Stratford-on-Avon District Council COVID-19 update - 15 April

Press Release

Published on 15 April 2020
Archived on 15 May 2020


Key updates - 15 April

For the latest service updates visit: https://www.stratford.gov.uk/news/press.cfm/current/3/item/137129

  • Business rate grants
    Almost 1,500 business grant applications have been received from the approximately 2,000 businesses in the District that may be eligible for the scheme.

    To date payments have been processed for 483 businesses with a total of £6,715,035m being distributed.

    All applications are being processed as quickly as possible. We have, however, received a significant number of applications from businesses that are not already held on the National Valuation Agency non-domestic rates valuation list.  This is an essential qualifying criteria under the current Government legislation for these grants.

    Therefore, in common with other authorities, those properties on the valuation list and with no other queries eg incomplete bank details will be prioritised  so that as many payments as possible can be got out in the shortest timeframe possible. Our officers will liaise individually with those businesses where further information is required as quickly as possible. Businesses need to be aware that some queries cannot be resolved by the District Council alone and are likely to require Valuation Agency input.

    Consequently, we regret that any property not on the valuation list will need further investigation work done with the business to establish eligibility for the scheme - this is likely to result in a delay in coming to a decision whether the business is actually eligible under the scheme.

    The Government has given local Councils absolutely no discretion applying these rules.  We have to follow the guidelines laid down by government, and, unfortunately, these have been changing as the emergency develops which can hinder our ability to act as quickly as we would wish.

    Businesses are being asked to complete the on-line application to qualify for the grants - https://www.stratford.gov.uk/online-forms/business-rates-grant-form.cfm

    Nursery Relief - The Government have also recently added nurseries into the Business Rates Grants Relief system. We have been working with colleagues at the County Council to identify 28 nurseries in Stratford District that are eligible for this and will be writing to those businesses that will be advised to complete the online application.

    Update on Nursery Relief: Today (15 April), 12 accounts have received relief of £150,029.39.

    Please note: To protect business from fraudsters the District Council will not be asking for bank details over the phone, we will be directing them to completing the online form.

    Also please do not disclosure your Business Rates Account number to anyone.

    There is also a useful FAQ now on the website - https://www.stratford.gov.uk/business-investment/business-rates-grant-faqs.cfm

    If you have any further enquiries please email: BRG@stratford-dc.gov.uk
  • Orbit Housing
    We have been in close discussion with Orbit about the provision of emergency temporary accommodation, their support for residents of sheltered housing schemes and their approach to issues surrounding rent arrears. Orbit has assured us that no evictions will take place during the next three months. They will continue to issue reminders to tenants and they have stressed that if any tenant is facing financial difficulty in paying rent as a result of COVID-19 they should contact Orbit as soon as they can to help explore what benefits they may be entitled to and what other support Orbit can offer.

  • Community Hub
    SDC has redeployed staff to continue supporting the making up and delivery of daily parcels for individuals across the District - these parcels are made up of dry goods, chilled goods and household items.

    The council and its partners are also offering extra help for those identified as extremely vulnerable who have no access to food and support.

    People in this group should call 0800 4081447 or go to: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirusextremelyvulnerable for more information.

    If you have a significant underlying medical condition and have not received a letter from the NHS and believe that you should have received one you should contact your local GP who can discuss whether they feel that your medical condition means that you should be added to the NHS extremely vulnerable list. 

  • Community Support Groups
    Many local groups have set up across the district to support people in their community who may be struggling to get food or medicine and lots of Town & Parish Councils are also offering support.

    Warwickshire County Council, with help from the District Council has compiled a directory providing useful information about local organisations, groups and agencies that are providing activities, advice, and services during the current COVID-19 crisis at https://apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/api/documents/WCCC-966-2079

    COVID-19 dedicated section on our website: https://www.stratford.gov.uk/coronavirus

    Cllr Daren Pemberton, Deputy Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: "Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to the vast majority of our residents who observed social distancing rules over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. This collective and ongoing effort is vital in taking the first steps towards beating COVID-19. It is very tough for all of us to live like this but we are all helping save lives, those of our loved ones and those of complete strangers. In so doing we are also helping to give the NHS the best chance to support as many people as possible to recover.

    "The Council's COVID-19 operations in delivering Government financial support to council tax payers and businesses are well underway at the same time we are providing as many of our usual services, as is possible, in the background. I want to thank our staff for their resilience and all their efforts in supporting our communities at this difficult time."


Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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