Coronavirus volunteering: Your neighbours need YOU!
Essex County Council has issued a rallying call to everyone in Essex to help your neighbours and volunteer to support the county’s most vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis.
There are a huge range of ways you can help at the moment. Calling in on neighbours to check if they are okay, picking up shopping, fetching prescriptions and walking dogs are all ways you can support others around Essex and within your own local area.
If you want to volunteer in your local area, we are encouraging you to do so using the links below. Please then stand by to be called on.
If you haven't already heard, Essex County Council set up the Essex Coronavirus Action Support Group on Facebook, working with local community Facebook group admins to create a group of volunteers willing to help those in need.
The Facebook group has already encouraged 3,000 people to register as volunteers, but more are still needed.
If you are already supporting your neighbours, friends and family, you should follow the government's latest social distancing rules. This means not going into other people’s houses and leaving supplies on doorsteps if needed.
Updates about the volunteering scheme will be posted on the Essex Coronavirus Action Support group on Facebook.
Council Tax, Business Rates and Benefits
As you can imagine, our Council Tax, Business Rates and Benefits teams are receiving a high volume of enquiries.
If you have a query about your council tax please e-mail our team at firstname.lastname@example.org rather than call so that we are able to respond to your query quickly.
If you have a query about your business rates, please e-mail our team at email@example.com.
Government guidance is that residents still need to pay their council tax, but if you need financial support to pay, our Council Tax Support scheme is there to help you. You can find out more details on our website.
Recycling sacks and missed bin collections
If you need some more recycling sacks, you can order these via our website. To help us manage this service, please only request additional sacks if you do not have enough to last you until your next collection date.
If you have a missed bin collection, you can report this to us via our website.
Closure of play areas and outdoor gyms
We’ve closed our play areas and outdoor gyms until further notice for the safety of our residents and staff, to maintain social distancing and to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
We have received a number of enquiries that people are ignoring the signs we put up to make people aware of these closures, and are still congregating in these areas. If you have concerns about people congregating, please call the local police on 101, who have been given temporary powers to disperse people in these public areas.
Please remember that we have to put the safety of our communities first, particularly our vulnerable residents. Making children keep to the recommended two metres distance in a busy playground or play area is difficult, and the play equipment, which is used by a large number of small hands, is unable to be disinfected and so represents a high cross-contamination risk of the virus.
We are keeping our public spaces open at the moment, to give people space to walk, exercise once a day, and to help their mental wellbeing. If you visit one of our public spaces, please do follow the Government’s social distancing guidance. It is crucial that we all adhere to this guidance.
Let's remember - Stay Safe. Stay Home. Save Lives.