Latest advice

Information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus and the latest position in the UK can be found here. 

This information will be updated as necessary as the situation changes.

Go to NHS.UK/coronavirus for information about the virus and how to protect yourself.

HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Halton Borough Council’s priority is on protecting the most vulnerable living in our community and those who are at most risk – all of our efforts are being focused on the priority services we provide to support these people.

We have already had to make significant changes to our day to day business, there may be more changes over the coming days and weeks. Please be assured that we have tried and tested business continuity plans in place to help us make these changes.

Please keep visiting this page for updated information

We will make the decision to reopen buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

We will be keeping our community up to date with any further changes to Council services via the local media, online at www.halton.gov.uk; on Twitter @haltonbc and on Facebook.

If you do not have access to the internet, you can call us 0303 333 4300 – however, please note it may take longer than usual for your call to be answered.

Business support

Support for Business During the Current Coronavirus Crisis

You’ll be aware that the Chancellor has made a number of announcements about how government will support businesses of all sizes during the current coronavirus crisis. That support is both evolving and fast moving and the Council and partners are currently working hard to translate the Chancellor’s announcements into practical schemes that will get the support to all the businesses that need it as quickly as possible.

We are pleased to say that financial support has begun to reach eligible businesses that pay Business Rates in the first instance. We would, therefore, urge you to visit the web link below to find out if your business qualifies for support

https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/business/businessrates.aspx

When you visit the Business Rates web page you will see a form to fill in regarding your bank account details. It is critical that the Council has your up to date bank details in order pay grant. We would, therefore, urge you to complete and return that form even if you don’t think your business is eligible for support at this moment in time. Government is announcing new support measures on an almost daily basis so it may be the case that you qualify for a different scheme in the future. If this is the case, and the Council has your bank details, then you will be paid promptly.

Self employed income support scheme

If you are self employed, the Government has released the link for applications for grants.  For those who are eligible the scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

You will need your UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number and National Insurance number to begin the application process

Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF)

From today 1st June 2020, Halton Council will start to receive applications for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF).

The Government announced it is making additional funding available to allow the Council on 1st May 2020 and finalised its guidance on 26th May 2020. This funding is to support small businesses that have been affected by COVID19 but are outside the scope of the existing small business grants scheme and retail, hospitality and leisure scheme. This scheme is for businesses who have so far received no support during the COVID19 crisis.

Based upon the Government guidance and the identified priorities of the Council, four grant regimes will be available from

1st June 2020 to 19th July 2020

:

  • Shared Space Grant
  • Charitable Sector Support Grant
  • Bed & Breakfast Support Grant
  • Businesses either working from home and/or other locally owned businesses in other premises

To ensure the discretionary grants are awarded to those small businesses most impacted by COVID19 an assessment will be undertaken against a number of criteria including:

  • The business must have no more than 50 employees;
  • The business must be a solvent business that was trading on 11th March 2020;
  • The business must have ongoing property costs;
  • The business has been significantly financially affected by COVID19;
  • The business has not received other relevant grant support from Central Government apart from the Furlough Scheme.

Businesses which have received cash grants from any Central Government scheme for COVID19 are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grant Fund.

For further information on how to apply.

An application form must be accompanied by all relevant information in order for it to be processed.

Other Business Support

The main source of information for all business support during the coronavirus crisis remains the UK Government web site at www.businesssupport.gov.uk or alternatively Liverpool City Region Growth Platform site at https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/

Please refer to the above websites in the first instance for up to date information.

If, however, you’d rather speak to someone locally please call Halton Borough Council’s Business Development Team on 0151 511 7825 or email business@halton.gov.uk

We appreciate that this is a very difficult time but we are assured by government that they are exploring every possible avenue to provide support to businesses and to that end the Council and other public sector organisations are working hard to put in place the systems necessary to make that happen.

Children’s Centres

Currently closed

  • Upton
  • Windmill Hill
  • Halton Brook
  • Ditton

We will take the decision to reopen the buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

Community Centres

Closed until further notice

  • Upton Community Centre, Bechers, Hough Green, Widnes
  • Ditton Community Centre, Dundalk Road, Widnes
  • Castlefields Community Centre, Village Square, Castlefields, Runcorn
  • Grangeway Community Centre, Grangeway, Runcorn
  • Murdishaw Community Centre, Barnfield Avenue, Runcorn

We will take the decision to reopen the buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

Council Tax Support & Welfare advice
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on our economy and services and we would like to reassure residents who are struggling to pay their Council Tax bill at this difficult time.

Your Council Tax bill pays for essential services that are delivered to all Halton residents. If your circumstances have not changed, you should continue to pay in accordance with the details shown on your bill so we can continue to provide essential services.

