Keep Your Distance and Save Lives

As the weather has improved in recent days, we have received an increase in the number of complaints about social distancing not being followed, within our tenancies and in communal areas.

stay 2 m apart

We understand that it can be frustrating not being able to meet friends and family in person, but we must remind our tenants and other householders about the importance of following the national directive:

This will help:

  • Protect you, your family and others
  • Protect the NHS
  • Save lives

Thank you to the vast majority of people who are following this guidance and who understand the need for the restrictions to be in place. For others who choose to ignore the guidance, the Police have powers to fine anybody not following these instructions.

The Police do have the same powers in terms of communal gardens and spaces as they do for public parks to enforce social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

See the Police message in the video

We care about keeping everyone in Angus safe and well.

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Benefits advice, online calculator and Welfare Rights advice during COVID-19

Please visit the Welfare Rights service new webpage for all the latest benefit changes which have been introduced in response to the coronavirus situation.Benefits calculator

The page also has a link to the online Benefits Calculator (above) which is free to use, available 24/7 and no personal information is stored.  You can find out about new entitlements or check if your current entitlements are correct.  The calculator can also let you know how benefit entitlements change if your income and savings change.

If you need to contact our Welfare Rights team for benefit or debt related advice then please use our website.

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – NHS guidance in other languages and formats

To make the latest guidance about COVID-19 accessible for everyone, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government have now added translated information on coronavirus to the NHS inform website.

The guidance is available in :

– other languages: Arabic, Mandarin, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Romanian and Urdu

– formats : BSL and Easy Read

NHS inform logo

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Advice for Council Tenants Wishing to Give Up Their Tenancy – Update

If you wish to give up your tenancy you can do so in writing (no termination form will be required). You must give 28 days’ notice.

Your letter can be short but must contain:

  • your name and the names of any other joint tenant
  • the address of the property
  • your forwarding address
  • the date you are leaving – but note you must give 28 days’ notice
  • your reason for leaving
  • the signatures of all tenants

Please deliver your letter and your keys to your local Housing office

The addresses are as follows:
Arbroath/Carnoustie/Monifieth – keys for termination of tenancy should be delivered to the mailbox at Dewar House, 12 Hill Terrace, Arbroath DD11 1AJ. In the event that you are unable to do this, alternative arrangements can be made by contacting houarbroathcht@angus.gov.uk
Forfar/Kirriemuir – Montrose Road Centre, Montrose Road, Forfar DD8 2HT
Brechin/Montrose – Townhouse, High Street, Montrose DD10 8QW

 

Gas Safety Checks Continue During Coronavirus Outbreak

Since 17 March 2020 we have been following UK and Scottish Government guidance to avoid any unnecessary contact with others. We have also been encouraging residents to stay home and stay safe.

There are exceptions to this guidance and the Health and Safety Executive, has decided that the balance of risk is such, that it remains a legal duty of all landlords to conduct annual safety checks in relation to gas safety. This is because tenants rightly must be protected from the dangers associated with faulty gas services. Therefore we, as a responsible landlord, will be continuing our annual gas services checks.

Naturally, this is causing anxiety for many of our residents, some of whom are ‘shielding’ because of age or pre-existing conditions and we are now experiencing some difficulties in getting access into some homes to carry out annual boiler checks.

We would like our tenants to understand we want to keep our tenants, contractors and our staff as safe as possible from both COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and also from faulty boilers. We are very aware for the need to observe social distancing as far as is possible.

Therefore, when you receive your letter regarding an appointment to allow this essential gas servicing to take place, please contact the relevant Gas Contractor to let them know immediately if:

  • You or someone in your household is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms
  • You or someone in your household is self-isolating/shielding

WRB contact number: 01382 204030 and covers Arbroath, Brechin, Carnoustie, Monifieth & Montrose.

Saltire call centre contact number: 01698 743647 and covers Forfar, Kirriemuir and landward areas.

In these circumstances, we can postpone the boiler check and we will make an appointment for the work to be carried out immediately after your period of self-isolation/shielding ends. If for some reason we are unable to carry out these works, we must record the fact that it is related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you do not fall into the two categories above, we would ask you to allow this vital work to be completed. Please be assured that our staff and contractors are following government guidance in relation to hygiene and safety. Only people with no symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will be sent out and, when entering homes, they will clean/sanitise hands before and after each job and wipe down all surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes. They will also guide you and your family to assist everyone to maintain a safe distance of two metres.

We do also have protective clothing and equipment to carry out checks and repairs in households where a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is suspected or confirmed if necessary where an emergency repair is necessary and we would again ask that you mention this when contacting the service.

We are all facing a very challenging situation and by working together we can keep everyone; tenants, staff and contractors safe from both this virus and faulty gas services.

