Posted: Thu 26th Mar 2020

Updated: Thu 26th Mar

Free school meals changes to ‘grab and go’ packed lunches – Council give their commercial tenants rent holiday to help for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 26th, 2020

Wrexham Council have announced a range of further measures, and we are told they are ‘looking at everything possible across Wrexham’, with future actions to come.

Cllr Mark Pritchard, Leader of Wrexham Council, said in a now regular joint statement with Ian Bancroft the Chief Executive of Wrexham Council, “The UK has changed dramatically over the past few days and – as you know – we’re only providing critical council services now. These are things we’ve identified as absolutely crucial to our communities and the running of the council. Social services, sheltered accommodation, emptying bins and other things that people really depend on.

“Our staff are working hard to keep these services going, but it’s a challenge. A challenge like we’ve never faced before.

“As our customers and residents, there are things you can do to help us – so we can keep these services going, and provide help where it’s most needed. Call volumes to council phone numbers are extremely high, so please only contact us by phone when it’s absolutely essential and about a critical service.

“This means our staff can provide a quick response to people who really need it.

“Please continue to keep your distance from one another and follow the Government’s instructions. By staying apart, we’re saving lives, and helping to keep Wrexham as safe as it can be.”

Today the council have announced information on Free School Meals, saying they are working hard to try and provide free school meals to children who aren’t in school at the moment.

The Council say, “If your children are entitled to free school meals, you’ll be able to collect ‘grab and go’ packed lunches from one of the following sites from tomorrow.”

The service will be provided during normal school days.

Caia Park Estates office
Plas Madoc Estates office
Broughton Estates office
Gwersyllt Estates office
Rhos Estates office (Stiwt)
Memo Hall Wrexham
Plas Pentwyn Coedpoeth
Llay Resource Centre
Overton Library (Cocoa Rooms)
Ysgol Y Waen Chirk

“You can go to the nearest site. Packed lunches must be collected between 11.30am and 1pm by a parent or carer.

You will need to give staff the name of your child / children and the school they attend, and you’ll only be able to collect a packed lunch for your own child / children.

The council point you need to follow social distancing measures, maintaining your distance from other people.

School Transport changes have also been announced, as from Monday (March 30th) home to school transport will be suspended until further notice across the county borough. This is to reduce non-essential travel and to ensure social distancing of children.

SEN (Special Education Needs) home to school transport will continue for children travelling to their usual facilities.

The council say take-up of home to school transport has been extremely low this week, which has also contributed to the decision.

The new chargeable Garden Waste service has also been postponed, and staff dealing with payment calls will be helping those calling in about underlying health issues shortly. The council were due to implement a new garden waste collection service in April that residents would have to pay for each year.

“We’re now suspending the introduction of that service, and will continue to collect everyone’s garden waste for free for as long as we can. We’re unable to issue any refunds, but if you’ve already paid the £25 you’ll get a full 12 months service from when the scheme begins so you won’t lose out. You don’t need to contact us, as we have a full record of customers who’ve paid so far.”

“To help ease pressure on our Contact Centre staff, we won’t be taking payments for the new scheme until further notice, and will only be handling enquiries for critical services.”

“If you haven’t already paid, don’t panic. We’ll start taking payments again when the emergency is over, and we’re in a position to introduce the new service. Easing pressure on our Contact Centre staff is really important, as people with underlying health conditions will be receiving letters from the Government in the next few days, and some of them will need to contact us for support.”

Wrexham Council are also the landlord of some commercial properties, with tenants getting email updates about rent and service charges changes. The council say, “If your business is affected by the current situation, then a three-month ‘holiday’ period on rent and service charge payments is available (between April 1 and June 30).This is the same time-period the Government has suggested for mortgage ‘holidays’. Payment for the three months will still be due at the end of June, unless there’s a need to extend the holiday period (we’ll continue to be guided by the Government).”

With the lockdown in place, Wrexham Council are asking for dog owners to support social distancing, “We’re asking dog-owners to keep their pets on the lead at all times in parks, public open spaces and public footpaths.”

Wrexham Council also say they are continuing to provide its service to people who might be threatened with homelessness. Adding, “We’re asking customers to phone the homeless referral number on 01978 292947, so they can be assessed over the phone to ensure they receive appropriate accommodation, advice and support.

“We’ve put in place urgent arrangements to protect those at the most acute end of homelessness – our rough sleeper community. This will help people move off the streets so they can protect themselves and others.

“We’re working with all of our partners to provide additional facilities so that those without a home are safe, have access to temporary accommodation, good sanitation, access to food and clean water, and can safely self-isolate.”

“Any person sleeping rough is encouraged to contact us on 01978 292947.”

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