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  • HMRC Business Support
    Article: May 26, 2020
    By Jim Harra, HMRC Business Help and Support

    The latest update from HMRC Business Help and Support is as follows:

    "I'm writing to let you know that the coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live on GOV‌.UK.

    If you're an employer with fewer than 250 employees, you can now claim for coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). If you have a tax agent, they can also make claims on your behalf.

  • Ian Chittenden
    Article: May 22, 2020

    The pandemic has had terrible impact on the lives and health of thousands of Kent residents and many other appalling consequences. But on a more positive note we have seen a significant reduction in traffic and a marked improvement in air pollution. With the prospect of further easing of the lockdown restrictions, it is vital that KCC takes steps now to keep our roads safe for all road users especially pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Sandgate Chain of Office
    Article: May 19, 2020
    By Tim Prater in Opening Remarks on Election as Chairman of Sandgate Parish Council

    I'm hugely honoured to have been elected as Chairman of Sandgate Parish Council. Thank you all for your support: I can only promise to do my best.

    Since the formation of the Parish Council in 2004, there have been four Chairman - Joy MacMillan, Jonathan Greenwall, Geoffrey Boot and Robert Bliss.

    Robert has been Chairman since 2011 and served longer than all other Chairmen combined. We've known each other since I stood in my first election in the area to Kent County Council in 2005 against him. He won. We've evened up that score since then, and become, possibly unexpectedly for both of us, good friends. I'm really honoured to be taking over from him as Chairman of Sandgate Parish Council.

  • Munira Wilson
    Article: May 18, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to ramp up mental health support for health and care staff in Kent and Medway to ensure "world-class" support for those tackling the virus head on.

    Highlighting the "deep scar" coronavirus will leave on health and care staff in Kent and Medway, the Liberal Democrats are proposing a package of mental health measures, including:

  • Ida Linfield
    Article: May 18, 2020

    Ida Linfield expresses concern that the Conservative Government is suggesting that lorry drivers entering Kent ports need not be tested for the Coronavirus bug.

    The Government is about to implement two week quarantine rules for the majority of travellers coming from Continental Europe. In recognition of the importance of keeping freight moving, lorry drivers arriving in Kent will be exempt from quarantine but they should not be allowed to travel all over the UK without any form of check on their health.

  • Trudy Dean
    Article: May 14, 2020

    Trudy Dean, the Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson, has written to Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council, asking for this year's Kent Test (11+) to be scrapped.

    Trudy's letter follows below:

    Dear Roger,

    As you will be aware, Rosie Duffield has raised the issue of cancelling this year's Eleven Plus tests due to the effects of CV19. I had already placed an item onto the list of those for discussion at Cabinet Scrutiny for next Tuesday, as parents of year 5 children will need to decide very shortly whether they feel it is safe to send their children back to school in June. I am aware that the test process must be agreed in advance by schools, some of which already set their own additional entrance tests. Whilst I don't think that cancellation is the only way forward, there are clearly a number of issues of concern which need to be discussed with schools and parents urgently.

  • Tim Farron (By JackWilfred (Tim Farron 02, July 2016.jpg) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: May 9, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats are at the forefront of cross party calls for urgent additional funding for local authorities going "above and beyond" in their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

    In a letter to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the cross party group of more than 20 MPs highlight the pressures cash-strapped councils are under, with a funding shortfall of £5 billion at a time when they are being asked to rapidly scale up support for the most vulnerable.

  • DVSA email update
    Article: Apr 29, 2020

    Below is an update from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency regarding travel to France:

    "We are contacting you to update you on entry requirements for those driving to France, following further changes from the French authorities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Certificate for International Transport Workers

  • Debit and Credit cards [Plastic money]
    Article: Apr 28, 2020
    By Kent and Medway Growth Hub in Email to Businesses

    The Government announced a new loan scheme for small businesses.

    Aimed at the UK's smallest firms, the scheme will offer loans of between £2,000 and £50,000.

    • Businesses can borrow up to the value of 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000.
    • The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months.
  • HMRC Job Retention Scheme Email
    Article: Apr 27, 2020
    By HMRC Business Help and Support

    Below is the latest update email regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from HMRC:

    "Wages for furloughed employees are now being paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, just six working days after claims opened.

    Payments for claims made on Monday 20 April will be in employers' bank accounts by tomorrow (28‌‌ April).

