Runnymede Borough Council will continue to support local people to the best extent we can during the Coronavirus crisis.
As far as possible, we are committed to providing all our essential services as usual but, if necessary, as the spread of the virus changes Government advice, we will ensure the most vulnerable people in the borough and essential services are prioritised.
The following services remain functional and available for use:
- Welfare checks and support for vulnerable people
- Urgent housing repairs,
- Dangerous structure incidents,
- Refuse and recycling collection,
- Benefit support including business grants and relief,
- Safer Runnymede and associated services, and
- Urgent environmental health matters.
In line with Government advice to limit mass gatherings and social contact we have reluctantly decided to:
- Cancel Council-run or facilitated public events like farmers' markets.
- Close day centres, community halls and Chertsey Museum.
- Postpone non-essential household maintenance for our housing tenants.
- Run some appointments over the phone instead of face to face, like social prescribing.
- Stop routine inspection work.
- Not respond to minor non-urgent complaints like noise nuisance.
In the coming days we expect to be able to explain how we will provide support for people who have difficulty paying the Council Tax and tenants making rental payments.
We are expecting guidance from Government on business support including Business Rates, on Friday. We will update the Business Runnymede website and the Business Rates page of this website as soon as possible.
Cllr Nick Prescot, Leader of the Council said: "We're finding out about the impacts of Coronavirus at the same time as everyone else, and we're adapting as fast as we can, but please do bear with us and ask yourself whether your issue is essential.
"The pressure on our services is likely to grow and as yet no further resources have been made available from Government. Our staff are dedicated public servants, and we stand ready to support the most vulnerable people in the borough, but how we do that might change in the next few weeks and months.
"Overall, we're confident more of our work will continue than will stop, and any changes will be temporary. Our staff may well be working from home or in different roles, so please give them time and patience so we can do the best for local people and businesses."
Many of the online and non face-to-face services which the Council runs will continue as normal, including dealing with planning applications and building control issues. However, depending on needs, some people in these areas may be moved to support essential services.
From Tuesday 24 March all of the Council's meetings will be cancelled until further notice. We hope to have a digital solution in place whereby councillors can take part in meetings and vote but this will be subject to the Government allowing this type of democratic process.