Reminder: Changes to Repairs Delivery Due to Coronavirus

As we announced previously, we are suspending the Right to Repair and we will only carry out certain emergency repairs to tenants’ properties.

The reduced list of emergency repairs which we will still do is:

  • Loss of heating and/or hot water – Total loss of both heating & hot water with no electric shower
  • Uncontainable leak
  • Sewage backing up and overflowing into the property
  • Serious security problem, such as a front door that cannot be locked
  • Loss of essential services, such as water or electricity

We appreciate only undertaking emergency repairs is frustrating for everyone, including ourselves.  However we take a zero tolerance  approach to abuse of staff who are complying with government guidance – abuse towards our staff will not be tolerated.

URGENTLY NEEDED: Volunteers to Support People Affected by the Lockdown

Working with local Health and Social Care services, Voluntary Action is seeking to recruit locally based volunteers to help deal with the impact of the Coronavirus COVID-19.

Volunteers will receive rapid training and support to undertake a number of tasks including:

  • Delivering food and prescriptions
  • Telephone befriending
  • Combatting poverty

Your help is urgently needed. You will be supported locally and supported by the Voluntary Action Angus central contact service.

Please sign up to help on the Voluntary Action Angus website

For more information contact:

Gary Malone:  Gary@voluntaryactionangus.org.uk

Hayley Mearns:  Hayley@voluntaryactionangus.org.uk

Let’s show Angus actively cares.

 

Affected by Covid-19?

Volunteers are being coordinated by Voluntary Action Angus to support people in isolation with:

  • Collecting prescriptions
  • Shopping
  • A regular, friendly telephone call

If you or a relative are in need of help and a local volunteer hasn’t put a card through your door, get in touch with the team on 01307 466113 or email info@voluntaryactionangus.org.uk

There is no charge for this service.

Support and financial advice during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Anyone who is experiencing financial difficulties, concerns or questions about their circumstances should seek out the right information and support as soon as they can.

We realise that some people who pay Council Tax and Rent may have their incomes affected as a result of the measures taken in response to COVID-19. That could result in them having difficulty in paying their Council Tax or Rent.

If you think you may have difficulty paying your Council Tax or Rent then please contact the Council as soon as possible on 03452 777 778 and we will discuss it with you.

We know that our phone lines will continue to be extremely busy so, if it is an option, please use our online services, including our Contact the Council webpage, which provides information on ways to get in touch and to access council services.

We also recognise that some people in Angus may now require to Access Welfare Entitlements, where they might not have needed to previously. You will find helpful information about Benefits and Money Advice on our website.

For more details on financial advice and assistance see the Angus Council News website.

See the Angus Council News general website for daily updates.

Changes to Repairs Delivery Due to Coronavirus

 INFORMATION FOR ANGUS COUNCIL TENANTS

On 17 March 2020 the Government advised that people most at risk from the coronavirus were strongly advised to reduce unnecessary contact with others. To slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the general public were asked to stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary social contact.

So we can achieve this, we have reviewed our housing repairs service.

To safeguard the health and safety of tenants, staff and contractors, we will only be carrying out emergency repairs inside tenants’ homes from Monday 23 March 2020.

We will continue to carry out all communal and external works to our properties as normal. In the meantime we are suspending the Right to Repair.

The reduced list of emergency repairs which we will still do is:

  • Loss of heating and/or hot water – Total loss of both heating & hot water with no electric shower
  • Uncontainable leak
  • Sewage backing up and overflowing into the property
  • Serious security problem, such as a front door that cannot be locked
  • Loss of essential services, such as water or electricity

When you contact ACCESS line to report a repair, we will ask you the following questions to help us determine how best to protect against the spread of the virus:

  1. Have you returned from any risk areas as identified by the government within the last 14 days?
  2. Has a member of your household returned from any of the same risk areas within the last 14 days?
  3. Has anyone you work or socialise with closely been subject to exposure for corona virus within the last 14 days?
  4. Are you in a vulnerable group as identified in government guidance?

We will then:

  1. Assess the repair required and if it is classed as emergency, your repair will be processed in the normal way.
  2. If your repair is not classed as Emergency we will not carry out the repair at this time,.
  3. Please be advised that contractors will be required to wear specialised personal protective equipment while in your property.

If you are reporting a gas repair to WRB directly you will be asked the same questions to allow them to assess how they will deal with your repair.

Once the risk has reduced and we are in a position to resume other emergency, urgent and routine repairs, we will advise of this as soon as we can. You will need to report any repairs we have been unable to do in the meantime. We are sure that you will appreciate how challenging the current situation is for everyone but, please be assured that our reason for this temporary measure is to keep tenants, staff and contractors safe.