Local Government Advice
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04 May 2020
For Immediate Release
Quit for Covid with Public Health Northamptonshire's Stop Smoking Service
Public Health Northamptonshire is encouraging smokers to #QuitforCovid, not only to protect themselves but to reduce demand on NHS services. The coronavirus pandemic is putting an unprecedented strain on the NHS, and England's Chief Medical Officer is urging smokers to give up smoking to lower their risk, so there has never been a better time to quit.
The #QuitforCovid campaign, www.todayistheday.co.uk encourages people to join the conversation, share their own stories about quitting and hear from other people about how they are getting on with their quit attempts. There is also a "Twitter Quit Clinic" from 7.30pm to 8.30pm every day which quitters can join at www.twitter.com/quitforcovid using the hashtag #QuitforCovid.
The Northamptonshire Stop Smoking Service is encouraging smokers across the county to take part in the campaign, and use the lockdown period as an opportunity to significantly improve their health and whilst also protecting the NHS.
For some smokers the thought of giving up smoking during such a stressful time may seem particularly daunting. A common misconception about smoking is that it relieves stress and anxiety, whereas in fact the opposite is true. Smoking interferes with chemicals in the brain, and when smokers go without cigarettes the cravings that occur will create, or heighten, feelings of stress and anxiety. The feeling of relief you get when having a cigarette is temporary, and is only really satisfying your need for nicotine.
Thankfully there are much cleaner ways to get nicotine, such as through a nicotine patch or an electronic cigarette. Products like these will satisfy your cravings, and are available for free from the Northamptonshire Stop Smoking Service when you take part in their 12 week quit programme. The service, which is now offering telephone support Monday to Friday, can provide you with advice on how to quit and send nicotine replacement products directly to your door.
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health, Northamptonshire said:
"Our Stop Smoking Service offers a range of products and specialist support on quitting smoking. People who quit with the support of a service such as this are 4 more times likely to succeed than those who go it alone and the benefits of quitting start to take hold immediately."
There is also support available in Northamptonshire for those feeling stressed or anxious due to the current pandemic. Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's 'Changing Minds IAPT' service supports Northamptonshire residents who are feeling stressed, low in mood or have mild to moderate depression and/or an anxiety disorder. Visit www.nhft.nhs.uk/iapt for more information. If you would like to take part in #QuitforCovid, please send your name, address, DOB, and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org
To access support from the NHFT Changing Minds Programme, call 0300 999 1616 (9 to 5 weekdays) or by filling in the online form at https://www.nhft.nhs.uk/iapt. NHFT also has a number of Wellbeing Navigators for advice around local support and services available 24 hours a day, every day, just call 0300 330 10 11.
For further information, please contact: Kathryn Hall, Media Relations Specialist, on 01604 368971;
Issue: SNCPR16398Date: 22 April 2020
For Immediate Release
Lifeline Coronavirus grants paid to businesses in South Northamptonshire, but more than 25 per cent of eligible businesses are still to claim
Approximately 75 per cent of eligible small businesses across the district have submitted information to allow payment of grants to assist in dealing with the impact of the Coronavirus.
However, South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) is urging more businesses to come forward.
With council staff working through the weekend to process submissions, 841 payments totalling more than £9 million have been approved since the council launched its online application system two weeks ago.
Of the total received around 290 are currently undergoing further checks before payments can be made in order to ensure that fraudulent submissions are minimised. However, the council estimates a further 390 businesses in the district are eligible for grants.
Cllr Peter Rawlinson, SNC's portfolio holder for finance, performance and governance, said: "If businesses can stay afloat without state intervention they should do so and allow resources to be spent where it is really needed.
"But equally we do not want to see businesses failing unnecessarily. For what ever reason you may be holding back, we have a hard-working team processing submissions as quickly as possible."
A £10,000 grant will be paid to all businesses which are in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate relief.
Businesses which are in receipt of the Enhanced Retail Discount for 2020/21 and have a rateable value of up to £15,000 which are not covered by the Small Business Grant Fund, will also receive a grant of £10,000.
Retail, leisure and hospitality business properties with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
For press and media enquiries, contact:
Senior Communications Officer
South Northamptonshire Council
Advice from Northamptonshire County Council
Trading Standards Info
Please see below a news release from Northamptonshire County Council regarding scams surrounding the Coronavirus
TRADING STANDARDS REMINDER ON CORONAVIRUS SCAMS
Northamptonshire County Council's trading standards service is reminding residents to be aware of scams during the coronavirus outbreak.
Their advice comes as the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team has identified a list of possible scams to be wary of:
- People should be aware of offers of miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until the person recovers.
- Home cleaning services
- People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering 'home-testing' for coronavirus – this is a scam and these kits are not currently available to buy.
- Emails saying that people can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus and they are just after personal and bank details.
- There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say they can protect people or cure coronavirus. These will not help and are designed to take people's money.
- There are new mobile phone applications that claim to give updates on the virus but instead, they lock the phone and demand a ransom.
- Banks or the police will never ask for bank details over the phone.
- People offering to do shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing.
In Northamptonshire trading standards are also aware of an email scam asking parents to supply bank details if their child is usually entitled to free school meals. This is not an official email and should be ignored and deleted.
Councillor Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for place and environment said: "We've seen an incredible response from local communities with things such as Facebook community groups and WhatsApp groups springing up to help vulnerable people
"This has been wonderful to see, but sadly not everyone out there is trustworthy and some people will take advantage of the difficult situation we are all facing.
"The scams identified by the National Trading Standards scams team are just some of the scams to be aware of, but remember that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online.
"The council is also co-ordinating a local effort along with other councils and partner organisations for people to help their community To find out more go to www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/coronavirus"
Anyone who thinks that they have been scammed should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or if they need advice, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. If people are in immediate danger, please contact the police on 999. People can also contact their bank if they think they have been scammed.
Tips to avoid being scammed:
- Be cautious and listen to your instincts. Don't be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
- Take your time; don't be rushed.
- If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of helps if you are unsure.
- If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as .gov.uk or NHS.uk websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don't click on links in emails.
- Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.
- Know who you're dealing with - if you need help, talk to someone you know or get in touch with your local Council on the numbers below.
- Protect your financial information, especially from people you don't know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger.
To learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk and complete the free online training.
The council's website is being regularly updated with the latest information including health advice and guidance, changes to council services and events, support available for businesses and educational settings plus details about how to volunteer to help. Go to www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
Link to Action Fraud Website (where you can report Covid-19 related scams