Deeping St James Parish Council Meeting 30th April 2020

At the start of the Corona virus lockdown the Parish Council gave extra powers to the Clerk to enable the work of the Council to continue, and the Parish Council has also been working with individuals and groups to help those in need in the Deepings.

This meeting was a first for the Parish Council, using technology to have a virtual meeting, conducted using “Zoom.” After a few teething problems from those that were not familiar with “Zoom” it was agreed that this was the best way to hold meetings until things get back to normal.

County Councillor Barry Dobson reported:

• Call-connect buses are continuing to run, with all essential journeys now free of charge during the Coronavirus outbreak. This service can be booked at http://www.lincsbus.info.
• Also there has been no increase in reported domestic abuse in the County, caused by the continued social isolation. However, anyone suffering or fleeing from domestic abuse can contact the EDAN Lincs Domestic Abuse Service on 01522 510041 or at http://www.edanlincs.org.uk.
• Due to the amount of fly tipping that has been occurring throughout the county, including the Deepings, there is a move to open the recycling centres again, although no date has been mentioned yet.
• Lincolnshire Trading Standards are advising people who use social media for shopping and keeping in contact during the lockdown to be extra careful. Fraudsters are out there with you when you’re online, fishing for information and encouraging people to sign in to hoax sites. This is on the increase and fraudsters are revelling in this overly active lucrative platform.
• The lockdown has seen a dramatic increase in the use of Lincolnshire’s Online Library Service, proving that Libraries are as important now as they have always been.
• Councils are expecting to lose out on millions of pounds due to reduced income caused by the lockdown. However, one bit of good news is that the plan for the new Leisure Centre in the Deepings is progressing well. Two options are currently being drawn up and priced.

As part of the Councils commitment to support the Community during the Covid crisis the Parish Council telephone number has been registered with the Lincolnshire Resiliance Team, as a community hub for signposting the elderly and vulnerable to appropriate volunteers or organisations who can help with shopping deliveries, prescription collections, befriending and financial needs. This is manned on a rota basis to give a 24/7 service.

Financial assistance has also been provided to other organisations in the Deepings that are involved in putting together and distributing food parcels.

Individual Councillors have been working with Deepings Business Club, Deepings United Charities, Rotary and Lions on a project to help small businesses and sole traders who have suffered during the Covid Crisis, and have slipped through the Government Safety Net, or do not know where to get assistance. An “expert” would be appointed with the necessary expertise to help the business to survive or recover to a viable state following the impact from Covid 19. This advice would be paid for by the group that is being set up.

This was debated in great detail, and eventually it was agreed in principle that the Parish Council wanted to be involved in this project, with part of the Business Recovery Grant from SKDC being used for this purpose.

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