Local democracy during coronavirus

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Issue - meetings

Coronavirus Update Including Support to Businesses

Meeting: 13/01/2022 - Executive (Item 79)

79 Coronavirus Update Including Support to Businesses pdf icon PDF 594 KB

The Chief Operating Officer to present a report which provides an update on the Council’s response to the recent wave of Covid-19, largely related to the Omicron variant, and seeks authority to progress the distribution of associated funding to businesses.

 

Note: The above item has been on the Forward Plan for less than 28 days before this meeting.  As a non-key decision, it has been included on the agenda under informal urgency procedures due to the need to respond to the new coronavirus strain and deliver support to businesses as soon as possible.

Decision:

Resolved:  (i)      That the coronavirus update contained in paragraphs 5 to 12 of the report be noted.

 

                   (ii)      That the Chief Operating Officer be recommended to:

a)   approve the delegation for business support schemes set out in paragraph 21 for the Additional Restrictions Grant and Covid Additional Relief Fund; and

b)   approve the distribution of the Hospitality & Leisure Grant in accordance with the Government’s prescribed scheme.

 

Reason:     To provide urgent financial support to the city’s businesses to help them through the ongoing pandemic specifically in relation to the recent Omicron variant.  

 

(iii)     That it be noted that the Arts Council England are responsible for the distribution of the Cultural Recovery Fund on application.

Minutes:

The Chief Operating Officer and the Assistant Director of Customer & Digital Services presented an update report on the Council’s response to the recent wave of Covid-19, largely related to the Omicron variant been designated a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation in November 2019, and on new government funding for Business Support Grants. 

 

It was reported at the meeting that the rate of new Covid cases in York had now fallen from a high of around 1,700 per 100k population to around 1,300, which was below the national and regional averages.  84.2% of residents aged 16+ had received two vaccine doses, 59.8% of those aged 12-15 had received their first dose, and 64.3% of those aged 18+ had had a booster dose.  Although hospital were rising, the severity of the illness appeared lower than previous waves.  Despite a significant increase in council staff testing positive for the virus, no reductions in service were currently expected.  2% of staff were currently off work with Covid. By comparison, 7% were off sick in total.

 

Information on the four new support grants for business announced by government on 30 December was set out in paragraphs 13-21 of the report.  Further details regarding administration of the funding had since been received, and officers made amendments to the recommendations in paragraph 4 in the light of these. 

 

The Chair noted that the situation remained difficult and confirmed that the council would continue its support to partners and businesses in the city.  He welcomed the additional grants but said clarity was needed from government on longer term funding.   

 

Resolved:  (i)      That the coronavirus update contained in paragraphs 5 to 12 of the report be noted.

 

                   (ii)      That the Chief Operating Officer be recommended to:

a)   approve the delegation for business support schemes set out in paragraph 21 for the Additional Restrictions Grant and the Covid Additional Relief Fund; and

b)   approve the distribution of the Hospitality & Leisure Grant in accordance with the Government’s prescribed scheme.

 

Reason:     To provide urgent financial support to the city’s businesses to help them through the ongoing pandemic specifically in relation to the recent Omicron variant.  

 

(iii)     That it be noted that the Arts Council England are responsible for the distribution of the Cultural Recovery Fund on application.

 


 

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