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City Region Secures £44 million Tier 3 Covid-19 Support Package

Liverpool City Region has secured an additional £30 million in COVID-19 business support from the Government.

It comes in addition to the £14 million already received to support the local Test, Trace and Isolate system and local enforcement efforts, to make a total of £44 million in additional funding secured in support of the Tier 3 restrictions.

The City Region also received £7m when it went in to Tier 2 status, meaning a total package of £51m so far.

The funding comes after the City Region was the first to be placed on the Tier 3 ‘very high’ Covid alert level restrictions, leading to closures of hospitality and leisure business and impacting many that remain open.

Speaking on behalf of  Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher, the City Mayor and Leaders of the other five city region Local Authorities including  Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Once it became clear that Tier 3 restrictions were going to be imposed on our City Region, we held a series of meetings with the Government, throughout last weekend, with the aim of protecting our NHS and supporting local people and businesses.

“We have been absolutely clear since we were put in to Tier 3 that we would continue to press the Government and hold meaningful dialogue to secure vitally needed extra economic support.

“The result of this is that, today, we have obtained from the Government, an additional £30million in funding.

“This is welcome news for our economy and the thousands of people whose businesses and jobs will now be supported through this very difficult period.”

Find out more about the latest COVID restrictions and guidance for people considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

Council is contacting clinically extremely vulnerable residents to ensure they can access support

After the recent introduction by the Government of new, Tier 3 restrictions across the Liverpool City Region, Sefton Council is contacting the Borough’s residents who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable to remind them where they can find advice.

Text messages have already been sent to 17,000 of the 22,000 or so Sefton residents who fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable category for whom the Council has a mobile phone number. Now the Council is using various methods to contact the remaining 5,000, including a direct mailshot.

Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing Cllr Ian Moncur said: “People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are likely to be those who have specific health conditions, certain cancers or who are organ transplant recipients and who were told previously to shield because they were at a high were risk from COVID-19.

“This is probably still the case for those people, which is why we want to get in touch with them and tell them where they can find support if they need it.”

The Government’s basic advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable is that they should stay at home as much as possible, work from home where possible and avoid all but essential travel. They are also being told to reduce shopping trips significantly, to use online delivery services or ask other people in their household, support bubble or volunteers to collect food and medicines.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people should, the Government’s advice says, still try to go outside for exercise, and can still go to school and to work if they cannot work from home.

Cllr Moncur continued: “There is information and a set of Frequently Asked Questions on our website at www.sefton.gov.uk/covidfaqs. However, we realise not everyone has access to the Internet and online information which is why we are exploring a range of methods, including printed flyers or letters to get the message out.

“What we want to tell people is that if are clinically extremely vulnerable and need support, they should contact the Council’s Call Centre on 0345 140 0845.

“Contact centre staff will assess people’s needs and will be able to arrange support ranging from supermarket slots to assisted shopping, befriending and medicine deliveries.”

Cllr Moncur added: “I would also ask anyone who knows a Sefton resident who they suspect might fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable category and who might struggle to get information or support to contact them and give them the Call Centre’s 0345 140 0845 number.

“Or they can contact the Call Centre themselves and provide us with people’s details if they have concerns about them.”

You can find the the Government’s information for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable here. 

Joint statement from Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the six Liverpool City Region Local Authorities

“This week the Government imposed Tier 3 restrictions on Liverpool City Region.

“We are very conscious of the high rates of coronavirus in our region and the pressure this causes on our NHS, and have therefore always understood the need for some action to bring the virus under control and protect our residents. However, we have always been clear that we were given no choice about the specific package of measures that would be applied to us, or the scientific evidence to support them.

“We note the decision to move Lancashire into Tier 3 today, while also being concerned that there appear to be differences between the two packages of measures, particularly the opening of gyms.  We therefore require Government to explain, with evidence, why they believe gyms in the Liverpool City Region are a greater risk for COVID transmission, than those elsewhere.

“We simply will not accept our region being treated differently to other Tier 3 areas, without robust scientific evidence. These inconsistencies in restrictions between areas within the same tier risk undermining the new system from the beginning.

“So, today we are once again demanding that government urgently supplies us with the scientific evidence behind their decision to close gyms in our area, while allowing them to stay open in other areas.

“In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to support hospitality and leisure businesses that are affected by the new restrictions via our own £40m emergency fund, using local funds that have been repurposed to support our economy.  The fund has opened for applications today, and we are continuing to press the Government for a wider economic support package, including increased funding for furlough and self-employed people.”

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region 

Cllr Rob Polhill
Leader of Halton Council 

Cllr Graham Morgan
Leader of Knowsley Council 

Joe Anderson OBE
Mayor of Liverpool 

Cllr Ian Maher
Leader of Sefton Council 

Cllr David Baines
Leader of St Helens Council 

Cllr Janette Williamson
Leader of Wirral Council 

Remaining October dates and locations for Sefton’s Mobile Test Units

Once again, Sefton has been hosting Mobile coronavirus testing units across the Borough through October.

This month  has seen Mobile Units visiting Aintree Race Course for the first time.

Walk-through test centres, opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Southport Town Hall, are also open from 8am to 8pm.

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms of a high temperature, persistent cough or loss of taste or smell– should get a test.

To get a test, people need to have make an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

Remaining October dates and Mobile Test Unit locations 

Sunday 18th  Southport & Aintree Racecourse

Monday 19th   Litherland Sports Park

Tuesday 20th  Litherland Sports Park & Aintree Racecourse

Wednesday 21st  Litherland Sports Park & Aintree Racecourse

Thursday 22nd  Aintree Racecourse

Friday 23rd  Aintree Racecourse

Saturday 24th   No Mobile Test Unit in Sefton today*

Sunday 25th  Southport

Monday 26th  Southport

Tuesday 27th  Litherland

Wednesday 28th Litherland

Thursday 29th Southport Park & Ride

Friday 30th Southport Park & Ride

Saturday 31st Aintree Racecourse

* Walk-through test centres, opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Southport Town Hall, will be open from 8am to 8pm on Saturday 24th.

The days and sites may change if Mobile Units are required in other Merseyside locations.

Mobile Testing Units , which are supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, have visited locations across the Borough on most days throughout July, August and September.

Find out the latest advice from Margaret Jones, Sefton’s Director of Public Health.

Hospitality and Leisure Sector business can now apply for City Region Emergency Fund

Hospitality and leisure businesses in Sefton and across the Liverpool City Region can now apply for support from £40million emergency set up to to help protect them fom the huge economic impacts Covid-19 restrictions.

The Fund will be used to help keep businesses in the sector afloat for up to four months, until a wider and more substantial financial support package can be secured from central Government. The aim is that the first funding will reach applicants within 10 days of applications being approved, with subsequent payments phased over the period of the grant.

The  ‘grant application window’ will be open until  5.00pm on Friday 30 October 2020.

Eligible businesses can find out more, including Terms & Conditions, on the Sefton Council website now.

Detailed eligibility criteria will be available to applicants and will include:

  • Small and micro hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Based in the Liverpool City Region – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral
  • One full-time equivalent employee or more
  • Going concern
  • Business to consumer
  • Trading from a commercial premises

First announced on Friday 2nd October by the Metro Mayor and the Mayor and Leaders of the city region’s six local authorities, the fund had been created and readied for launch earlier last week. However, it was paused following the Chancellor’s announcement last Friday on the national furlough scheme and business support package and the announcement of Liverpool City Region being placed in to the Tier 3 ‘very high risk’ Covid-19 category.

Over the last few days, Combined Authority and Local Authority officers have been working closely with the hospitality sector to understand how the Fund could best be redesigned to support them. The Fund aims to enable viable businesses to continue trading and retain as many jobs as possible, to support temporarily-closed businesses top up employees’ wages and remain solvent and to help lay the ground for economic recovery across the hospitality and leisure sector in the future.

In a joint statement, the Metro Mayor, City Mayor and Leaders of the city region’s six local authorities said: “The past six months have been an exceptionally difficult period for local businesses but despite the challenges they have faced, many have done an incredible job, showcasing the creativity, determination and resilience our region is known for.

“We know business owners and staff are absolutely at breaking point and we will do anything we can to prevent businesses and jobs going to the wall.

“The furlough scheme announced by the Chancellor last week falls far short of what our region needs and deserves. If 80% was the right level of support back in March, then it should be in November. Lots of the people affected by these new restrictions will be in low paid, insecure work and it is deeply unfair to expect them to survive on two-thirds of the minimum wage.

“We will continue to fight for a more comprehensive funding package, but in the meantime, where the national government has stepped away, we, as local leaders, will step up.

“We know that once a business is gone, they are gone, and we must do everything we can to prevent that.

“Our hope is that this fund can provide some interim support and will mean local businesses and their staff survive in the coming weeks and months, until the government does the right thing.

“Our own teams have worked round the clock, in partnership with the sector, to get this fund ready for applications.

“We are committed to ensuring that we turn applications round at pace and get money to those businesses who so desperately need it.

“If, and when, we are successful in securing more national support, it may well replace the need for this fund, enabling us to repurpose the money back to other areas where it is also sorely needed.”

Paul Askew, Chef Patron of The Art School restaurant, said: “The new Tier 3 restrictions are a real hammer blow for hundreds of businesses in our sector and for thousands of our staff.

“I’ve been pleased to work with our colleagues in the Combined Authority and the six Local Authorities to help shape it to our needs.

“It will provide an urgent life-line to hundreds of viable businesses who might otherwise face closing for good due to the restrictions.

“While this fund is hugely welcomed, I join the Metro Mayor, City Mayor and local authority Leaders in calling on the Government to now step up quickly to provide the hospitality sector and our whole economy with full the support we need.”

Natalie Haywood, owner of Leaf and Oh Me Oh My, said: “This emergency fund is sorely needed to help save hundreds of businesses from collapse and thousands of jobs.

“It’s impossible to overstate just how difficult it will be for hospitality businesses to keep trading with these restrictions in place – either because they are still trading but not breaking even or because they are forced to close.

“Once a business and the jobs it supports are gone, they will not come back easily, so we have to do everything we can to keep going so that we have an industry left when we get through Covid-19.

“We are doing everything we can to keep going and protect our staff and have been really pleased to collaborate to shape this emergency fund to meet our needs.”

Find out more from the Sefton Council website now.

 

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