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14 April 2020

COVID-19 Multi Agency Update - Tuesday 14 April






Cumbria County Council

District Support Directories listing support from local business and community groups

Cumbria County Council has published updated local Support Directories for each district. They provide a quick and easy way to find local support in your area, including support from local businesses and community and voluntary groups.

Find them under 'Local area updates' at https://cumbria.gov.uk/coronavirus/communities.asp.

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Services

Think twice about garden fires

Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is asking householders in the county not to burn garden waste during the Coronavirus pandemic in order to avoid accidental fires.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has seen a slight rise in the number of garden fires over recent weeks and, with the fine weather set to continue, is asking the public to refrain from burning their garden waste.

Several fires in Cumbria started as controlled burnings which have then got out of hand and needed to be extinguished by firefighters.

In the most recent incident on Easter Monday, Keswick firefighters were called out to a controlled burning garden fire near Thornthwaite which had subsequently ignited the surrounding area of grass and gorse bushes, meaning an area of approx. 500 square metres being burnt. The fire took specialist crews from Keswick, Ambleside, Windermere and Silloth plus a fire engine and specialist water carrier from Penrith over two hours to bring under control using specialist wildfire equipment.

Brian Steadman, Area Manager, Head of Operational Response, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is another example of how easy it is for the burning of garden waste to spread and get out of control, especially in the current spell of dry weather.We appreciate that people may be clearing their gardens and because waste recycling centres and garden waste collections are temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions, they want to get rid of vegetation, but setting it alight is not the answer. We will always respond to emergency calls but unnecessary fires such as these pull our firefighters away from other vital work and could expose them to the coronavirus.”

Cllr Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Fire and Rescue, said: “Our emergency services are under increased pressure during the Coronavirus pandemic and unnecessary garden fires which get out of control risk keeping firefighters from lifesaving work. I can understand people may be tempted to burn some of their garden waste but it’s a risk that’s simply not worth taking. I would ask residents to home compost any garden waste they have or to store it until garden waste collections can restart or our household waste recycling centres can reopen.”

For more information and advice on dealing with garden waste during the Coronavirus pandemic, go to: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/planning-environment/waste-management/covid19.asp


Carlisle City Council

Advice for allotment holders

To ensure allotment sites remain open and users are safe, Carlisle City Council is urging allotment holders to follow the National Allotments Society guidelines and government advice.

Advice has been sent to all allotment holders and signage has been placed at the allotment sites. If an allotment holder has been advised to self-isolate, they should not visit the allotment and stay at home.

Cllr Elizabeth Mallinson, Portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“During the lock down, the government advice is to do a limited amount of daily exercise; this can include tending to your allotment. However, to ensure that social distancing is adhered to, some national guidance has been put in place. We urge allotment holders to follow this and to keep safe during these unprecedented times.”

The National Allotments Society guidance in summary is as follows:

  • Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly.
  • Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locked.
  • Observe “Social Distancing” - stay two metres (6ft) away from other people.
  • Do not share tools.
  • Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes.
  • Do not wash your hands in water troughs.
  • All communal facilities are closed.
  • Please consider neighbours and don’t burn anything during this Covid-19 emergency. Many allotment sites are surrounded by houses where vulnerable people may be getting their own fresh air through an open window or garden.

Further advice from the Association can be found at the following link: https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/


Support for frontline staff

Carlisle City Council is thanking residents for their support as their frontline staff continue to deliver critical services to local communities.

The council’s frontline staff have been given thank you cards and have been welcomed with rounds of applause as they have been collecting household waste and recycling.

Cllr Nigel Christian, Portfolio holder for Environment and Transport, said:

“We’re delighted with the support our refuse and recycling teams have received during exceptionally difficult circumstances. They’ve received thank you cards and even a few rounds of applause when they’ve been working hard delivering critical services. I’d like to pass on my personal thanks to all the staff from the City Council that have been working on the frontline and also those working behind the scenes to make sure we deliver the best services we can.”

The council has also taken steps to promote the government guidance to Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Saves Lives by installing signs on their side of all of their recycling vehicles.

Cllr Nigel Christian, added:

“We want to promote the message and help protect our communities. We urge residents to continue following this advice.”

The council is doing everything they can to ensure household waste is collected during the coronavirus outbreak and are continuing to collect kerbside recycling (other than garden waste). They are asking residents to support them by:

  • Helping to protect their crews by washing their hands before they put anything in their bin. Also wash their hands before putting out your bin or recycling container out for collection and when bringing it back in. Handwashing with soap and warm water for 20 seconds is still the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection. The council’s crews are wearing gloves, however, if you do this it will help keep our team safe, so we can continue to collect household waste and recycling. If possible, please wash your bin too.
  • Making sure cars are parked so they do not block access for the bin wagons. With more cars at home, it is making it difficult to get around the streets easily.
  • Show your support to their crews with a wave!

Recycling support

Thanks to all our residents for continuing to recycle. Please help our recycling team by:

  • Rinsing tins and jars.
  • Make more room in your recycling box and bag, by flattening cardboard containers, squashing cans and plastic bottles and replace bottle tops.
  • Also to minimise the risk of littering, fasten your recycling bags and use a green box cover.

Please remember to wash your hands before and after you have handled your bin and recycling containers.

Cleaning and disposal of waste

When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like detergents and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and tabletops. This is particularly important if you have an older or vulnerable person in the house.

Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

For more information, go tohttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection


Help support our vulnerable residents

Carlisle City Council has sent out a plea to private landlords to help them support vulnerable people in Carlisle.

The Council is asking any landlords with available properties to get in touch with its Homelessness Support team athomelessness@carlisle.gov.ukor by calling 01228 817200. Various incentives are on offer such as rent in advance and rent deposits should private landlords be willing to support housing Carlisle’s residents.

Cllr Paul Nedved, Portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing, said:

“We are continuing to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and are doing everything we can to support the needs of people facing homelessness in Carlisle.

“Our Homelessness support team has a range of emergency accommodation options including hostels, safe houses and self-contained dispersed provision which are all still operational. However we are appealing to private landlords to contact us and offer their support so that we have every possible resource at our disposal, should we need it. The team is continuing to deliver responsive services 24 hour a day and are doing all they can to support vulnerable residents; including those experiencing domestic abuse and rough sleeping.”

The council continues to provide emergency accommodation to men, women and families in line with statutory responsibilities; and is supporting those who are in their emergency accommodation where it is difficult to self-isolate, making sure that these people have access to the facilities that enable them to adhere to public health guidance on hygiene and self-isolation.

The council is also supporting people to access basics such as food and clinician care who need it, and where possible separate people who have significant drug and alcohol needs from those who do not.

The council is deliveringessential services safely in line with government guidelines to protect vulnerable people and staff. This includes following their usual out of hours approach via telephone interview.

To contact the service:


Carlisle parks and open spaces advice

Carlisle’s parks and green spaces remain open, but to ensure they stay open for everyone to use, Carlisle City Council is advising visitors to follow the Government’s rules to stop the spread of COVID-19.

This means one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household. When doing this, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

When using Carlisle’s parks or green spaces, it is vital that you take these steps:

  • Do not visit a park if you have any symptoms - See NHS guidelines if this applies to you.
  • Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible - do not travel unnecessarily.
  • Observe social distancing, staying at least two metres apart from other people.
  • You should only go outside alone or with members of your own household. Gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces are not allowed.
  • Avoid touching surfaces (such as gates or handrails) and your mouth and face. Please follow Public Health England advice on hand washing including washing your hands as soon as you get home.
  • Keep your dog(s) on leads at all times.
  • Do not use areas of the park that have been closed such as play areas, outdoor exercise areas or sports facilities - these are closed for your safety.
  • Wash your hands when you get home.

Following government guidance, play areas, multi-use games areas, outdoor exercise areas and the skate park in Castle car park remain closed.

Cllr Elizabeth Mallinson, Portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Most people are abiding by the social distancing government advice and we’d like to thank those that are protecting the NHS by following the rules and only taking one form of daily exercise a day. I know this must be difficult for those that have no gardens or have small children, but if we follow the rules, we’re supporting our local communities.”

Allerdale Borough Council


Business support grant payments

Allerdale Borough Council is administering the Government's various business support grants in the area and has now processed 1,846 in total.

The payments awarded by the end of Thursday (April 9) total £22.435m.

Some businesses need to submit their details to be able to receive the support and can do so via the council's website: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-grants-claims/.


Contacting the Council about grant payments

We are dealing with an unprecedented volume of calls to our contact centre and emails to the NNDR (Business Rates) team; many of these relate to enquiries about the grants related to business rate properties.

We are working hard to get these payments out to the business community as quickly as possible. If you have already submitted your grant claim, this will have been logged and you should have received an email acknowledging receipt.

We are now making payments daily and processing claims as quickly as we can.

We have started contacting those people who have submitted forms which are more complicated. For example, where the claim has different information than that held within the business rates system as of 11 March 2020.

We politely ask that you do not call us to request an update as this will only increase any delay in making the grant payments. If we need to clarify any details about your claim, we will contact you.


North Cumbria CCG NHS

Patients in north Cumbria with symptoms of coronavirus are being given the opportunity to support research into Coronavirus/COVID-19.

The NHS, through its National Institute for Health Research, has set up national clinical research trials across the UK to reliably assess possible treatments for Coronavirus. The trials are taking place in hospitals in north Cumbria - including the intensive care units (ICUs) - and a host of GP surgeries.

North Cumbria is one of the first areas in the UK to open these studies. The three key national trials running have different focuses and names:

  • PRINCIPLE - This includes higher risk patients in primary care (GP surgeries) to evaluate potential treatments for COVID-19 infection in older people.
  • RECOVERY - This involves patients in hospital with confirmed COVID-19 and aims to identify treatments that may be help their recovery.
  • REMAP-CAP - This trial focuses on critically ill patients with community-acquired pneumonia (or CAP) which is a significant cause of hospitalisation and illness world-wide.

The hospital-based research trials are led by consultant anaesthetist Dr Tim Smith and consultant microbiologist Dr Clive Graham, with support from the Trust’s research staff. Hospitalised patients with COVID-19 at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven who can take part will be given the opportunity to do so.

More information here.

This is a round-up of all the latest news from Cumbria Local Resilience Forum Partners in relation to COVID-19.