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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest news ...

8th April: More than £2m already paid to hard-hit business in Adur and Worthing

Sums totalling more than £2m have been paid to 176 businesses struggling during the coronavirus crisis in just two days, Adur & Worthing Councils announced today (8th April 2020).

Staff at the Councils are working through hundreds of request forms to send hard-pressed businesses lifeline grants from the government.

The small businesses, retailers, restaurant owners and leisure operators have successfully completed an online form established by the Councils to register for the government cash.

The Councils are encouraging eligible businesses to continue to come forward and complete the easy-to-use online form believing there are still many more businesses who could qualify for help.

Small businesses qualifying (those that receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate) will receive a grant of £10,000 while operators in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive grants on a sliding scale of up to £25,000 providing their rateable value does not exceed £51,000.

In total the government has allocated £26M for support to these businesses in Worthing and £17M in Adur.

Around 2,500 qualifying businesses across Adur and Worthing have also been sent a letter from the Councils to their business address as a prompt to register for a grant.

A spokesman for Adur & Worthing Councils said:

“We thank everyone for following the guidelines as they complete the forms and want to reassure all eligible businesses that we are working through the submissions as quickly as possible.”

Businesses qualifying will need to give details of their operation so it is important the rate payer accesses the form only when they have all information to hand.

Details needed include their business rates account number, property reference number, VAT registration number, full bank details, and billing address.

Businesses that have been verified will be sent a confirmatory email with further details of payments while those who haven't met the government's criteria will also receive an email confirmation.

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8th April: Dogs on leads

Some dog walkers may be unintentionally breaking the guidance on social distancing when they are out walking their dogs, say Adur & Worthing Councils’ Parks Team.

Problems seem to have arisen because dogs are being walked off-lead. While normally allowed in many areas, advice is now strongly that dogs are kept on leads to avoid close contact with other dogs.

Without leads some are following the other dog’s owners. This has resulted in owners having to break social distancing restrictions when attempting to retrieve their dog.

In some cases it has led to dogs fighting, resulting in both owners coming together to separate the dogs. This close contact breaches social distancing rules. If a dog is injured in these cases it would also result in an unnecessary visit for emergency treatment at a veterinary surgery creating further risk.

The RSPCA and the Dogs Trust both recommend that dogs are walked on a lead at this time in order to maintain social distancing when walking dogs. Please see:

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7th April: Playgrounds, public sports courts and outdoor gyms are temporarily closed

A reminder that playgrounds, public sports courts and outdoor gyms across Adur and Worthing are temporarily closed in line with government guidance.

These areas are cabled tied closed and/or display an official notice advising residents of the need to protect everybody's health at this time. The police and the Park Rangers will move you on if you are found to be using these facilities.

Unfortunately it has been noted that people are cutting through the cable ties which are needing to be replaced daily. Moving forward these will now be replaced with padlocks and chains.

Please help us to keep everyone safe by following the government guidance.

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7th April: All Markets - Cancelled until the end of May

Following government instructions, and in line with social distancing measures, Adur & Worthing Councils are cancelling all markets, including farmers markets, until the end of May.

All market traders have been contacted, and are entitled to either a deferred payment to attend a later market, or a full refund.

All traders are also offered advertising on the Adur Markets page to highlight their work during this time.

A joint decision has also been made with the Traders Association to cancel the Southwick Spring Fair (9th May 2020).

We will be assessing the government guidance for June onwards, and keeping the current situation under review.

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6th April: Advice about bonfires

There has been an increased number of complaints from residents about bonfires in their neighbourhoods.

Adur & Worthing Councils is urging people not to light bonfires in their gardens. The increasing number of bonfires is thought to be caused by people burning garden waste after tidying their gardens.

But bonfires can aggravate respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis and affect those with heart complaints. In addition coronavirus can affect the respiratory system.

In addition, regular and persistent bonfires may cause nuisance to neighbours by preventing them from opening windows, hanging out washing, and enjoying their garden.

A spokesman for Adur & Worthing Councils said, ‘We are asking residents to be considerate to their neighbours and not burn garden waste, or any other waste.

