Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Town council preparing for second wave of Covid-19

Story posted on

FROMETown Council is making plans for how it can support the community in the event of a second wave of Covid-19 and possible local lockdown restrictions. 

The approach of colder weather, a rise in unemployment caused by the end of the furlough scheme, and a possible rise in tenant evictions and mortgage difficulties because of eviction bans and payment holidays coming to an end, have all been described as the “perfect storm” by the town council and could have “far-reaching effects”.

In preparation for these “anticipated” difficulties and a “possible” second wave of Covid-19, the town council is exploring a number of areas for support including: effective town-wide communication, the continuation of services set up in response to the first wave of Covid-19 – such as the Shop for Me volunteer service, the identification of a local testing site, and support for local businesses.

The town council is working with local organisations such as Fair Frome and Fair Housing for Frome, and both the district council and county council, to ensure that residents are “well supported” and that the town council can continue its original work programme, which they say is now “more important than ever”.

Speaking at last week’s town council meeting Frome Town Council’s community development manager, Kate Hellard said, “We know that between March and the end of July the number of people in Frome claiming Universal Credit has doubled – and that was before the furlough scheme coming to a close. 

“We are anticipating redundancies – so we are working closely with Fair Frome, Fair Housing for Frome and a range of other partners including Mendip, and the county council, to look at how we mitigate or at least provide information ahead of time, so that residents don’t find themselves in crisis. 

“Over the autumn we will have a crunch point as the weather changes, as furlough comes to a end, eviction bans come to an end – all at a similar time towards the end of October in half term, and in the run up to Christmas.

“We are not expecting the government to continue to deliver their food voucher schemes, but Fair Frome are working on a number of projects to ensure that families can access food over the holidays.

“It’s a perfect storm and we don’t know what the impact will be.

“We are strengthening  our links with the county council and they are keen to work with us on a pilot project around communication and what we can do locally, building on what we have previously done.”

As part of their plans, which were backed at last week’s town council meeting, the Shop for Me volunteer service – which was set up to help self-isolating residents access shops – is to be transferred to Active and in Touch. 

Kate Hellard, explained at the meeting that the local charity were “well placed” to continue the service. Councillors agreed to give Active and in Touch £2,000 to assist them in taking over the service.

Funding of £2,000 was also allocated to Fair  Housing for Frome  to help find a ‘housing needs’ survey to help better understand the housing issues in Frome. 

Kate Hellard, added that anecdotal information indicates that people are struggling to find affordable housing in the town, but that the survey should give a clearer picture of what the issues are.

To read the full report about planning for a second wave of Covid-19 and a local lockdown, visit the Frome Town Council website: www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Agenda-item-6-For-Decision-2nd-Wave-Planning.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *