank has announced the launch of its £10 million 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme. Through the 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme, Barclays’ Bank are making 100 donations of £100,000 each to UK charities working to support vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19, and the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis. The programme will focus on supporting charity partners who are meeting the immediate needs of people in their communities, including low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers. To be eligible applicants need to be registered charities with an income in excess of £1 million per year and active in communities where Barclays‘ has a presence. The closing date for applications is the 22nd May 2020. https://home.barclays/society/investing-in-our-communities/barclays-covid-19-community-aid-package/barclays-100×100-uk-covid-19-community-relief-programme/

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/

Support with home schooling
Many of you will be juggling work with trying to home school your youngsters. Yesterday I mentioned the range of lessons that are now on offer from the BBC at www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize.

In addition, to support schools in delivering remote education, the Oak National Academy has now launched. This brand-new enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from some of the leading schools across England, backed by government grant funding. It will provide 180 video lessons each week, across a broad range of subjects from maths to art to languages, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. Find out more at www.thenational.academy .

New guidance was published yesterday by the government for parents on how best to support their child’s education and development at www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19 . This will be updated regularly to include further resources and reflect the latest information and developments.

Further information about looking after your child’s wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak is also available on the Every Mind Matters website.

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 Crematorium and Cemetery

The Government issued updated advice on 19th April regarding attendance at 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 14 mourners, with the seats spaced at 2-metre distances. 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. This is the guidance issued by H.M. Government as to who may attend:

  • The number of mourners to be as low as possible to ensure a safe distance of at least 2 metres (6 ft) can be maintained between individuals.
  • Alongside the Funeral Director, Chapel Attendant, and funeral staff only the following should attend:
    • members of the person’s household.
    • close family members.
    • or if the above are unable to attend, close friends.
    • attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this.

Funeral services can be recorded (at the request of the Next of Kin only) and a media file can be sent to you electronically if desired. Regretfully we are unable to live stream services at the present time.
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 but we are more than happy to photocopy the hymn for use in the service which can then be discarded afterwards. Please request this at the point of booking the service.
  • 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.

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  is currently closed to the public but it can 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

Following government advice we have closed Boston Guildhall until further notice. 

We will continue to support the museum and respond to enquires through email guildhall@boston.gov.uk 

For any booking or event enquiries please contact polly.wilkinson@boston.gov.uk

Boston Market

Boston Market will re-open from Wednesday 3rd June with regular traders only.

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.

Regular traders please ensure you have made contact with the Market staff regarding your planned return and casual traders we hope to open up very soon to you.

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.

* 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. At this time this will be for at least 3 weeks from today although that may be subject change.

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. Have you, or has anyone at the address/ on site displayed symptoms of the Coronavirus within the past 14 days i.e. a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature? IF YES = NO INSPECTION
  2. Have you or anyone at the address recently returned from abroad?  IF YES = NO INSPECTION
  3. Are you or anyone at the address in self-isolation due to symptoms of Coronavirus? IF YES = NO INSPECTION
  4. Are you or is anyone at the address categorised as high risk or vulnerable, as defined by the government and NHS guidance, and are required to self-isolate? IF YES = NO INSPECTION    
  5. Do you, and anyone we may encounter during the visit, agree to maintain appropriate social distancing measures i.e. 2m, as set out in the government guidelines throughout the entirety of the visit? IF NO = NO INSPECTION      
  6. Do you agree to keep any children at the property away from the immediate site area during the inspection? IF NO = NO INSPECTION      
  7. Are you comfortable with us carrying out the inspection? IF NO = NO INSPECTION          

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 to 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.

 

Business Owners - Advice

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 Owners - Help Is At Hand

👉 a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
👉 deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
👉 a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
👉 a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
👉 small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
👉 grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
👉 the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
👉 a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
👉 the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

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.

Children's Play Areas

The children’s play areas are still closed following Government guidelines.

🛑 Social distancing must be respected at all times when visiting these areas
🛑 Please report any gatherings to 101
🛑 Follow the Governments stay at home guidance – stay alert, save lives, control the virus

Car parks - council-owned

Normal charges are to be reinstated from Monday 15 June in all Boston Borough Council operated car parks.
Parking fees, which have been suspended since 27 March, will apply from the date when all retail shops expected to be allowed to reopen. https://www.mybostonuk.com/car-parking-charges-to-be-reins…/

People worried about touching ticket machines when parking fees are reintroduced on 15 June have been reassured that cashless payment is, and always has been, available at most of the machines.
Motorists can pay for parking via the MiPermit app, by text or over the phone in all council-run off-street car parks. This is not available in the five on-street car parks, which are owned and patrolled by Lincolnshire County Council. However, Station Approach can take card payments, leaving only four on-street car parks where cashless payment isn’t possible.
Step-by-step instructions on how to pay are displayed on the side of all ticket machines.

Council Tax Support

UPDATE 26/03/2020

The government recently 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.

Over the coming days we will be awarding a maximum amount of £150 onto council tax accounts who are in receipt of council tax support, for the financial year 2020/21 and new bills will be issued. If you are eligible and your council tax bill is less than £150, your entitlement will be limited to the amount of the bill.

You do not need to apply for this, we will be sending revised bills once the award has been made. Please continue to contact the office by email in the first instance at Revs@boston.gov.uk or by telephone on 01205 314202.

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We recognise that residents may struggle to pay their Council Tax bill during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

The government recently announced a national support fund and we will provide more detail as soon as it becomes available.

The changing nature of the response to the pandemic means that there may well be further announcements and updates will be provided as they come through.

In the meantime, if you are having difficulties making your Council Tax payments you should contact the Revenues team and we may be able to change or extend your payment plan.

You may also be entitled to claim a discount or exemption see our Council Tax pages for more details.

Council tax support may be available if your income has reduced you can find more details on our Benefits and Council Tax Support pages at https://www.mybostonuk.com/council-tax/

Due to the high number of calls being received by our revenues team please contact us for advice by email in the first instance at revs@boston.gov.uk if you are unable to do so, you can call 01205 314202.

Commercial Services

Commercial tree and grounds services have been suspended until further notice 


Commercial waste and recycling (trade) operating as normal

Environmental Health Services

All routine food hygiene ratings have been temporary suspended due to these involving face-to-face meetings and visits. All food premises have been advised to follow good hygiene practice to ensure the safety of their staff and customers and can remain open for business as usual.

Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational. This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers. Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. This will be clearly communicated by the government when in effect. People must not consumer food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafes or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food, Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their licence does not already permit.

Environmental Protection

Environmental protection – officers will not be making face-to-face visits or installing noise monitoring equipment inside people’s houses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Letters will still be sent out when complaints are received.

 

Events Postponed (council-run)

The following events are no longer running as planned.
• Boston’s Outdoor Cinema 25 April moved to September
• Big Boston Clean Up
• LinkedIn Local – Cancelled for March & April
• Neil Wright talk at Boston Guildhall – 25 April & 23 May
• Pilgrim Day at Boston Guildhall Sat 11 April
• Boston May Fair 2 – 10 May
• 1940’s event 12 – 14 June
• Craft & Gift Markets 28 May, 25 June 30 July & 27 August
• Teenage Market 4 July
• Boston Show 4 & 5 July
• Get Cycling Roadshow 24 July
• Party in the Park 25 July – new date 24 July 2021 (tickets will automatically be transferred to this new date, contact us if you would like a refund)
• Messy Hands & Feet Painting 5 August
• Active Boston 7 August
• Focused beach sessions for July & August – Fun in the Sun/Back in Time and Golden Time
• PJ Mini Marathon – 12 August
• Boston Beach days – 13 & 14 August
• Circus Skills workshop – 19 August
• Boston beach will not on site for July and August as has been in previous years.
• Teddy Bears Picnic – 26 August

External events we are aware of no longer running as planned:
• Park Run until further notice
• St George’s Day parade – 26 April
• Boston Model Fairground Show – 9 May

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
AS INSTRUCTED BY THE PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON, THE GEOFF MOULDER LEISURE COMPLEX IS CLOSED DUE TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS.
FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE ANNOUNCED REGARDING SWIMMING MEMBERSHIPS AND SWIMMING LESSONS SHORTLY.

We are proud to announce that our team has designed a Facebook group page for the community of Boston Borough to do FREE live fitness classes. The team is in process of designing a timetable for these classes for adult/family to take part in on a daily basis.

Family Clubbercise recommended age is 7+

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

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

4. 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.

5. On arrival at the appointed time, the applicant must ring the offices to confirm their arrival.

6. If the vehicle is fitted with a meter, a video must be taken 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)

7. 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.

8. The applicant or their representative must then stand a minimum of 2m from the vehicle and await the officer attending to inspect the vehicle.

9. The vehicle will then be visually inspected (condition of interior and exterior of the vehicle)

10. The officer will return to the office to process the application in the usual way.

11. 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.

 

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Click here for Government published transport guidance for operators and passengers in England

We are aware that doctors surgeries are no longer carrying out driver medicals due to not undertaking non-urgent face to face appointments. For this reason we are suspending the requirement to provide a medical, if due, for the renewal of your Hackney Carriage and/or Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence. A temporary policy is in place, details of which are provided below. You will NOT be required, for now, to obtain a medical from your GP or a person who has sight of your medical records.

Due the likelihood of MOT testing stations closing and the government’s decision to extend MOTs for 6 months, we also have a temporary policy in place to enable you to continue to use your licensed vehicle, details of this are also provided below.

