West Sussex County Council services still running during second lockdown

West Sussex County Council says it will continue to provide practical support, help and advice to people across the county as the second national lockdown starts today (Thursday).

The Community Hub was set up in March 2020 to give practical support and assistance to those affected by Covid-19. Since March the hub has provided access to food and essential household supplies as well as information and guidance to individuals and families.

To date the Community Hub has received in the region of 55,000 inbound calls and online support request forms, made nearly 40,000 outbound calls and delivered more than 3,000 urgent food parcels across the county.

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Through the next month it is ready to do the same for those who need it the most.

West Sussex rubbish tips will remain open during the second lockdown

Front line services to the most vulnerable residents will also continue, including social care provision for children, young people and adults.

Paul Marshall, leader of the county council, said: “There is no doubt that this will be a difficult time for many people living and working in our county.

“I want to make it really clear that West Sussex County Council will always be here for our residents. For our most vulnerable residents, for those who need us most, we will support you. As a community I know we will pull together, help our neighbours and loved ones and do what it takes to get us though this difficult time.

“The new Government restrictions mean some of our services will be affected, and we know that might be inconvenient or frustrating.

“I would like to thank everyone across West Sussex for their diligence and continued efforts to prevent the spread of COVID. While this has helped keep our infection rates below those in many parts of the country, I urge everyone to continue to support us in our bid to Keep West Sussex Safe.”

Some changes have been made to services in light of the latest government announcement on COVID-19 restrictions:

• All wedding and civil partnership ceremonies between 5 November and 2 December have been postponed. Registration offices will remain open, so notice appointments can continue for marriage and civil partnership appointments.

• All death registration appointments will continue to be conducted by phone. Appointments can be booked as normal, but people are asked not to attend the Registration Office.

• All birth registrations are still being done face to face, but customers will be seen strictly by appointment only, which can be booked online.

• West Sussex Record Office will be closed from Thursday 5 November until further notice.

• West Sussex libraries are currently closed for browsing and only open for returns and collections. Opening hours are subject to change and you can find the latest information about your local library on our website. Limited computer sessions are only available when pre-booked in advance.

You can continue to reserve items directly from the library catalogue free of charge, and you will be notified when items are ready for collection. Library staff are also offering a select and collect service, where our expert staff put together a selection for you to borrow. Simply complete our online form or phone your local library and staff will let you know when your items are ready for collection from the library entrance.

• Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRSs) will remain open and operate to normal opening hours for the duration of the second lockdown.

• Just like in the first national lockdown, highways teams continue their maintenance work in keeping West Sussex roads safe, and with improvement projects continuing, too.

• West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will continue to operate as usual during the new lockdown if residents need them.

The service is encouraging residents to keep a checklist of fire safety advice to stay safe at home or where businesses are open and reduce the risk of an emergency incident occurring. This can be found on the fire service COVID-19 web page.

The fire service is continuing to provide free Safe & Well Visits to people in their homes on a risk-based approach. There is also the option for a Safe & Well Visit via phone, Skype and by posting a useful resource document, instead of face-to-face. These can be arranged by calling 0345 8729 719 or emailing [email protected]

A full list of the services that have been affected is available on our website by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/coronavirus.

You can find more information about the Community Hub and request support online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub or call 033 022 27980 to speak to someone.

Follow us on Facebook @WestSussexCC and Twitter @WSCCNews for updates and sign-up for our COVID-19 newsletter at www.westsussex.gov.uk/coronavirus to receive the latest information about our response to the pandemic. WSCC is also now on Nextdoor, the app designed with communities in mind. Follow the link and join the conversation at https://nextdoor.co.uk/agency-detail/england/west-sussex/west-sussex-council/