Here for Swindon: Council measures to support residents and businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak
Support for residents
1. Compassionate Swindon: volunteer support for those who most need it
- Over 500 Swindon residents have signed-up for volunteering opportunities, including speaking to someone over the phone to offer some companionship or collecting shopping for those who are staying at home.
2. Council Tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus
- Please call us on 0345 302 2316 if you having difficulty paying your Council Tax to discuss how we can help you.
- Council Tax bills of working age people receiving Local Council Tax Support will be reduced for 2020/21. Following the Government’s announcement (24 March 2020) we are currently working through how this will be administered.
- Find out about our existing Council Tax Support Scheme. You can apply online or call us on 0345 302 2316 to request a paper claim form.
3. Emergency household supplies for residents most affected by coronavirus
We can help residents with emergency household supplies.
Please call Customer Services on 01793 445500 from Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.
If you’re unable to call, please email email@example.com
If you have received a letter and been identified as ‘shielding’:
If you have received a letter asking you to stay at home for 12 weeks (also referred to as being ‘shielded’) and responded that you do not have a support network to help you, you will receive a weekly food parcel delivered directly to you by the Government. Please call the council if you wish to discuss essential top-ups to this provision.
If you are self-isolating at home, able to afford supplies and do not have a support network to help you:
Our staff and volunteers will deliver food supplies:
- Fruit & veg bag - £6.50
- Food box with meat - £30.00
- Food box for vegetarians - £30.00
- Food box for vegans - cost depends on requirements
If you are self-isolating at home, unable to afford supplies and do not have a support network to help you:
Our staff and volunteers will deliver food supplies based on the options above, but free of charge.
If you need prescriptions collected and delivered and do not have a support network to help you:
We will collect prescriptions for people who are self-isolating or ‘shielded’ and deliver free of charge.
If you're in extreme hardship and are able to go out and get essential supplies:
Please call us so we can discuss your circumstances and the most appropriate option:
- Provide Tesco food vouchers
- Signpost you to local food banks
- Refer you to Citizens Advice Swindon
If you have a concern and would like advice and support:
Please call 01793 445500 from Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. You can request a call back from someone who can talk to you about how to stay well and active at home.
If you’re unable to call, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read the privacy notice before you call, as will ask you for personal information.
4. Supporting council housing tenants
- Tenants affected by coronavirus are requested to contact their Neighbourhood Housing Officer to discuss their circumstances.
- Support is available for those who fall behind on rent payments due to coronavirus. More information: COVID 19 - Support for council housing tenants
- Avoid evictions as long as tenants follow the advice and support from housing officers.
5. More parking options for key workers and residents making essential journeys
- All NHS and social care staff can apply for a free permit in all Swindon Borough Council surface level car parks and on-street pay and display parking bays.
- Penalty Charge Notices won’t be issued to resident permit holders for parking in shared use bays, resident bays and limited waiting bays within your zone.
- Penalty Charge Notices will only be issued to cars parked dangerously, on yellow lines, in disabled bays or to non-permit holders.
- Resident permit holders displaying their resident permit can park in the nearest surface level car park to their home (not in barrier-controlled car parks).
- This only applies to resident permit holders. It does not mean non-permit holders can park in these areas. Penalty Charge Notices may be issued to those not displaying a valid permit.
6. Offering free childcare to key workers during the Easter holidays and May half-term
- We are providing funding for 24 hours of childcare per week (6 hours a day or as flexibly as required) to help key workers carry out their essential work during the Easter holidays and May half-term. Further information available here.
- Any parents who are not in a position to be able to safely leave their children at home should email the council at email@example.com.
7. Helping residents access library services online
- All loans will be automatically renewed until libraries are reopened.
- All library memberships due to expire before the end of June will be automatically renewed for six months.
- If you’re not already a member, join the library online and immediately begin using our eBooks and audio books, plus eMagazines.
- For the first time, Swindon Libraries can offer library members free use of Find My Past from your home. Please email your name and library card number to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and begin researching your family tree.
8. Extending bus pass use for older and disabled people
- Elderly and disabled residents can use their bus passes before 9.30am, although the government has instructed that people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.
9. Priority re-booking and waiving fees for marriages postponed due to coronavirus
- Priority re-booking for weddings postponed at the Civic Offices.
- Charges waived for notice appointments for postponed marriages.
Support for businesses
10. Getting vital financial support to local businesses
- 100% business rate relief will be available for all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses for 2020-21. This will be reflected in their bills from April 2020.
- A £10,000 grant will be available to small businesses with a rateable value of up to and including £15,000.
- A £25,000 grant will be available to all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999.
- We are contacting eligible businesses with information on how they can access the grant funding. For more information: COVID-19 - Government support for businesses
11. Supporting not-for-profit and commercial tenants in council properties
- Businesses unable to pay their rent because of coronavirus will be given extra protection so they don't have to worry about being evicted.
- Three-month rent deferral to commercial and not for profit tenants.
12. Helping Swindon’s taxi drivers
- Extended Hackney and Private Hire driver licences with no charge for six months.
- Alternatively, drivers may wish to apply for a one-year licence at £70 instead of the usual three-year licences (£210).
- For more information please contact Kathryn Ashton, Licensing Manager at email@example.com or 07881 281883.