Barnsley Council has announced a package of support to help Barnsley’s communities and local businesses through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.
This support is driven by the council’s emergency response, which includes local and regional planning by the council’s leadership team with the focus on trying to keep as many council services running for as long as possible.
This is in addition to the Government’s support and is there to help the most vulnerable people and businesses in the borough.
Barnsley Council’s support includes:
- A £13 million emergency fund to support Barnsley’s emergency response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), including adult social care, vulnerable children, homeless and rough sleepers, support for those at highest risk of severe illness and other essential council services.
- A £2.5 million fund to support people at a higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- A dedicated emergency contact centre to help vulnerable people with emergency support after being impacted by the disruptions due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- A joint scheme with Barnsley CVS to recruit Barnsley community responders who can volunteer their time to support vulnerable people across the borough.
- A three-month council tax payment holiday for those struggling financially.
- Up to £150 in additional relief for all those eligible for local council tax support.
- Advice and support to anyone having difficulty paying their Berneslai Homes rent, with a range of options available to tenants during this period.
- Free school meals or vouchers to continue for the children of key workers and looked after children in all schools.
- Changing payment processes to make quicker payments to all businesses and services, helping keep their businesses afloat and boost their cash flow.
- All Government business rate relief for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses processed and rebilled.
- Grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 available for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief and other eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses.
- A dedicated business support service, through Enterprising Barnsley, to signpost businesses to all other available Government support.
Leader of Barnsley Council, Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, said: “I don’t think anyone would have ever imagined the current situation that we’re in. I know it’s an anxious, challenging time for us all.
"It’s a big ask to follow the Government's guidance on staying at home, but we must all do this as it will give our borough the best chance of limiting the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and help to save lives.
"It's not going to be an easy task, and I don't underestimate the impact Coronavirus (COVID-19) will have on you, your family, friends, businesses and our organisation.
“As a council, we’re doing all we can to deliver our services and help our communities. The package of support we’ve put in place will help to support and protect people and businesses through this difficult time.”
Government guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus