The Council is issuing an updated statement on its response to Coronavirus every Friday. This is the 14th such statement.
Each of these statements has three sections – as follows:
All decisions that have been made this week – and key new information about Council services (etc)
A brief comment from the Council Leader – or in his absence – his Deputy.
In addition, we also publish - at the same time – three additional documents:
The Council’s Crown car park reopened this week with a free parking offer. On Monday 15th, 527 cars were parked in Crown, compared to 733 cars on the same Monday last year. On Tuesday 16th, 517 cars were parked in Crown, compared to 846 cars on the same Tuesday last year.
The Council has received 86 applications from businesses eligible for Discretionary Grants of up to £10,000. The 8 categories of businesses that can apply were announced last month – the closing date for applications is Friday 26th June 2020.
The Christchurch Mansion Tea Room has re-opened (via the serving window / hatch facing into the Park) and is serving pre-made food for takeaway only and ice cream in tubs not cones.
In response to the challenges of Coronavirus, Ipswich Borough Council’s position has been updated in the following areas this week:
Town Centre Footfall: The Council has been providing weekly information on town centre footfall data throughout lockdown. That data is contained within the graph back published alongside this statement. With many ‘non-essential’ shops opening for the first time on Monday (15th June) we thought it would be helpful, this week, to publish data for Mondays as well. On the 15th June there were 9,248 different people picked up by our town centre footfall counters. This is a 44% increase on last Monday (the 8th) – at 6,413 people. Pre lockdown Monday figures were around 13,500 people each Monday in early March. The lowest (non-bank holiday) Monday figure during lockdown was 2,546 people. The busiest ever count for a Monday (in December 2019) saw just over 24,000 people counted.
Crown Car Park: Crown Car Park reopened on Monday 15th June – i.e. the same day that many ‘non-essential’ retailers reopened in the Town Centre. The opening hours are 10:30 to 16:30 Monday to Sunday. Use of the car park is free of charge up to and including 3rd July, although any individual stay should not be longer than 5 hours. On Monday 15th, 527 cars were parked in Crown. This compares to 733 cars on the same Monday last year. On Tuesday 16th, 517 cars were parked in Crown. This compares to 846 cars on the same Tuesday last year.
Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund: The Council has been allocated £1.24m to spend on discretionary grants. It has now formally launched its Policy and applications for grants can now be submitted. The closing date is Friday 26th June 2020. The Policy and the link to the application process is available at: www.ipswich.gov.uk/businessratesgrant. The maximum grant given out will be £10,000. So far (18th June) the Council has received 86 applications for a Discretionary Grant. The types of businesses that can apply are:
In addition the Council will also make its Fund available to the following types of businesses:
Sources of External Funding for Groups: Anglian Water has created The Anglian Water Positive Difference Fund. The first part of the fund is open to constituted community organisations throughout Suffolk, who are supporting vulnerable, isolated and older people at this time. To be eligible for funding, projects must support those who are considered high risk (including those with pre-existing medical conditions and older people over 60) or those in vulnerable circumstances and help to: Support their ongoing needs, ensuring their health and mental well-being is maintained; reduce isolation and vulnerability during any isolation period that may arise as a result of the threat of coronavirus; or, help to make sure people remain safely connected with the outside world during this time. For more information and to make an application go to: www.suffolkcf.org.uk/grants/anglian-water-positive-difference-fund/.
Arts / Cultural Performances: A decent summary of arts and cultural activities going on in the town during these challenging times can be found at: www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/events-activities/online-and-streamed-events/arts-activities/. Each week we will draw attention to one organisation and what they are making publicly available online. Eastern Angles, www.easternangles.co.uk, have been delivering online masterclasses covering writing and directing, and have commissioned playwrights for Paines Plough’s Come To Where I Am: Peterborough; a series of four plays created in lockdown, performed by the writers. In addition, EA has been supporting associate company ‘tusk’ to produce an online version of Baba Yaga for primary schools, complete with a resource pack, and are also promoting Standby Theatre’s activity pack for ages 14+. The Eastern Angles team are looking at ways to safely produce their annual alternative to panto with a socially distanced audience.
Council buildings [including the Regent Theatre, the Town Hall & Corn Exchange, Shop Mobility, Swimming Pools & Sports Centres, the Tourist Information Centre and visitor centres in Christchurch and Holywells parks, and the Museum, Art Gallery and Christchurch Mansion] will remain closed to the public (other than for point 6 above) until such time as the Government restrictions are lifted and we have the ability to re-open them safely. We are working with the promoters of shows that were due to be at the Regent and Corn Exchange to find new dates for shows in the autumn and beyond and will continue to contact ticket holders as these arrangements are made. We have not been accepting bookings for any of our venues to hire until at least the end of June and this will remain our position for now.
The Borough Council intends to issue a detailed statement every Friday while communicating more regularly about individual issues and services.
If you wish to contact the Council about anything please contact us via www.ipswich.gov.uk or 01473 432000 rather than visit Grafton House or the Customer Services Centre).
We know that these statements will generate a number of customer queries but we ask you to use the ‘contact us’ form on our website.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor David Ellesmere, should be available to comment if there are any media enquiries – he can be contacted via the Council’s Press Office (email@example.com).
“This week has seen the re-opening of many non-essential shops with increased footfall across the town and particularly the Town Centre.
“I am pleased that the re-opening has gone well. Hundreds of people have taken advantage of our Crown Car Park free offer and good use is being made of the additional public toilets we are providing in the Corn Exchange. Our pedestrianised streets give plenty of room for social distancing – even with queues for some shops – and this has been added to with the daytime pedestrianisation of Upper Brook Street.
“In these difficult times, local retailers need our support wherever we’re able to give it. I hope we can all play our part by doing more of our shopping locally. Together we can help our town centre recover.
“Public safety remains paramount. Even though we are moving towards a new “normality” we still need to keep following the rules: maintain our distance, wear a face covering where appropriate and wash our hands regularly.”
Councillor David Ellesmere, Leader, Ipswich Borough Council
Issued by the IBC press office (firstname.lastname@example.org).