Coronavirus updates for Councils

coronavirus update for councils

Stay informed and up-to-date with BHIB Councils Insurance.

We are continually rounding up all the latest coronavirus news, advice and guidance for councils below.


Tuesday 5 May 2020

Council staff to test contact-tracing app on the Isle of Wight –

– Council staff on the Isle of Wight will be the first to test a new contact tracing app to help control the spread of coronavirus.

Monday 4 May 2020

Coronavirus: LGA on domestic violence and homelessness announcements –

– “Councils are working tirelessly to protect and help those who are most vulnerable during this pandemic. A joined-up approach, alongside the police and health, is vital so we are pleased the Secretary of State has been able to secure vital extra funding for support services.”

Friday 1 May 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to town and parish councils –

– The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, has written a letter to town and parish councils expressing his thanks for all the work being done to support communities throughout the current crisis.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

New guidance for social landlords on essential moves –

– Councils and housing associations should continue to support vulnerable people to move home.

Letter from MHCLG to councils about extending the statutory audit deadlines for 2019 to 2020 –

– The publication date for final, audited, accounts will move from 31 July for Category 1 authorities and 30 September for Category 2 authorities to 30 November 2020 for all local authority bodies.

Coronavirus: social homes may go unbuilt without Right to Buy extension –

– Desperately-needed new social homes could go unbuilt unless councils are granted an extension to the time they are allowed to spend money from Right to Buy sales, the Local Government Association warns today.

Councils need another £12.8bn to cope with coronavirus – LGA

– The chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA) has suggested Councils may need up to another £12.8bn from the Government to get through the coronavirus crisis.

Friday 24 April 2020

LGA statement on the proposed coronavirus contact tracing strategy –

“Any national plans by government to track and trace coronavirus needs to be complemented by making use of existing local knowledge and skills on the ground.”

Councils given flexibility with free childcare funding –

– Councils can move free entitlements funding between settings in exceptional cases to meet demand during Coronavirus outbreak

England’s 10,000 local councils step up during coronavirus crisis –

– Local (parish and town) councils across England are galvanising their staff and volunteers to take action and look after the most vulnerable in their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

SLCC Letter to Government re Financial Impact of Covid-19 on Local Authorities –

– SLCC Chief Executive Rob Smith has written to the Government in a bid to highlight the significant financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local authorities in England and Wales.

Councils urged to make cycling and walking safer during lockdown –

– Cycling UK has urged Councils to implement new measures to make it easier for cyclists to abide by social distancing rules during lockdown.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Council staff will be deployed for Covid-19 contact tracing –

– Council staff will be deployed to help spot, trace and isolate new cases of coronavirus, the Welsh Government has confirmed.

LGA responds to latest ONS figures on coronavirus community deaths –

“Today’s sad and shocking figures highlight just what a severe challenge we face in care homes and other community settings. Council social care staff and care homes need urgent access to reliable and ongoing supplies of quality PPE, increased rapid and comprehensive testing and greater support with staffing and other equipment, on an equal footing with the NHS.”

How to volunteer during coronavirus – a complete guide –

– Practical guidance for those who would like to volunteer during the coronavirus outbreak, and useful information for those looking to set up a voluntary group in response to the outbreak.

Friday 17 April 2020

Government pledges extra £1.6 billion for councils –

– Councils across England will receive another £1.6 billion in additional funding as they continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus pushing councils to ‘financial failure’ –

– The LGA, which represents councils in England, is calling on the Government to provide a cast-iron public commitment that it will provide additional funding to fully meet extra costs to councils and compensate for lost income.

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Coronavirus case studies – NALC

– UPDATED: NALC has produced a publication showcasing all the work that local councils are doing across the UK in their communities, as a source of inspiration.

Friday 10 April 2020

Coronavirus: School Academisation should be put on hold during pandemic – LGA –

– “We want to work with the Government to ensure that schools are given the support they need over the immediate term, and this includes urgently placing a temporary pause on academy conversions during this time.”

Thursday 9 April 2020

LGA: Councils need urgent and sustainable PPE supply –

– “It is vital that even more of this vital protective equipment is available to those who need it, including our valuable social care staff and others providing essential local services.”

Friday 3 April 2020

Councils given new powers to hold public meetings remotely –

Local authorities in England handed new powers to hold public meetings virtually by using video or telephone conferencing technology.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Charities struggle to deliver public sector contracts as they lose £4bn –

– Charities and public services are more vulnerable to the Covid-19 crisis than was previously thought because of the squeeze on funding the former is experiencing as a result of the pandemic, study shows.

Monday 23 March 2020

Major new measures to protect people at highest risk from Coronavirus –

– The Government is working with a partnership of the groceries industry, local government, local resilience and emergency partners, and voluntary groups, to ensure that essential items can start to be delivered as soon as possible to those who need it.

Rise in coronavirus fraudsters offering support to elderly for cash upfront –

“Councils will do everything in their power to prosecute fraudsters and seek the toughest penalties for criminals taking advantage in this despicable way.”

Friday 20 March 2020

Tenants protected from eviction during coronavirus outbreak –

– Council leaders have welcomed measures to protect renters from being evicted due to the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus – Changes to Veterans UK Services –

– As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, and in line with Government public health advice, we are taking steps to minimise the risks to veterans and their families.

Guidance from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for clerks who operate cemeteries –

– In light of the latest guidance on social distancing, the MoJ casework team is making changes to its business practices.

CiLCA Update –

“Following a period of unprecedented demand, our CiLCA assessors are working hard to clear a significant backlog in submissions; we have therefore taken the difficult decision to suspend new registrations of candidates for CiLCA until 14th April 2020.”

Thursday 19 March 2020

Elections guidance for electoral administrators –

– The latest guidance about forthcoming elections that may have been due to take place before legislation postponing them will come into force.

Coronavirus guidance for village halls and similar community buildings –

– Guidance for village halls and community buildings regarding the government’s advice about large gatherings.

Coronavirus: LGA responds to renters support pledge –

“Councils are leading local efforts to support communities as they try and cope with the coronavirus outbreak. They will be working with tenants who are experiencing financial challenges as a result to support them to stay in their homes.”

Councils to be fully funded for coronavirus costs –

– Councils in England will be fully funded for implementing measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the chancellor has confirmed.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

£3.2 million emergency support for rough sleepers during coronavirus outbreak –

– Councils will be reimbursed for the cost of providing accommodation and services to rough sleepers, and those at risk of rough sleeping, who are suffering from or at risk of coronavirus

LGA responds to public health grant announcement –

“Council public health teams are working day and night to support national efforts to minimise the spread of the coronavirus. They are doing a fantastic job in extremely challenging and ever-changing circumstances.”

Great British Spring Clean postponed –

– The Great British Spring Clean has decided to postpone its annual event due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. The organisation says that after “much consideration and consultation” it felt it was necessary to postpone the event until September.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Joint Statement from ADSO and LLG – LA decision making and democracy in light of coronavirus –

– Advice and guidance regarding the democratic process, decision making and remote meetings during the coronavirus crisis.

Robert Jenrick reaffirms support for councils in their coronavirus response –

– The Local Government Secretary addressed over 300 council leaders and sector bodies in a call on the government’s response to coronavirus.

Saturday 14 March 2020

Local elections and London mayoral race postponed for a year –

– Elections delayed after Electoral Commission said coronavirus health crisis would affect campaigning and voting.

Coronavirus - Information for councils

This advice intends to provide local parish and town councils up-to-date news and information related to the current coronavirus outbreak. It should not be used as a substitute for official government advice, although there are some issues that are specific to local councils where we hope this information will enable you to plan ahead and manage your risks effectively.

To see the official advice, visit the below sources:

Managing risks to your council

We recommend that local councils should consider different potential scenarios and what actions could be taken to mitigate the risks to the council.

These will vary for each council, and it may be that there are no specific actions to be taken. Some example scenarios could be:

  • Review your scheme of delegation to make sure it is fit for purpose i.e. there would be minimal disruption to the ongoing work of the council if councillors are unable to attend meetings and committees. For example, can some decision-making be delegated to the clerk as a contingency plan if meetings are postponed?
  • It might be a good idea to review critical functions or services, and consider how these could continue to function in the event of staff absence
  • You will likely have local residents who have queries about coronavirus, so make sure you are up to date with the recent government information, advice and guidance

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