  • Teacher Bulletin
    Article: Apr 23, 2020
    By Department for Education

    The following is an excerpt from an email from the Department of Education to teachers. The sections quoted may be useful to parents:

    Support for remote education

    This week has seen the launch of several online resources with DfE backing. We have published a set of high-quality resources on GOV.UK, and many suppliers are making their own resources, both online and hard-copy, available to schools for free, including:

  • HMRC Job Retention Scheme Email
    Article: Apr 23, 2020
    By HMRC Business Help and Support

    "As part of the government's commitment to supporting employers through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees' salaries through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    The following live webinar provides a step-by-step guide on how to make a claim through the scheme.

  • HMRC Furlough Scheme Site
    Article: Apr 22, 2020
    By HMRC Business Help

    More than 285,000 businesses have already applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since it went live on Monday 20 April.

    To be sure payment comes through to you before the end of the month, you will need to apply today (Wednesday 22‌‌ April).

    Accessing the system

    HMRC have noticed that some people have had difficulty accessing the system because they do not have an active PAYE enrolment. In order to make claim you will need to:

  • Article: Apr 22, 2020

    The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have released figures on local authority Covid 19 grant payments as of 20 April 2020.

    The data for the local authorities in East Kent is as follows:

    Local Authority Initial Allocation Identified grant recipients Number of grant payments made Value of payments (£) Payments made/Identified recipients (%) UK rank/315 Value/Allocation (%) UK rank/315
    Ashford Borough Council £30,262,000 2,646 1,546 £18,505,000 58.43% 134 61.15% 96
    Canterbury City Council £48,240,000 2,728 1,628 £21,380,000 59.68% 124 44.32% 217
    Dover District Council £27,634,000 2,040 1,205 £14,330,000 59.07% 129 51.86% 161
    Folkestone and Hythe District Council £28,808,000 2,297 1,551 £18,090,000 67.52% 69 62.80% 86
    Thanet District Council £40,108,000 3,036 1,896 £20,985,000 62.45% 105 52.32% 156
  • HMRC Business Update
    Article: Apr 22, 2020
    By HMRC Business Help and Support

    "More than 285,000 businesses have already applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since it went live on Monday 20 April.

    To be sure payment comes through to you before the end of the month, you will need to apply today (Wednesday 22‌‌ April).

    Accessing the system

    We have noticed that some people have had difficulty accessing the system because they do not have an active PAYE enrolment. In order to make claim you will need to:

  • Folkestone Triennial 2017 exhit [house]
    Article: Apr 21, 2020
    By A message from Creative Folkestone Triennial

    As the impact of Covid-19 continues to reverberate throughout our community and across the world, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Creative Folkestone Triennial. Our priority lies with ensuring that our team, artists, partners and you remain safe and well. We therefore feel it would be irresponsible for us to continue as planned with Folkestone Triennial in September.

  • HMRC Furlough Scheme Site
    Article: Apr 20, 2020
    By HMRC Business Help

    You can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees' salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    This scheme will be open until the end of June 2020.

    Before you make a claim:

    • please read all the available guidance on GOV.UK before you apply
    • gather all the information and the precise calculations you need before you start your application - if you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this
    • you can find out more in the calculation guidance where you can access a claim calculator - this will allow you to check your claim for most employees who are paid the same amount each pay period
    • access our simple step-by-step guide for additional help.
  • Sad old man
    Article: Apr 6, 2020
    By Rob Bird

    Amongst all the shocking statistics of deaths attributable to Covid-19 it is easy to forget the large numbers of people who die from other natural causes each day. Many of these people are cared for, with compassion and dignity, in our hospices.

    Hospices are an intrinsic part of our society. They also take pressure of our hospitals and social care services, which is vital at the current time.