‘Please either compost garden waste, keep it in a safe place, or put it into your green garden waste bin or garden waste sacks, as the Council’s garden waste service is currently operating as normal.’

More information on how to avoid causing problems to neighbours is available on our bonfires webpage.

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3rd April: Adur & Worthing Councils launch online Business Grants Service

Small businesses, retailers, restaurant owners and leisure operators have today (Friday 3rd April 2020) been invited to submit a request for a government grant through a system set up by Adur & Worthing Councils.

The Councils have been charged by the government with administering the grant system which is available to around 2,500 businesses. In Worthing £26m has been allocated for the support during the coronavirus crisis and in Adur the figure is £17m.

The Councils have developed an easy-to-use online form which is now live:

but are stressing that business owners must read the government guidelines on the section first to be sure they are eligible for the grants. Once forms have been filled in they will be verified by staff at the Councils before payments are made.

Small businesses qualifying (those that receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate) will receive a grant of £10,000 while operators in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive grants on a sliding scale of up to £25,000 providing their rateable value does not exceed £51,000.

A section on the website (above) directs businesses to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page which Councils are asking everyone to check before filling in a form so that time is not wasted assessing forms for businesses that do not qualify.

Separately a letter is to be sent out by Councils to all qualifying businesses as a backstop to ensure all realise they can apply for grant assistance.

Businesses qualifying will need to give details of their operation so it is important the rate payer accesses the form only when they have all information to hand. Details needed include their business rates account number, property reference number, VAT registration number, full bank details, and billing address.

A spokesman for Adur & Worthing Councils said:

“We all know this is an extremely worrying time for all businesses in our communities.”

“We've worked quickly to develop an easy-to-use online system that will not take long to fill in. As soon as we have the details our teams will get started on processing the claim. We expect to have thousands of submissions but will act as speedily as possible.”

Businesses that have been verified will be sent a confirmatory email with further details of payments while those who haven't met the government's criteria will also receive an email confirmation.

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2nd April: Message from the Leaders of Adur & Worthing Councils

Dear Resident,

We sincerely hope that you are coping in the best way you can during these terrible times and that your loved ones are safe and well.

As Leaders of Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council we have refrained from communicating directly with you until now. You have all had plenty of messages and information about what to do during this outbreak.

However we thought it time to tell you that our staff, who we share to serve you all, are working as hard as they can to ensure crucial services are maintained as far as if possible.

Perhaps the most visible example of this is that you will have seen our refuse trucks still out every day collecting your waste. Touch wood so far we have not had to cancel rounds and we hope this can continue.

We also want to tell you that we understand entirely the pressures you are all under. As members of the community with families of our own we know only too well the worry around jobs, bills and health that most of you are experiencing.

We are ensuring we make the strongest possible case to the government for financial help so we continue to support you, our own finances, like many others, having taken a hit.

We have established a series of Neighbourhood Teams out in the community working with the marvellous volunteers already out there so that we can be sure to help the most vulnerable of our community whether that be simply having someone to talk to or support getting food or for guidance on finance.

On the latter we know that we are all having to watch every penny now so we wanted to assure you that the money you pay for Council services is being spent extremely wisely.

Your Council Tax is paying for those refuse trucks we mentioned earlier, the police officers who are currently working around the clock to keep us all safe, social welfare staff looking after the most vulnerable in society and a whole host of other services such as housing repairs, ensuring food safety remains paramount and working to support businesses and employers to protect every job we can.

We know this is an anxious time for you and want to assure you that most Council services are operating as near to normal as is possible in the circumstances although we ask you to understand that response times to any query you have might be longer.

Cllr Neil Parkin (Leader of Adur DC) and Cllr Daniel Humphreys (Leader of Worthing BC) - small 200

We wish you all the best. Keep safe, stay well.

Cllr Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council

Cllr Daniel Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council

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1st April: Notice from Adur & Worthing Councils: Support for the vulnerable in our communities

A number of Neighbourhood Response Teams across Adur and Worthing have been established with the aim of coordinating support to vulnerable people in our community. While the extremely vulnerable (shielded) are being supported directly by the government through the offices of West Sussex County Council (WSCC) there are, of course, a lot of other people who will be in need but who fall outside of that narrow category.

That is where the Neighbourhood Teams fit in (although Adur & Worthing Councils will still be coordinating with WSCC on the shielded) and why we are building this network. Each team has a leader charged with coordinating support efforts, be that food, financial advice or just someone to talk to, in their areas.

Crucially they will be backed by solid information obtained from hundreds of people (and their relatives) who have filled in a Councils online form that we have circulated and have asked our partner organisations to do so too. GP surgeries have sent text messages to all of their patients with the link for instance. This has allowed Councils to build up a picture of who is in need and what kind of support they require. As of yesterday we have identified more than 400 residents who need our help and this will undoubtedly grow.

Importantly we would like everyone who is in need to fill in this form even if they are currently supported by community groups so that we can have a complete picture of the scale of the demand in Adur and Worthing.

At the same time we are calling out for volunteers who can help with the Neighbourhood Teams and have thus far more than 200 individuals who have filled in our online request form.

As far as existing community groups working to bring support to residents are concerned we want to reiterate that this is about working together and alongside one another.  Our Neighbourhood Teams leaders will be making contact with as many of these excellent existing groups and individuals as possible. 

Further details on all issues surrounding the outbreak and how to request support if you are vulnerable and how to register as a volunteer can be found by clicking on these links:

See also: More information and advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Martin Randall,
Director for the Economy and Councils Covid Response Lead

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Adur & Worthing Councils staff and offices

Our staff are working hard to ensure that services to residents are as near to normal in these very difficult times.

However in line with government advice we are asking for as many people as possible to refrain from coming into council offices to avoid close contact.

We fully understand that residents have necessary business to do with us but we would ask you to consider using our online service or ringing us. Both of these methods are easy to use and, in the current climate, safer. You will get the information or advice that you need more quickly if you go online (wait times on the phones are likely to be high currently).

Please be aware that if you are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus, high temperature or persistent cough, you should be self-isolating (see the NHS advice and self check website).

If you are considered to be in the 'vulnerable group' as defined by Public Health England we also recommend you make use of the online services or give us a call.

Here is a list of all our online self-service services.

If you cannot go online, you can ring us for the following services:

  • Automated payment line: 0300 123 6002
  • Housing Benefits/Council Tax Support
    • Adur: 01273 263444
    • Worthing: 01903 221061
  • Council Tax/Business Rates
    • Adur: 01273 263111
    • Worthing: 01903 221061

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30th March: NHS parking

Free parking is now available for all critical workers in the NHS, and critical health & social workers, and critical social care staff, whilst they are at work in Adur and Worthing, in:

  • on-street pay and display bays
  • limited waiting bays
  • shared use bays
  • and permit holder bays
  • as well as pay & display bays in Council owned surface car parks

These critical workers will be encouraged to display supporting evidence in their windscreen, such as photocopies of their work pass with sensitive information removed, or a letter of evidence from their employer.

If you are unable to display any of the supporting evidence in your windscreen (see paragraph above) then please apply for a 12 week dispensation by emailing report.onparking@nslservices.co.uk or parking.comments@adur-worthing.gov.uk leaving your name, address, copy of your ID badge and contact details so we can ring you back.

If you have an existing healthcare permits these can still be used.

Note: When parking please ensure your vehicle is parked correctly and not causing a danger or obstruction to other road users. Please ensure you are parked wholly within the bay markings.

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26th March: Events Update

Following recent government advice, event organisers in Adur and Worthing have given great consideration to the running of their events over the coming months. 

Adur & Worthing Councils are offering advice and support to our local event organisers.

As an update to these conversations …

The Easter Extravaganza in Lancing, due to be held in Lancing Road North on Good Friday, 10th April - has been cancelled. 

All all open space events and car boot sales scheduled for April and May in Adur and Worthing are also postponed or cancelled.

The national commemorations to mark VE Day 75 on 8th May 2020 are being scaled back due to the ongoing spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) - for details please see our VE Day page.

Event customers who have purchased tickets for cancelled or postponed events should talk to their ticket provider. 

For further information please email the Events Team events@adur-worthing.gov.uk

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24th March: Worthing Pier closed

In light of the further restrictions announced by the Prime Minister yesterday a decision has this afternoon (24th March 2020) been made to close Worthing Pier until further notice.

While the borough's parks remain open for people practising social distancing, the Council has made the decision to shut the pier due to the narrow walkways which force users to walk in close proximity to each other. Recent sunny weather has meant that the pier is still receiving a high volume of visitors.

A spokesman for Worthing Borough Council said:

“It is with regret that we have had to make this decision. People can still use our parks and promenade for the one period of outdoor exercise alone, or one other person they live with, which the new government rules allow but again we would remind people of the social distancing measures that apply especially the need to keep two metres (six feet) apart.”

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24th March: Shoreham Artisans Market and Southwick Spring Fair - cancelled

Shoreham Artisans Market (28th March) - cancelled

  • Following government instructions, and in line with social distancing measures, Adur District Council has decided to cancel the Artisans Market, due this Saturday.
  • All market traders have been contacted, and are entitled to either a deferred payment to attend a later market, or a full refund.

Southwick Spring Fair (9th May) - cancelled

  • A joint decision has also been made with the Traders Association to cancel the Southwick Spring Fair.

We are keeping the situation under review with decisions on future markets to be made within the next week.

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20th March: Food Safety advice for businesses

Restaurant owners have today been given advice about turning into takeaway only establishments by the Food Safety Team at Adur & Worthing Councils.

The government announced that planning rules would be relaxed so that pubs and restaurants could operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.

While welcoming the news the Team has published a list of basic guidelines for establishments including that they must still make the Councils' planning department aware that they have changed their operation.

The Team has also advised businesses on food hygiene rules for takeaways, allergens and contact-free delivery.

It has also announced that all non-urgent food safety activities would be temporarily halted in light of current government advice on the transmission of the virus.

For further details see:

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19th March: The Shoreham Centre Closure

Trustees of the Shoreham Centre have taken the decision to close the centre from Friday 20th March 2020.

They have decided the coronavirus outbreak means that community activities in the centre need to be temporarily ceased following advice from the government on combating the spread of the disease.

A skeleton centre staff will continue to work to ensure it is in shape when it can re-open. Current community slots will be held for the groups using them when the centre reopens

The trustees are keeping the situation under review going forward.

Due to current staffing levels, the Adur District Council counters at the Shoreham Centre have already had to close.

The trustees are keeping the situation under review going forward.

A reminder that Adur District Council customers can contact us on the numbers below where we will be able to assist you:

  • Adur switchboard: 01273 263000
  • Adur Housing Benefits/Council Tax Support: 01273 263444
  • Adur Council Tax/Business Rates: 01273 263111

A list of all Adur & Worthing Councils' online services is available on our self service page.

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19th March: Eastbrook Manor Community Centre Closure

Following careful consideration of the current course of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and following government guidance we have made the decision to temporarily close Eastbrook Manor Community Centre for group activities for 4 weeks until 16th April 2020.

At this point the situation will be reviewed.

If you need to contact us about this please contact candwteam@adur-worthing.gov.uk

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19th March: Business rates

Following the government's announcement of changes to business rates in light of the Coronavirus disruption, Adur & Worthing Councils are awaiting further details from the government. As soon as this arrives, the Councils will work towards issuing amended bills as soon as possible. For now, Councils are asking businesses to wait until further information is received from central government.

The government plans to issue further guidance for local authorities on the application of the expanded retail discount by this Friday (20th March 2020).

The government has announced that it will increase the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year, and also expand it to the leisure and hospitality sectors. It will also increase the planned rates discount for pubs to £5,000.

Businesses that received the retail discount in 2019-20 will be rebilled by their local authority. 

There will also be support via local authorities for small businesses that already pay little or no Business Rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief to help meet their ongoing business costs.

A £25,000 grant will also be available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. Councils are also awaiting further guidance on this to be published by this Friday (20th March 2020).

More information on these and other measures for businesses outlined by the Treasury - on the GOV.UK website.

See also: Business support and guidance

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