Mayor Ros Jones has today announced a 10-point plan to help people, communities, businesses and arts and leisure get through the COVID-19 emergency.
The plan includes a three month Council Tax payment holiday for households struggling to pay due to the crisis. St Leger Homes tenants will also be given a similar financial break with their rents.
These are just two points in a £5m 10-point action plan drawn up by Mayor Ros Jones, her cabinet and the council’s leadership team on top of planning, dealing and support the NHS in the emergency and trying to keep as many council services running for as long as possible. The plan is in addition to Government support and is designed to help the most vulnerable and those who support them.
The plan includes:
- Creating a £5m fund to support the Doncaster response to coronavirus
- Three month council tax holiday for people struggling financially
- Three month rent holiday for struggling council house tenants and encourage private landlords to support tenants who are in financial hardship
- The Council will continue to offer free school meals in the community and provide a service to the children of key workers and looked after children in schools
- The council making quicker payments to small businesses and providers to help keep their businesses afloat and boost their cash flow
- Buying as many goods and services locally as possible to support Doncaster businesses – current local spend is 70%. Work with local businesses to direct food supply chains to help meet community needs
- Redeploy Council staff flexibly and effectively where they are needed to support the emergency response
- Putting together isolation packs to support people and families in need
- Offering local artists the opportunity through an art and culture fund to keep working
- Boosting funding for on the ground voluntary groups so they are in a better position to help and act quicker
“We are in unprecedented times and we all need to pull together. As a council we are one of the biggest organisations in Doncaster and we want to help deal with one of the most challenging crises many of us have had to face. We will lead, support and use our strengths to shield the most vulnerable, from school children not having a square meal to older people being isolated at home. We are changing what we do from our usual duties to switch gear into supporting people who need us,” said Mayor Jones.
“As well as our plan, I would ask others who are in a position to help such as private landlords, community and sporting groups to come together and offer a united force for good to get through this.
“We have looked at what we do as a council on a daily basis and we will make things easier for people such as removing as much red tape as possible to get payments to people and businesses, helping sectors recruit the workers they need and relooking at our fees and charges to see if there is any give in the system to make things easier – the council tax and tenants’ rent holidays are prime examples of this.
“Let us all think about what we can do to help our neighbour and community. I would ask you to be patient, kind, not panic buy or be selfish. This crisis will last some time and we do need to show that Doncaster can brave any issues and come together. Thank you.”
Further details of each point in the plan will be made available shortly.
There is a new twitter and facebook Coronavirus devoted accounts for all the latest news with all partners in the borough including the NHS @CovidDoncaster