If your income has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak you should submit a claim for Universal Credit with the DWP on their website here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

You should also claim Council Tax Reduction direct from the Council on our website here: or https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/CouncilandBenefits/Housing-Benefits.aspx

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax please contact us by email at council.tax@halton.gov.uk

Faith sector resources

Halton faith sector resources for use during Covid 19 

Buddhist, Wat Phra Singh Temple, Runcorn

 Their morning Chanting is at 06:00 and Evening Chanting at 18:00 are livestreamed on their Facebook pages daily – the Facebook addresses are shown below.

Fb: Wat Phra Singh UK
Fb: วัดพระสิงห์ ยูเค

In addition, their Buddhist nun Mae Chee Shirley-Anne is holding Guided Meditation practice every Saturday using Zoom.  The meetings will be announced on their Facebook pages every week during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Islam

How to attend a Muslim Friday Prayer service    كيفية حضور صلاة الجمعة الإسلامية

https://youtu.be/uWOKB5EzHSo

Catch up with a Friday sermon     اللحاق بخطبة الجمعة

https://youtu.be/CNZ0Z9bdiMc

The end of the Holy Month of Ramadan will be celebrated by the feast of Eid al-Fitr which begins in the evening of Saturday 23rd May and ends in the evening of Sunday 24th May.

Hindu

The nearest temples to Halton are as follows – you can look on their websites or Facebook pages for further information:

  • Lord Rama Krishna Temple, Warrington – https://www.facebook.com> Lord RamaKrishna temple
  • Nithyananda Satang Centre – website https://nithyananda.org.uk
  • Liverpool Ganesh Temple – https://www.liverpoolganeshtemple.org.uk

Jewish

The nearest Jewish congregations to Halton are as follows – you can look on their websites or Facebook pages for further information:

  • Allerton Hebrew Congregation – website https://www. allertonshul.org.uk
  • Childwall Hebrew Congregationhttps://jscn.org.uk/small-communities/childwall-synagogue/

 

Church of England

All Saints, Daresbury Church is streaming Tuesday to Friday at 10.00am and Sunday at 10.30am on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/daresburychurch/

This website – www.achurchnearyou.com/church/12623/ – contains regular weekly Sunday service sheets for ‘viewers’ to use as well as some spiritual material here:-

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/12623/page/55116/view/

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/12623/page/55132/view/

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/12623/page/55119/view/

St Berteline’s Church, Runcorn is live streaming a service every Sunday at 10am. It is live streamed on their Facebook page and then can be accessed there or on our website at a later point to view back.

www.stbertschurch.org.uk

https://www.facebook.com/stbertschurch

Here is the link to Transform Widnes Website. 

https://tnw.church/church-at-home

All of their services are on the website along with other resources to help encourage people during this time. 

The website also has information of our Long Loaf community lunch, which has now turned take away! The phone number to ring for a free lunch on a Wednesday is 0151 558 1301 – please ring before 12 noon.

You can also follow them on Facebook under Transform Widnes. 

St Ambrose Church, Widnes

Information on services is on their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com >St Ambrose Church Widnes

St Michael with St Thomas & St Basil & All Saints Church of England, churches do a joint worship reflection every Sunday morning at 10.00am. It can be viewed on their individual Facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/stmichaelwithstthomas/

https://www.facebook.com/sbasce2015/

Also, the Church of England has released this which may be helpful to those who don’t have access to the internet: –

 

“Daily Hope”

“Daily Hope” was launched a couple of days ago, especially if your community includes older people with no internet access.

The team behind “Daily Hope” write: 

“It’s a free national phone-line aimed particularly at the over 75’s who don’t have access to the internet. Research indicates that some three million people – particularly those in this age group – have no, or very irregular, access to the internet.

The line will be available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044.

Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury before being able to choose from a range of options, including Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer updated daily, from Common Worship, and a recording of the Church of England’s weekly national online service. A section called Hymn Line will also offer callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection and is based on an initiative by Connections, a group focused on this age group.

At present, there is clearly a challenge in informing those that are digitally disconnected of this phone line. As such, promotion of the phoneline is in two strands: via the media and encouraging local churches to identify and inform those for whom this service would be valuable.”

