All the coronavirus changes by Ipswich Borough Council in the last two weeks
PUBLISHED: 09:01 29 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:01 29 March 2020
Following two weeks of stringent coronavirus measures, Ipswich Borough Council has summarised the changes which people should be aware of.
• Those with parking zone permits can park for free in nearby Ipswich Borough Council-run car parks with no time restrictions
• Reduced council tax bills are being offered to around 7,000 homes for those on local council tax support
• No council house tenant will be evicted while coronavirus continues
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• Repairs to council homes have been restricted to only the emergency and most essential fixes
• Borough council public buildings have closed, including the Grafton House offices, Tourist Information Centre, Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion
• Extra B&B rooms have been sourced for any new rough sleepers
• All council meetings and committees have been cancelled until further notice, with the chief executive taking responsibility for urgent decisions
• Bookings for borough council rooms will cease up until June 30
• Brown bin collections have been suspended, and those homes paying for a second brown bin are being contacted over refunds
• Extra online resources for those with English as a second language
Leisure, fitness and shopping
• Council-organised events including Indian Mela, Ipswich Music Day and Global Rhythms have been cancelled, although some may be rescheduled for later in the year
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• Swimming pools and gyms run by the council – including Fore Street Pool and Crown Pools have been shut
• Direct debits for iCards have been set at £0 while council gyms and swimming pools are shut
• Play areas, public toilets and open air gyms run by IBC have closed, although parks themselves remain open
• Ipswich Market is currently only operating four food stalls
• Shows at the Regent and Corn Exchange have been cancelled until the end of April – refunds and rescheduled dates are being communicated to customers
• A three-month ‘rent holiday’ has been awarded to community and voluntary sector tenants, as well as firms which cannot operate because the council closed its buildings
• A 12-month business rate holiday has been offered to 1,200 businesses
• IBC is paying suppliers within seven days instead of the usual 30 days
• Ipswich Central Levy payments do not have to be made until June 30
• Around half of the council’s workforce is now working from home
MORE: Suffolk Coronavirus Facebook page updates
Ipswich Borough Council chief executive Russell Williams, said: “This is a very fast-moving emergency and we have made many decisions in the past week to adapt to updated Government guidance and take proactive steps to support those who are vulnerable and feeling extreme financial pressure across our town.
“Throughout, as chief executive, I have been sustained by an extremely able management group, led by my deputy, Helen Pluck, and our heads of service, supported by elected councillors from across the political spectrum and aided hugely by a workforce which has been quick to adapt to changing circumstances. I am confident that their flexibility and our redeployment programme will help us to continue to deliver key services in the weeks ahead.
“The next week will bring new challenges but I believe we will deal with those, too, in the same calm and effective manner that we have shown over the past few weeks.
“The decisions outlined above will, I hope, bring more certainty to the many residents and businesses who are faced with challenges in coping with this unprecedented emergency.”
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