Update from TVP chief constable

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell has given a video update on how the force is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

See Your Community > Police.

Return health care equipment

SODC is sharing a message from an equipment supplier to the NHS, NRS Healthcare, to residents.

It’s very simple: Please return health care equipment that is no longer needed.

Council tax support for those affected by Coronavirus

South Oxfordshire is putting a range of measures in place to help people who are affected financially by the Coronavirus pandemic, including support for individuals.

The government has confirmed details of a £500million hardship fund.  Under this scheme, those in receipt of Council Tax Reduction will receive a minimum of £150 off their council tax bill for 2020/2021, unless their bill is less than £150, in which case their bill will be reduced to zero. This is in addition to any support they already receive.

The council is now working to confirm the amount each individual qualifying household will receive off their bill – as soon as this is complete, revised bills will be issued.

Where possible, bill payers should continue to pay their bills as normal.  If someone is genuinely having difficulty paying their council tax, they should contact the council tax team on sodc.counciltax@secure.capita.co.uk  or 0345 302 2313.

Those who are currently not being paid, and are struggling to pay their bill, are encouraged to apply for Council Tax Reduction – their account will then be put on hold for 30 days while their application is processed.

To apply for Council Tax Reduction please visit southoxon.gov.uk/ctrs 

For more information about support and advice for individuals please visit southoxon.gov.uk/covid19 

Coronavirus help for businesses

The government has a single point of information for businesses seeking assistance following the Coronavirus outbreak.

See https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/



Some kerbside waste collections suspended

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have suspended their kerbside service collecting small electrical items, batteries and textiles for recycling.

This is because the recycling centres for these items are unable to accept them for processing as staff shortages due to illness and social distancing has meant work at these centres cannot continue as it did before the Coronavirus pandemic.

Unfortunately, the councils do not have storage for such items and so cannot collect them at this time.

They have issued a warning to residents; Please do *not* put unwanted or broken electrical items or batteries in the general refuse (rubbish) or recycling as they can cause a fire in the bin trucks.

A fire in the truck could endanger the lives of bin crews and others nearby. A fire could also lead to the loss of a bin truck and less of a service at a time when the waste service is needed by everyone.

Parish Council meetings in April cancelled

The April meetings of the parish council and Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group have been cancelled in order to comply with the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

SODC: Parking charges suspended

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 March regarding travel restrictions, South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council have suspended all parking charges with immediate effect – this applies to all district council car parks across the two districts.

South and Vale have taken this action to support key workers and those who need to shop for essential food or medical supplies during the Coronavirus pandemic.

All charges are suspended until 1 June and during this time you do not have to display a ticket.   Any outstanding car park permits, recently expired or due to expire, will also be honoured until that date – permit holders therefore do not need to take any action before then.

Business help websites now online

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have launched an online form to help businesses apply for small business and retail grants that are suffering under Coronavirus.

Businesses in South Oxfordshire, can find the form and more details via the South website and businesses in the Vale of White Horse can access the information via the Vale website.

The two councils are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to understand the UK Government’s support for businesses through this period of disruption caused by Coronavirus. The Government’s package of measures to support businesses include:

  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

Both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are responsible for administering these programmes. Officers are working with BEIS to ensure the payment process adheres to the latest Government guidance. The businesses that are eligible for the grants and rates relief will be notified when the grants are ready to be distributed.

For further advice and support, please visit the South and Vale Business Support website: https://www.svbs.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-and-support/ .

The quickest way for South and Vale businesses to receive information about the latest government support is to sign up to receive the newsletter at  www.svbs.co.uk.

More Coronavirus scams

Action Fraud is warning of more frauds being perpetrated using Coronavirus as cover.

It appears that the majority of reports relate to online shopping scams where individuals have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.

Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, ActionFraud, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.

Frauds can be reported to Action Fraud via https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact phishing@hmrc.gov.uk.

See the attachment below for more detail.

Parish Notes available

The latest issue of the Parish Notes is now online (as well as in your letterbox).

You can find it via Your Community > Parish Notes.