St Mary Hale and St Mary Westbank (both CofE)

Has a joint recorded service which goes out on St Mary Hale Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/smhale   

 

Catholic

Mass is livestreamed each Sunday from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral – www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk  This is normally at 9 or 11am. You can watch these on You Tube at any time following the same link

St Wilfrid’s Parish Widnes has Mass uploaded to You Tube link is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC52-K27EaYwySzRmeP3f3eA

St Maximillian Kolbe Parish, Runcorn has information on its website

http://www.saint-maximilian-kolbe.org/

“Live Catholic Mass directory” has details of Masses in England and Wales which are live streaming

Live Catholic Mass Online

Ecumenical

Hope Corner has a service at 10am on Sundays. Either go to https://hopecorner.co.uk or use the link:

https://youtu.be/GBbDJ9EIJL0

They also do Kid’s Church with all the links on https://hopecorner.co.uk/childrens-team/

 

New Life Christian Church Widnes

They do not live stream but do record messages every couple of days and post them on their Church’s Facebook page on their website and also on YouTube.

The website is  www.newlifechristiancentre.org,uk

The Foundry, Widnes

They are streaming their Sunday services via watch.thefoundry.org.uk  they are at 10am and 8pm.

They also have children’s services online at burst.thefoundry.org.uk (age 3 – year 1) and fuse.thefoundry.org.uk (year 2 – year 6), they take place between 8am and 12noon on a Sunday.

They have just launched a new phone service where people can dial one of their church numbers (0151 363 5570) and listen to the previous Sunday’s preach. All calls are charged at standard landline rates.

Methodist, Runcorn

The three Methodist churches in Runcorn are now part of the North Cheshire circuit. 

https://www.facebook.com/NCMethodists/?tn-str=k*F

https://www.northcheshiremethodists.org.uk

This is a prayer wall we are trying to encourage people to use:

https://padlet.com/northcheshiremethodists/fhy2sn49rvan

The local Methodist churches have Facebook pages

The Heath: https://www.facebook.com/theheathmethodistchurch/

Wicksten Drive: https://www.facebook.com/groups/412160192297940/

Halton Trinity: https://www.facebook.com/haltontrinitymethodistchurchruncorn/

In addition, Tim Coleman has started a Blog for Shopping City Chaplaincy

https://shoppingcitychaplaincy.blogspot.com/

 

Methodist, Widnes

Methodist Churches in Widnes Worship

Short Livestream 10am on Sundays – Farnworth Methodist Church Facebook Page Farnworth Methodist Church

 

 

Farnworth Methodist Church

Farnworth Methodist Church, Widnes, United Kingdom. 195 beğenme · 23 kişi bunun hakkında konuşuyor · 495 kişi bu…

There is also a Facebook Group 

Farnworth Methodist Church Community 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/522713088675714/

 

Halton Direct Link

The Halton Direct Link offices in Runcorn and Widnes will be closed to the  public from 1pm on Thursday 19 March, until further notice.

The Council apologises for the inconvenience but we are sure that you will understand that we have taken this necessary measure to protect customers and staff.

The service will continue to operate with staff dealing with enquiries on the telephone, by e-mail and via the website.

There is so much you can do on our website, such as pay bills, report environmental issues, view planning applications, check bin collection dates, and use our Contact Us page to get in touch.

Check out the website – www.halton.gov.uk – or call us on 0303 330 4300.

Please also note that the Municipal Building, Runcorn Town Hall and Rutland House are not open to the public.

Homelessness

If you are homeless or likely to become homeless in the next 56 days,

Please contact the Housing Solutions Team:

Email: Housing.Solutionsteam@halton.gov.uk

Telephone: 0151 511 7979  (9am – 5pm Mon to Fri) or 0333 000 4300 outside these hours

Leisure Centres

Closed until further notice

  • Kingsway Leisure Centre
  • Brookvale Recreation Centre
  • Runcorn Swimming Pool
  • Frank Myler Pavillion
  • Stadium Fitness

Membership fees due at leisure centres will not be deducted for this timeframe, refunds will be paid for any deductions already paid for this timeframe as soon as possible.

We will take the decision to reopen the buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

Libraries

Halton’s Libraries are reopening, visit the website for further information https://library.haltonbc.info/

Mental health and wellbeing

There are lots of things you can try to do to help with your mental health and wellbeing during this difficult and stressful time whether you are self-isolating or distancing yourself socially

You can find more information on health and wellbeing.

Nurseries, Schools & Colleges

Halton schools will not open before 8th June and only then if deemed safe, following detailed risk assessments being undertaken and social distancing and other measures being put in place by each school.

Riverside College and Cronton Sixth Form College

The College would like to reassure all applicants who have been offered a place on a course starting September 2020 that your place at College is still secure.

The College will continue to work with you and your school over the coming months to ensure transition to College is as smooth as possible in these uncertain times.

As a College, it will do everything we can to ensure the right student is on the right course whatever happens regarding GCSE examinations.

