Dundee City Council is working closely with partners across the city to deal with the ongoing impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Officers are monitoring the local situation daily and following the advice given by government and NHS public health experts. The council continues to consider appropriate actions based on the national guidance.
As of today (Friday January 22):
- Taxi & Private Hire Driver Support Fund now live for applications
- New free school meals payment announced
- Bulky uplifts temporarily suspended
- Discretionary business grant fund
- Remote learning support as school closures extended
- Radio campaign to highlight help for people struggling financially because of coronavirus
The Scottish Government recently announced a one-off Taxi & Private Hire Driver Support Fund of £1,500 to each eligible licensee.
This grant is now available to be claimed through the city council.
Those who are interested should click here to apply
Queries regarding applications can be made via email email@example.com
Meanwhile, another free school meal payment is being made to qualifying Dundee families.
Around 6,000 children will be covered by the scheme, which is paying £11.25 per eligible child for the week from Monday January 25 to Friday January 29.
Payments will go into bank accounts on Monday January 25.
Eligibility is for nursery children included on a housing benefit/council tax reduction claim and pupils in P1-3 who receive the school clothing grant. Payments will be made for pupils from P4 to S6 based on free school meal entitlement.
Also this week, it was confirmed that special waste collections, also known as bulky uplifts, will be temporarily suspended, in order to prioritise other essential waste collections, due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Residents are asked to retain their bulky waste for the time being until the service is resumed in the future.
Further updates on the service will be provided on the Dundee City Council website and through the social media channels.
Looking ahead to next week, a new discretionary grant scheme targeting businesses experiencing significant financial challenges could get the backing of councillors.
More than £500,000 will be made available to businesses that have received limited financial support since October.
Mark Flynn convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “The council has already stepped up to administer more than £28m of support to almost 3000 city businesses, but we know that some have slipped through the net.
“That’s why we want to use this latest sum to help those directly impacted by restrictions on other firms, for example those in the supply chain or those that have been more generally affected by reduced footfall, as well as businesses without premises who have therefore been ineligible for previous grants.”
The grants to business will be met through an allocation of £525,570 awarded by the Scottish Government to Dundee City Council for operation and delivery of the scheme.
Dundee City Council’s discretionary Business Support Scheme will initially offer a one-off payment of £2000 per business, which could see up to 262 grants paid out before the end of this financial year.
To qualify for a grant, applicants would have to fall into one of the following categories:
- businesses that supply goods or services to those who have been closed or restricted (eg home-based B2B businesses (caterers; events/conference organisers, bands, DJs, photographers etc.) cleaning businesses; tradespeople; facilities management businesses, food/drink suppliers, AV companies);
- businesses facing hardship as an indirect consequence of the current travel restrictions (eg kennels and catteries; tour guides; removals); or
- businesses who do not have business premises and are therefore ineligible for grants attached to the rates system.
If the policy and resources committee on Monday (January 25) agrees the measures it is hoped that the scheme will go live within a week of approval. Details of how to apply will follow.
As it was confirmed by the First Minister that schools will be closed until at least the middle of February, efforts to support remote learning for Dundee pupils were bolstered by the distribution of 2,000 new laptops and connection packages.
A senior councillor pledged that the authority will keep doing all it can to ensure that children and young people have access to technology, so that they can continue their education while schools remain shut for the majority of pupils.
The city council submitted a bid to the Scottish Government which has resulted in an investment of more than £800,000 of funding for 2,000 G5 ProBooks and connection packages.
Tests had been carried out by council IT officers and schools to identify a device that would provide the best value and robustness for 1-1 use.
The testing involved the use of mobile data technology across all the main software platforms that young people would require for home use.
Now, the majority of devices have been distributed to homes across the city following delivery from suppliers. The ProBooks are an extra resource on top of technology that schools have already given out to identified pupils.
Children and families service convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “As remote learning continues, we are doing all we can to help ensure that young people are not disadvantaged by the lack of devices or connections.
“The distribution of the ProBooks gives us an additional resource on top of school technology which already been given out to households where it can have the most impact.
“Access to technology is important, as is the ability to connect to the internet. Schools and the children and families service are continuing to monitor the situation and will intervene where help is needed.”
And finally, a radio campaign is being launched to help make people who are struggling financially during the Coronavirus restrictions aware of the help that is available.
The adverts will run on Pure FM from this week, and advise that the Council and its partners are providing a range of supports during this time of huge disruption to day-to-day lives.
The campaign highlights the help with heating and other energy bills this winter that is being offered through the new Fuel Well Dundee programme.
Advice on crisis grants, welfare benefits and other practical supports is also signposted, as well as access to food providers and financial assistance for those who are self-isolating.
For more information on financial support see www.dundeecity.gov.uk/covidhelp
The full list of council services affected by Coronavirus is available on the council’s website.
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