  • Article: Apr 2, 2020
    By Dr Katharine Harvey - Chief Economic Development Officer - Folkestone & Hythe District Council

    "Dear Business Owner

    I wanted to provide an update on some of the key initiatives to support businesses in our district:

    • Coronavirus Business Grant Scheme for businesses in Folkestone & Hythe District - all businesses that are eligible for these grants have been contacted by our Business Rates Team by email or post. To access this grant some details are required to make these payments, so please see the link below to where this information can be provided on an electronic form. Our systems require software changes to make these payments, so please bear with us while these are being implemented. However, please be assured that we are working as hard as possible to get these grants to you as soon as we can. https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/business-grant-fund
    • Local Telephone Help Line for Folkestone & Hythe businesses - the council has part-funded a dedicated business support telephone helpline which is being run through the Kent & Medway Growth Hub by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce (KICC). The helpline number is 0333 3602300 and will be open 8:30am - 6.30pm Monday to Friday.
    • Folkestone & Hythe High Street Fund - launched in Oct 2019, this grant scheme supports improvements and encourages new and innovative ideas to help our high streets adapt and thrive in the future. The fund is still open for applications but these will not be reviewed until September. The Economic Development team will not be able to offer support in developing project ideas during this time, but all approved projects will continue to be processed.
    • Independent Retail & Hospitality Business Support Programme - this support programme covers all elements of a business review, including how to best use social media and/or other platforms to continue to trade during these difficult times. Any businesses in Folkestone & Hythe interested in accessing this support, please email economy@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk.
    • As part of this initiative a webinar is to be held explaining two new initiatives that have come out of the current covid-19 situation which are designed to help local businesses - Ben Pearce from digitalbeans, a leading digital agency based in Canterbury, who has launched a FREE online store solution: https://yourlocal.delivery/, designed to support local businesses in Kent and Floortje Hoette, Chief Executive of Produced in Kent, who has created a new directory website Help Kent Buy Local https://helpkentbuylocal.co.uk/. The webinar details are Friday 3rd April, 2-3pm; Help Kent Buy Local; https://zoom.us/j/832545779?pwd=QzIzNldoSWV0TlZ5RXptWXJtRWhkQT09; Password: 739080
  • Article: Apr 2, 2020

    "Good afternoon,

    As part of the settlement reached with Ofwat last year following its investigations, we will reduce wastewater charges to existing customers and make payments to eligible former customers totalling £123 million over five years.

    For existing customers, this will be in the form of a bill reduction starting on 1 April 2020. In the first year, this will be approximately £14 per customer. In the following four years it will be approximately £9.

  • Non Domestic Rates Demand Notice
    Article: Mar 31, 2020

    The Government announced earlier in March that all businesses that received full Small Business Rate Relief would qualify for a £10,000 grant (non-repayable). There is now more news on this scheme, and for Folkestone and Hythe businesses a form to complete to claim the payment.

    Please note that I will link ONLY to the Folkestone and Hythe District Council website here for security to reassure you I'm not operating a scam.

  • Parking Sandgate High Street / Gough Road
    Article: Mar 30, 2020

    Folkestone and Hythe District Council are granting free parking permits for registered carers and pharmacists - on top of those already provided for NHS staff and doctors.

    Free permits will also be issued to those involved in the volunteer community support hubs set up by Folkestone & Hythe District Council.

  • Article: Mar 30, 2020

    We would like to update you on Rising Sun's response to the Covid-19 outbreak. This will be reviewed as the situation progresses and government guidelines develop.

    We are very concerned that self-isolation and social distancing restrictions will present increasing challenges and risks for survivors of domestic abuse and their families. We anticipate there will be increased household tension and domestic violence due to forced coexistence, economic stress, and fears about the virus.

  • Folkestone and Hythe District Council logo (Folkestone and Hythe District Council logo)
    Article: Mar 27, 2020
    By Dr Katharine Harvey, Chief Economic Development Officer, Folkestone & Hythe District Council

    Dear Business Owner

    Please see further information and links relating to government announcements over the last couple of days on our https://folkestone.works/coronavirus-business-updates/ website. These include:

    • Grants for businesses in Folkestone & Hythe District - to access grants some details are required by the Business Rates Team to make these payments. Please see the link below to the council's corporate website to provide this information on an electronic form https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/business-grant-fund
    • Self-employment Income Support Scheme - the government yesterday announced further support for the self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
    • Guidance for UK businesses trading internationally - advice is for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
    • COVID-19: guidance for staff in the transport sector - Updated 26 March 2020 - guidance to assist transport settings in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Rainbow Centre Logo
    Article: Mar 27, 2020

    The following update, regarding the Rainbow Centre, has been sent out by John Burgess, the Manager of the Homeless Support Service to various stakeholders:

    "Please note that the Homeless Support Service is implementing some changes in response to the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.

    We are delighted to hear that Folkestone and Hythe District Council have placed those individuals who we know to be rough sleeping, into emergency accommodation.

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