Council urges residents to access services online during pandemic18 March 2020
Wyre Forest District Council is encouraging residents to access its services online or on the telephone, rather than in person. It is just one of the measures the council has put in place to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Customers requiring assistance from the Hub are being asked to use the website www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the customer service team. 01562 732928 Colleagues have been reallocated roles to help answer the increased number of calls.
The Housing Advice Team is conducting face to face meetings only with customers facing an emergency situation. All other enquiries including the drop in service and pre-booked homeless interviews will be dealt with over the telephone.
Wyre Forest House remains opens but we would ask that you do not visit in person if you or any member of your household has had a temperature or new, persistent cough. External meeting bookings are not affected and the cafe is still open.
Please note there is no customer service team based at Wyre Forest House and people should not visit if they have general Hub enquiries.
Bewdley Museum is now closed. The public can access the privately-run cafe from Jubilee Gardens and the craft units by prior arrangement with crafts people. There will be no access from the front of the museum in Load Street.
The weekly Tuesday planning surgeries are now being conducted by telephone.
Next week’s Cabinet (Tuesday 24 March) and Audit Committee (Wednesday 25 March) meetings have been cancelled.
At the moment our frontline staff are continuing to provide waste and recycling services as usual, with additional support and equipment to keep them and the public safe.
Information about council services and events affected can be found on the council’s website www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/coronavirus
Councillor Graham Ballinger, Leader of Wyre Forest District Council said:
“We are working closely with our partners and we have plans in place to deal with a pandemic. We are working hard to make sure we have the people and resources in place to continue offering as many council services as possible whilst protecting the health and safety of our residents and staff. If you need council services please go online to request them.
"We do not know how long this outbreak will go on for. I would ask for our district to come together and to support each other, be kind and patient and follow national advice. We all need to stay well and safe and care for people around us, while following guidance on social distancing.
“It’s normally a very busy time of year for us with annual billing. Now with Coronavirus we are getting lots of extra calls, and I’m sorry if people face a longer than usual wait to get through. Please bear with us. We have allocated more staff to answering the phones and will do our best to respond to all of the additional enquiries as quickly as we can.”
Earlier this week the Government unveiled a massive programme of support for businesses and individuals, which Wyre Forest District Council will be responsible for administering.
The main features are 100% business rate relief for most businesses for 2020-21; cash grants of £10k for small businesses and up to £25k for larger retail, hospitality and leisure businesses; and a hardship fund worth £500m (of which Wyre Forest’s share could be up to £1m) to assist individuals facing financial difficulty, through such measures as council tax reliefs.
The council will implement these schemes as soon as possible, once the Government provides further detail and the cash required to make the grant payments. This is not expected to be until 1 April at the earliest. We will make further announcements about what businesses need to do, as soon as we are able to do so.