Rugby council: help will be given to those who most need it - The Rugby Observer

Rugby council: help will be given to those who most need it

Rugby Editorial 19th Mar, 2020   0

HELP will be given to those who most need it during the Coronavirus crisis, Rugby Borough Council (RBC) has assured residents.

The council has praised the many voluntary community support groups which have been formed in response to the outbreak, and urged them to co-ordinate through RBC’s social media channels.

RBC also announced new restrictions to funerals and the cancellation of a number of events.

Council leader Coun Seb Lowe said RBC had introduced measures to help the people who most need it, having been preparing since the outbreak began at the beginning of the year.

He said: “The government has announced a significant shift in the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and I know that this has alarmed many of our residents.

“We are in regular contact with colleagues in the government, at the NHS and other public authorities, as well as with the community and voluntary sector. Together we will lead our communities through these uncertain times.”

He said social distancing had the potential to marginalise more vulnerable residents and others who may already feel isolated.

“We must all follow the national guidelines on social distancing, but our first priority after this is to make sure that our neighbourhoods get to the other side of this pandemic stronger, more resilient and more united.

“It is heart-warming to see so many community support groups pop up in neighbourhoods across the borough, and I would urge all group organisers to contact the council via the council’s Facebook Messenger so that we can share important updates with them.”

He announced a number of changes to council services, designed to protect the vulnerable and the key workers ‘whose services we will need most’.

“We have made plans to make sure we can continue to deliver essential services such as support for the homeless, benefit and housing applicants, and sheltered housing residents. We know that we will need to be flexible to meet people’s needs and will publish updates to our website.”

He also outlined changes designed to support the local economy.

“We are already preparing revised business rates bills to reflect new exemptions announced by the chancellor, and our aim is for these to be in place before Direct Debits are paid on April 1.”

He said the council was preparing to administer small business grants on behalf of the government and would publish the full details when available – and woudl also work with the Growth Hub and other organisations to make sure businesses have ‘the best possible support’.

He concluded: “Through these times it is important that we stay well informed and follow the latest advice, so I would urge all residents and business to follow the council’s twitter and Facebook pages now, if they haven’t already done so. We will use a variety of means to communicate, but these will always carry the latest information first.”

Administrators of community support networks are encouraged to send their contact details and location to the council’s Facebook page at – where the latest updates will also be made available. Twitter updates will be published at

Visit for the latest updates to council services, and trusted links to public health advice.

Changes to council services

The following changes have been made with immediate effect, to protect vulnerable residents and key workers:

  • Attendance at funerals held at Rainsbrook Crematorium and council-run cemeteries are restricted to immediate family, who are asked to follow the hygiene advice issued by the government. Family members with symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) should not attend funeral services. This decision has been taken in accordance with advice issued by both the Government and the National Association of Funeral Directors.
  • The BENN Hall will be closed until the end of May, except for blood donor sessions if requested by the NHS.
  • The World Rugby Hall of Fame will be closed until the end of May, due to the risk of transmission through the use of interactive displays.
  • All town centre events due to take place in April and May have been postponed, including the planned VE day commemoration due to take place at Whitehall Rec on 8 May and the Bikefest. The Festival of Culture and Food and Drink festival have also been postponed.
  • All activities and events organised by the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum in April and May have been cancelled. This includes the Little Discoveries pre-school activities and the Good Times dementia project. The venue will close at normal closing time on Thursday 19 March, until the end of May.
  • All council-run youth groups have been suspended until the end of May.
  • Duty officer drop-in sessions for development control (planning permission) and building control have been suspended. Advice is available via telephone or email.
  • The Handyman service has been suspended to provide additional support to the housing maintenance service and protect vulnerable residents.
  • All sports pitch bookings and events in council parks, including Parkrun, have been cancelled until the end of May.

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