Eastbourne COBR Meeting 21st April 2021
Darrell Gale - PHE Update
Cases are very low at present, which is great. PHE will monitor this after schools return from half term and as lockdown eases. East Sussex is the lowest Tier 1 authority in the country at present, Rother is the lowest Tier 2 authority. Eastbourne is down to 10 new infections which is very low.
Testing is picking up again. Positive outcome is down to less that 0.5% of those tested. No deaths in Eastbourne for 2 weeks.
90% of population have had first vaccine. The lowest uptake is in the Devonshire Ward. It might be a language issue. Also, they may be hearing anti-vaccine messages from their home countries.
Please share the positive message about all vaccinations to all your networks, especially in the area near the Pier.
The Kent variant caused a spike in deaths in January which was significantly higher than the deaths in lockdown 1. This is back down again and is now very low. At the moment (March and April) we are seeing deaths lower than at the same period at any time in the last 5 years.
PHE have issued guidance for major events like Eastbourne tennis to protect the community. Event organisers have to arrange testing of participants prior to events. The risk is new variants which testing should uncover.
DG is optimistic about the tennis and observed that the feelgood factor of the event is really important to the whole town.
Rough sleepers vaccination uptake will be given at the next meeting although there are only 3 verified rough sleepers recorded in Eastbourne at the moment.
Pharmacies are offering lateral flow tests for employees to test at home twice a week but uptake is slow. All staff at all businesses are encouraged to get lateral flow tests from local pharmacies and test regularly. Staff don’t have to share the results however.
Alternatively tests can be delivered to your home address if ordered via the NHS portal here:
Ian Fitzpatrick - EBC Update
B&H placements are down to 117 from over 200. They are now making block bookings in their own area. The EBC senior team are still meeting up regularly to keep up the pressure.
EBC have paid out £15.3m Covid grants to 3000 businesses since November. The grants will be closed shortly so apply now if you think you are eligible.
Restart grant applications are welcome.
A Welcome Back Fund is available to boost the look of the town. Lisa Rawlinson is working on this with the BID.
Levelling Up Fund is focused on town and culture and is being worked up now ready for the June deadline and includes Black Robin Farm, Victoria Place and Towner.
The Community Renewal Fund is revenue based and closes at the end of April.
The traveller camp behind the Sovereign Centre is being dealt with by the Police and Neighbourhood First. Seafront patrols are being increased.
The empty Mothercare unit at Hampden Park retail park will become a vaccination centre soon.
IF will confirm the remaining ARG fund by email. Nick Ducatel will feedback details about the exceptional hardship grant differential between large hotels and guesthouses as it doesn’t look proportionate.
MB wants to know which organisations have received funding, what they are doing with it and how it is controlled. IF will communicate this via The Herald.
Mark Cotman – EHA Update
Good meeting with stakeholders about the ARG fund received.
The Chamber is working on digital support for businesses across the town including SEO, digital marketing and online shopping. We will be applying for an ARG grant to offer this as the visitor survey has made it clear how heavily visitors are relying on the internet to research and book visits this year.
SH mentioned that a Covid air purifying scam is being hand delivered across the town and looks very official. Be aware!
Businesses are reporting that the opening week has been strong. 32 welcome signs have been installed and destination signage and cross street banners. Also a social media campaign is underway to promote the high street.
The BID will be working with the LTA to make a splash in the town during tennis week.
MB mentioned that EU settled status assistance is being re-started by TechResort as there is a backlog of applications to catch up.
MB suggested a Covid memorial for the people who have died in Eastbourne from Covid. Carolyn Heap is arranging an interfaith event to commemorate Covid deaths.
Street pastors are back out there again across the town.
They will be communicating the funds paid and activity undertaken with The Herald.
Photo credit: Roman Grac from Pixabay