BDC News April 16th 2020

Apr 17, 2020
Braintree District Council
Header which says District Council News. Windmill in the background.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update 

Dear Parish Clerks and Councillors,

Welcome to our latest newsletter which aims to keep you updated on the latest news, updates and information.

This newsletter will update you on our latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) service updates, and some important messaging around bonfires, domestic abuse, dog walking and litter bins.

Please do continue to help us by encouraging your friends, family and communities to sign up for our e-newsletters at and our text message service.

If you have any questions, please email

Bonfires and burning of garden waste 


We have received lots of queries about bonfires and burning garden waste. 

Please see our latest statement below which you are welcome to share with your communities. They can also visit our website for more. 


Please do not burn your garden waste.

We know it’s difficult with the Essex Recycling Centres for Household Waste closed and garden waste collections suspended, but in view of the health implications linked to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (respiratory condition), PLEASE DO NOT BURN your garden waste, or any other waste.

Smoke from bonfires is anti-social and can cause problems for neighbours.

We will investigate any complaints we receive and will take formal action where appropriate. The surrounding local air quality can be affected from increased burning and problems may arise for people such as those with asthma, other breathing related illnesses and children (who are particularly vulnerable to air pollutants). 

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is also requesting that you do not burn waste as there has been a 100% increase in call-outs mostly caused by fires which have got out of control.

Please home compost your garden waste or store it in your garden until collections are resumed.

Please do not fly-tip any waste as this is an offence and offenders will be prosecuted.

Please be considerate to your neighbours during the coronavirus outbreak.

Be safe, be thoughtful, be kind, be sensible.

Domestic abuse campaign 

On Saturday, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, launched a new public awareness raising campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aiming to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available.

Please do share this campaign via your own social media channels, or share our Facebook and Twitter post. 

The government has also updated their guidance on domestic abuse, including some key resources:


We have collated some information about funding opportunities we have been made aware of. 

*This is sent to you as information and should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind.*

Community Emergency Fund - Sports England

This new fund aims to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Building Futures - Persimmon Homes

Persimmon’s Charitable Foundation has committed to relaunching its Building Futures scheme for 2020. As part of its sponsorship of Team GB, Persimmon will donate more than £1 million to support children in sport, health and education. They are calling on local groups within your area which support children to apply. It can all be done online remotely at

Community Champions - Persimmon Homes

Persimmon’s Community Champions initiative has run since 2015 and gives away £64,000 every month in single donations up to the value of £1,000. So far over £3.5 million has been donated in the UK. Persimmon has decided that from April 2020 all funding will go directly to groups supporting the over 70s. However, they need your help to find these groups. If you know of any, can you let them know that funding is available? Again, they can apply online at

Dog walking in parks and public spaces

We are encouraging residents to use the following guidelines in order to stay safe: 

  • stay local and use open spaces near your home - do not travel unnecessarily
  • you can leave your home for exercise once a day and should combine this with walking your dog
  • keep your dog on a lead to ensure you keep 2 metres (6ft) away from anyone outside of your household
  • try to minimise the time spent outside of the home. 

For guidance for people with animals, visit

Dog poo bins 

We have increased the emptying of dog poo bins during this time, however if the bin is full:

  • please take your poo bag home and place it in your grey bin 
  • do not leave it on the ground next to the bin or hang the bag in a tree - this is littering and comes with a fine 

To report a full dog or litter bin, residents can do this online at or email

Update on community hub

We want to say a huge thank you for all your help so far with the Essex Community Shield and accepting referrals from our local Community Hub. 

Braintree District Council has set up a virtual community hub where we will receive calls from the Essex Welfare Service about vulnerable people within our district and where possible provide support to these people or signpost them to the numerous volunteer groups and individuals across the district.

Essex Welfare Service is specifically for those people who are not able to get any support from either family or friends or from their local district area support groups.

Useful information about volunteers and insurance 

Volunteers acting under the instructions or supervision of an organisation should be included in the Liability Insurance cover held by that organisation - The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Good Councillors Guide to Finance & Transparency advises that Employers’ Liability Insurance is a compulsory insurance covering employees (such as the Clerk), Councillors and volunteers for any injury or illness sustained in the course of undertaking parish council business. We recommend Parish Councils review the scope of their liability cover and notify their insurer of any relevant changes – such as if they are coordinating additional volunteers taken on to support the response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has enhanced its guidance for involving and managing volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak which you may find helpful.

What's the latest on business grants?

We have issued the first 1,500 grants to businesses facing financial difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic - paying out almost £17 million to struggling businesses so far.

A total of 2,557 grant application forms were sent out to businesses that met Central Government criteria. Of those, almost 1,600 have returned their applications so far.

We are offering grants of up to £25,000 to eligible businesses with property in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. We will also provide a maximum grant of £10,000 to small businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

We are encouraging businesses who are eligible, but have yet to submit their application form to email it through to  Businesses unsure about their eligibility for these grants can contact our Economic Development team via for advice, help and support.


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