Verbal report provided by Cabinet Members
A verbal update was presented by the Cabinet Member for Communities. She reported that:
· A new variant of Covid-19 had caused significant changes including national lockdown
· A further 27,371 positive tests were reported in Lincolnshire (an increase of 2,435 on the previous week) with 1,066 deaths. These figures continued to be significantly below national average though South Kesteven was high
· Lincolnshire County Council continue to provide support to the clinically extreme vulnerable
· The SK Community Hub continues to provide support, opening 5 days a week with facility for 7 days dependant on demand and continued work with local groups and organisations
· Vaccination sites were operational at the Grantham Meres Leisure Centre and GP Surgeries across the District
· Mobile testing units were available every 10 days at Grantham and Stamford with a walk-in test facility at Queen Elizabeth Park in Grantham
· The Communications Team continued high activity to get messaging to residents
· Business grants of over £30million had been distributed to over 2,000 local businesses by InvestSK Ltd
· Prohibition notices for breaches during Covid-19 had been served against 6 businesses with 1 fixed penalty notice
· 729 covid-19 complaints had been dealt with and 3,024 visits to businesses by Covid Champions had been undertaken since September 2020 to provide advice and signposting
· Out of 50 enquiries to the Community Fund 8 had been received with 1 deferred and a further 1 refused.
· The Mental Health Working Party had been established. A Mental Health Champion was to be appointed to define focus, scope and objectives to then be returned to the Scrutiny Committee prior to being presented to Council.
In response to concerns expressed by a Member over clinically extremely vulnerable lists and possible disparity, the Assistant Chief Executive clarified that this data was held by Lincolnshire County Council. A data sharing agreement is in place that enables the Council were able to raise any concerns.
The Chairman requested feedback post-Covid from the Cabinet Member for Communities to the running and support provided by the SK Community Hub.
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning provided the following update:
· Homeless Partnerships were working hard, and cold weather payments were being processed for homeless people
· No update to the Local Plan was presented due to progress to review being awaited
· External planning review – The management structure had changed with a new Interim Head of Development of Planning and Policy appointed. Work was ongoing on the findings to present to Committee
· Disability Facility Grant was on Quarter 3 with national Government funding having been awarded of £115,742 with £578 spent to date; any underspend could be carried forward. The following works had been undertaken: 22 stair lifts; 23 level access showers; 1 garage conversion; 19 ramps; 5 heating installations and 12 various improvements on behalf of residents
· Priority was given to emergency housing repairs. Contractors were able to continue repairs during lockdown, provided notice was provided to residents and with no human contact. Work on Manor Court in Bourne for a new heating system was in consultation at time of the report and the same was to follow at Windsor
· Restructure of housing repairs and improvements was progressing
· Garden maintenance was progressing to be in place for April 2021
In response to questions, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning confirmed that the Disabled Facilities Grant was means tested for those over 18 years. Apart from a minor issue with heating replacement/repairs over the Christmas period, residents who had requested for work to be suspended until after Christmas was supported with completion to upgrades on water systems envisaged to complete by the end of January 2021. Those residents impacted were to receive credit to their accounts.
Progress had been made on setting up a Residents’ Working Group to cover the whole district however the impact from Covid-19 had resulted in some delay with the first meeting envisaged for April 2021. Four individuals volunteered; one person in each of Deepings, Stamford and Grantham and one other.