The Admissions Team are working in College and are there to answer any questions on 0151 257 2022 or courses@riverside.ac.uk unless we are instructed differently by the Government.

Open Spaces

Parks

All parks remain open. 

Car parks are now open.

Bowling Greens

All bowling greens have received basic maintenance during the closure period and therefore they are not in a condition suitable for play. They will be brought back into a playable condition over the coming week and will reopen on 26 May 2020. Pavilions will not reopen and social distancing rules will have to be observed.

Tennis Courts

Tennis courts are now open. Social distancing rules will have to be observed.

MUGAS, Skate Parks and BMX tracks will remain closed for the time being, this decision will be reviewed weekly.

Allotments

On 23 March the Government, stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. All non-essential premises must now close. You can still visit your allotment however as long as ensure a social distancing of two meters and follow the Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance.

Scams relating to coronavirus

Halton’s Trading Standards are issuing advice having been made aware of a number of scams relating to coronavirus.

Scammers are already exploiting the coronavirus situation, cashing in on people’s concerns and fears.

These are current scams here and abroad: 

  • Doorstep callers ‘checking for coronavirus’.
  • Companies selling ‘fast COVID-19 tests’.
  • Companies selling products that they claim can treat, cure or prevent the virus, including face masks.
  • Companies selling fake cleaning products and hand sanitisers.
  • Fake charities asking for donations to help with the coronavirus.
  • Fake emails pretending to be from a government department.
  • Companies claiming to have or to be on the verge of producing a vaccine and requiring payment to reserve a batch.
  • Companies phoning to offer to clean and sanitise homes, pre-payment is required over the phone or with gift cards.
  • Scammers pretending to be from the UK government, advising that a new tax refund programme has been introduced to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and that you are due a refund.
  • Emails pretending to be from the World Health Organisation with attachments on how to stay safe – the attachments contain malware which will infect your computer, steal your information and result in a request for ransom.
  • Scammers have circulated fake maps via email which claim to show virus outbreaks but, again, they are malware.
  • Scammers offering fake investment opportunities in companies working to produce a vaccine

 

Don’t get caught out:

  • Scammers want to steal your money or your personal information. They do this by calling unannounced at your door, phoning, texting or emailing. They will also advertise online and via social media.
  • The only test available is through the NHS – you cannot buy a test kit or pay for a test from anybody else.
  • There is no vaccine or cure.
  • Only buy from companies that you have dealt with before and type in their online address if you want to order – don’t respond to a link in an email or find them by an internet search because scam websites could be imitating a genuine company.
  • Charities must be registered with the Charity Commission (https://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/)  – check they are legitimate before you donate

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133.

The only reliable information on how to protect yourself, and measures to take if you think you have the virus, is available from the NHS and the UK government websites: 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Supplier Invoices

Halton Borough Council is committed to supporting all of its suppliers in order to help them to maintain cash flow and to protect jobs.  In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Council took the decision in March to accelerate payments ahead of terms for all supplier invoices.  This temporary arrangement will continue until 20 July 2020 when the Council will revert to standard contractual payment terms. 

To help us to pay you quickly, please submit your invoice electronically to avoid paper copies sitting in office buildings potentially unattended.  Invoices should be submitted to hbcinvoice@halton.gov.uk 

For information, the Council offers a Supplier Incentive Programme which can provide cash flow benefits to your business.  This programme enables your invoices to be paid ahead of contractual payment terms in exchange for a pre-agreed rebate.  For more information about this offering please email sipenquiries@halton.gov.uk or visit our website https://client.oxygen-finance.com/halton-suppliers/

Please note that adult social care providers will continue to receive accelerated payments ahead of terms until further notice.

The Brindley Theatre

Closed until further notice

If you have purchased tickets for events taking place at The Brindley Theatre during this time, you will be offered an exchange of tickets, or a full refund. We kindly ask that customers do not contact the Box Office, as our teams will be contacting you soon with further details regarding cancelled and postponed events.

We will take the decision to reopen the buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

Volunteers

 

If you want to help the most vulnerable across Widnes and Runcorn there are a variety of opportunities you can register to help for with Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action.

You may be able to deliver much needed supplies to the vulnerable and self-isolating; provide telephone support; share information and updates, and many other tasks .

You can register online or call them on 01744 457100, visit their website

Waste services

At present there are no changes to the waste collection timetable.

 

In line with national guidance, the Council recommends that households where waste that has been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, or is displaying symptoms and therefore self-isolating, should take extra precautions when securing waste for disposal.


Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

Restrictions are in place at the Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. Find out the details here.

 

 

Widnes Market

Please visit https://widnesmarket.com/ for latest updates