To receive a statement from the Leader of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.
The Leader described today as a sombre day.
Not only was the contribution of our service men and women in two world wars and other conflicts being remembered, but the country was also back in national lockdown whilst the fight to get Coronavirus back under control was continuing.
Tribute was made to the Mayor and the Civic Office and all those who were involved in the making of such a beautiful film to mark Remembrance Day at the weekend. It was, of course, deeply regrettable that the occasion could not be marked in the usual way, but it was a fitting online tribute observed by many hundreds of people.
Referring to the National Lockdown, as of Thursday, 5th November all areas across England were again subject to new tighter restrictions. These restrictions would remain in place until Wednesday, 2nd December when they would then be reviewed.
In the last week (to Sunday 8th November) there had been a further 1,166 positive cases in Rotherham, the fourth highest weekly increase across South Yorkshire.
Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust had seen 28 COVID-19 deaths in the last week, an increase of +23. This brought the total number of deaths registered from COVID-19 in the Borough period to 382. As of 3rd November the 7-day infection rate was 505.3 per 100,000.
There were 122 hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients which was a slight reduction on the week before. Two patients were requiring mechanical ventilation.
There were some signs that the corner was beginning to turn. There had been four or five days now where the number of new infections had fallen. The number of inpatients in the hospital was lower than it was about 10 days ago and because of the progress made in treating the disease, the number of patients requiring mechanical ventilation was lower than would have been expected during the first wave.
For some Members of this Council, those infections and illnesses may have touched you and your families directly and thoughts and prayers today were with all those and others similarly affected.
Further, the Community Hub and Rotherham Heroescontinued to provide support for the most vulnerable residents.
In terms of the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable; unlike the first Lockdown, people over 60 were not being advised to shield. Instead, the Government was writing to people who were Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV). For those that received this letter and needed support they should be asked to contact the Hub and register. Rotherham Community Hub and the Rotherham Heroes Volunteers could help.
It was noted that as of 10th November the Hub had received 196 new Registrations from people identified as CEV with 64 having requested support.
Drawing attention to Business Support, the Government had extended the Furlough Scheme at 80% until the end of March, 2021. All businesses with a rateable value would be eligible to apply for the Government Business Support Grant. The Tier 3 element was currently available to apply for on the website and since lockdown this would be available soon.
Across South Yorkshire and locally the Council’s Discretionary Business Support funding would be made available to continue support to smaller businesses and self-employed. The application process for the national scheme would be available through the Council’s website shortly.
In drawing to a close please continue to be careful, stay safe, and look after each other.
Councillor Carter referred to the Government announcement earlier in the week and asked if the Council had applied for the testing scheme referred to. It they had who had the request gone to and if not then for what reasons had the Council not applied.
The Leader confirmed he would come back to Councillor Carter on the specifics of his question, but confirmed the Council had expressed its willingness to take part in the national scheme and Rotherham was not chosen by Government to be part of the pilot scheme. He would respond to Councillor Carter after the meeting.