Please note however, you MUST still apply for your driver or vehicle licence renewal if it is shortly due to expire. We kindly request, due to reduced staffing levels, you submit your application well in advance of the renewal date, to enable us to try to process it before the renewal date.

With effect from 26 March 2020 and until further notice:

When renewing a driver licence, if a medical is due, Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle drivers will:

  • Be required to provide a self-certification declaring any medical conditions that have been diagnosed since their previous medical and any medication they are currently prescribed to take, including the dose. If there are no debarring medical conditions identified, the licensing authority will issue a 6 month licence and an advisory that a medical must be provided within that period, upon receipt of which the licence will be extended to the normal licensing period of 3 years.
  • Be required to make an undertaking that any further diagnosed medical condition will be notified to the licensing authority in writing within 1 business day of being medically fit to do so.

The above requirements also apply to both drivers over the age of 65 and those with some diagnosed medical conditions at the time their annual medical is due.

The council will cease processing new applications for drivers.

Other than renewal applications the council will cease processing applications for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles.

With effect from 30 March 2020 and until further notice:

If or when MOT testing stations close, the requirement for an MOT on vehicle licence renewal or after 6 months be temporarily suspended. This policy is in force for a maximum of 6 months.

The self-certificate form can be found here at https://www.mybostonuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Taxi-Self-cert-declaration.pdf

Note

The above will be subject to amendment should the Local Government Association provide guidance to Licensing Authorities.  This policy will be replaced by any Government guidance or amendments to legislation should they be received.

Homechoice applications and register

Homechoice applications and register

Following the recent lifting of some lockdown requirements, Boston Homechoice property advertising and bidding was recommenced on Friday 15 May 2020.  Applications and bids should continue to be made in the normal ways (see the relevant page on the Boston Borough Council website: Finding a Home )

Anyone either threatened with homelessness or actually homeless should contact the Boston Borough Council housing team:

Tel: 01205 314200
Email: info@boston.gov.uk
Online: Online homeless application

 

Finding a home web page: https://www.mybostonuk.com/housing/finding-a-home/

 

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)

Please don’t turn up to a Household Waste Recycling Centre (tip) without a time slot. You WILL be turned away unless you have a booking. Please help us, so we can deliver this service for you.

Just a reminder: We will be reopening our tips for different materials at different times:

18 – 24 May – garden waste and wood only
25 – 31 May – garden waste, wood, cardboard, paper and glass
1 June onwards – as above, plus scrap metal, electricals and black bagged general waste

Please bear in mind, we have a number of restrictions in place, including vehicle restrictions. This is so we can make the system fair and work within the social distancing guidelines.

Details: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/clickandtip

Local Services

We have pulled together a list of Boston premises/businesses offering services to those who require it through Covid-19.

Visit https://www.mybostonuk.com/local-services/

Meetings

We are now using virtual meetings when meetings are necessary.

Planning Services

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.

These changes do not affect approvals which have or are about to expire where it has not been able to commence – we are waiting for primary legislation on this. We would be happy to work with you to attempt to find ways to enable permissions to continue to be enacted. Should either situation apply to you, please contact us on 01205 314200.

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There is minimal disruption to the Planning Service at this time. The majority of the team are working away from the office, however, we remain focused on processing applications from receipt –validation – assessment – decision and are not currently experiencing any delays in these key tasks.

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 2021, 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/

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, together with cheque payments, could take longer to process.

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.

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.

Ratepayer discounts announced by Government update

We are working hard to apply the discounts announced by the Government in response Covid-19 to ratepayers.  Those that are entitled to Nursery Discount, have now had the credit applied to their account and will receive a revised bill shortly showing a 100% discount for 2020/21.

We have now written to all eligible businesses in relation to the Small Business Grant or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund shortly. For more information on this please see https://www.mybostonuk.com/businessgrant/ or www.gov.uk for further information on these grants.

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  

Waste Services

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.

 


Bulky waste collections
We are pleased to announce that our Bulky Waste collection service is back running with some minor changes keeping in line with Government guidelines. These are as follows:
🛑 NO cash payments
🛑 Any collections including quotes will be done in accordance with social distancing guidelines
🛑 When putting your items out, please help us keep our staff safe and prevent the spread of the virus by washing your hands for 20 seconds prior to putting items out your bulky waste collection
 
To arrange a bulky collection please call 01205 314200 where payment will need to be made by credit/debit card.
Please note: We CANNOT collect building materials, asbestos, hazardous waste, medical waste.
Pricing for collections can be viewed at https://www.mybostonuk.com/operations/
 
Portfolio holder for waste services, Cllr Yvonne Stevens, said: “We are pleased to be able to bring this service back into action to help ease the pressure from the public and to ease the growth of fly-tipping in the borough. This is also to support Lincolnshire County Council whilst the Household Waste Recycling Centre’s across the county remain closed.”
 

Useful Links: