A monthly package of more than £3m is keeping Suffolk care providers afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, it has emerged.
The county council’s adult and community care service revealed it had constructed "four pillars" of financial support, which was being funded from the £34m coronavirus response grant supplied by central government.
They include providing a minimum income guarantee and cashflow help.
According to the council, the minimum income guarantee for residential care providers was £1m in April.
That number does not include support spend for non-residential care providers, which is to be collated in early June.
Meanwhile, Suffolk is to receive £9m from the government’s additional £600m pot for care home support.
A county council's adult and community services team said it had organised its own supply channels of personal protective equipment (PPE) since April, and said government provision would not have been enough.
Suffolk County Council has provided about 300,000 masks and 550,000 pairs of gloves to 219 organisations across the county.
Suffolk Resilience Forum, which oversees the crisis response in the county, has responsibility for distributing the vital kit.
The Forum's Jaime Hawkins said that quality standards had proved a challenge when there "hasn't been any national guidance on that".
A delivery of 30,000 eye protectors from central government last month had to be sent back after they were deemed to be inappropriate, the council said.
Road closures in place as recycling centre reopen
A number of roads will be closed across Suffolk today as recycling centres prepare to reopen.
They will be in place on Foxhall Road and Sir Alf Ramsey Way in Ipswich and on Bury Road in Fornham St Martin.
Underused transport delivers essential food and medicine
food, medicine and personal protective equipment (PPE) deliveries are being made in Suffolk using
passenger transport vehicles now underused because of
the coronavirus pandemic.
county council has mustered its community
transport, taxis and subsidised minibus services to help distribute food
to the county’s 11,000 shielding residents and deliver medicine to people who are unable to collect it themselves.
is also under way to ferry renal patients to Ipswich and
West Suffolk hospitals.
is being delivered to key workers in the health and care sectors.
key workers can no longer use normal public
transport, Suffolk County Council is co-ordinating
with its partners to provide safe alternatives.
Reid, cabinet member at the council, said: In
these uncertain times, it has never been more important for us to all
join forces and work together to keep our county moving and support
our residents, especially those who are most vulnerable."
Recycling centre booking system goes live in Suffolk
A new online booking system is going live as another county reopens its recycling centres.
It's an attempt to avoid the lengthy traffic queues that formed as other counties reopened their gates... as well as to try to ensure the safety of householders and staff.
A spokesman said: "If you do not have an appointment, you will be denied access and turned away from the site."
There will also be a set of new temporary rules:
No access to site without pre-booking
Cars and pedestrians only - no vans, trailers or commercial-type vehicles
One adult to unload, unless 2 adults needed for heavy items
No staff assistance to unload vehicles
No chargeable waste accepted (soil, rubble, hardcore or plasterboard)
No trade waste
No textiles or re-use items accepted
Women's Tour cancelled for 2020
The Women's Tour 2020, which was due to finish in Suffok, has been cancelled for 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but organisers have confirmed it will be rearranged for June next year.
The six-stage cycling race, which has been held in Britain every year since 2014, was due to take place from 8-13 June and was initially postponed in March.
Organisers SweetSpot have applied to cycling's governing body the UCI to stage the next edition between 7-12 June, 2021 using the same planned route.
The sixth and final stage is due to be between Haverhill and Felixstowe.
Hugh Roberts, from SweetSpot, said: "With the extra time now available we
look forward to making next year’s Women’s Tour even bigger and better than
before and a fantastic celebration of cycling and Britain."
Councillor James Reeder from Suffolk County Council said the cancellation was the "right decision" and it was looking forward to the race next year.
Plans for a shake-up of a council’s boundaries look likely to be postponed until 2025, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Conservative-controlled Suffolk County Council said its review would have saved more than £100,000 and seen a reduction of five councillors at the authority from the current total of 75.
It would also see each ward represented by a single councillor, rather than some having two.
But a final consultation on draft plans - set for this month - has been delayed due to difficulties of having a proper consultation during lockdown.
"Frankly, the arguments over the number of councillors pales into insignificance compared to what we are facing now," said the council’s Labour group leader Sarah Adam. "That debate can wait another day."
Ipswich Waterfront to close to traffic to make space for exercise
Ipswich Waterfront is being closed to traffic from today to allow people to exercise at a safe distance during the coronavirus pandemic.
Social distancing guidlines say that those not self-isolating can exercise once a day but should keep two metres apart from people not in their household.
The waterfront is a popular thoroughfare for walkers and the closure, between Custom House and Coprolite Street, will last for 21 days.
Councillor Andrew Reid from Suffolk County Council said the temporary closure would "create a safe open space for over 2,000 local residents who live close by, many of whom live in flats, and do not have access to a garden."
The authority also said it would consider closing other roads for similar purpose in the future.