In this email
- Open letter from the NHS
- Financial support if you have to self-isolate
- Access green spaces safely
- Review of the district’s ward boundaries
- Repairs information for council housing tenants
- First NFDC shared ownership affordable homes for sale
- Southern Water services
- Correction – support bubbles
We are sending emails like this one to residents of the New Forest with information about our services, and updates as we respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
You can unsubscribe at any time – see the end of this email.
Open letter from NHS leaders in Hampshire and Isle of Wight
The NHS across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight needs your help.
COVID-19 cases are rising. Hampshire and Isle of Wight hospitals and GP practices are busier than ever before and there are huge pressures on NHS services.
Leaders have written an open letter asking for support during this time, encouraging residents to follow government restrictions and to remind family and friends to do the same.
Read the full letter https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/2055/Open-letter-to-residents-from-local-NHS-leaders-in-Hampshire-and-Isle-of-Wight
Financial support if you have to self-isolate
If you have to self-isolate due to coronavirus, you may be eligible for a £500 support payment.
You must self-isolate if
- you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- you’re waiting for a coronavirus test result
- you’ve tested positive for coronavirus.
To qualify for the support payment you must be:
- told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
- employed or self-employed and in receipt of certain benefits payments
- unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
Check eligibility and apply on our website at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/testandtracepayment
Access green spaces safely
The government has updated the guidance for using green spaces safely.
You should minimise the time spent outside of home, but can leave home to exercise.
Exercise outside of the home should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
Staying local means staying in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.
You can exercise in a public outdoor place:
- by yourself
- with the people you live with
- with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
- in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
- or, when on your own, with one person from another household.
Review of the district’s ward boundaries
The geographical boundaries of wards for the New Forest district have been reviewed by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).
The LGBCE is the independent organisation that looks at the electoral arrangements for councils across the country.
They do this so
- each councillor represents approximately the same number of voters
- ward areas reflect the interests and identities of local communities
Wards are geographical areas that are represented by an elected councillor/s.
There are currently 34 wards and 60 councillors for the district.
If the LGBCE’s report is approved by Parliament, from the date of the next NFDC local elections in May 2023 there will be 26 wards and 48 councillors.
The ward you live in does not affect your postal address, your school catchment area, or what doctors’ surgery you register with. The only change when the new ward boundaries start in 2023, is the name and area of the electoral ward for where you live may be different and you will be asked to vote for one or more councillors to represent that ward.
Part of the review, which started in 2019, included LGBCE asking local people for their comments on draft suggestions for boundary changes. This resulted in some changes to the proposed new ward boundaries.
The Commission have now made their final recommendations and the full report can be read at https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/hampshire/new-forest
You can find out who your NFDC ward councillor is at the moment at https://democracy.newforest.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx
Repairs information for our council housing tenants
There are changes to our housing repairs service due to the impact of COVID-19 and we are only carrying out essential maintenance and repairs.
See more information and latest updates at https://newforest.gov.uk/maintenance
First NFDC shared ownership affordable homes for sale
The first homes in the council’s new shared ownership scheme are now available for sale.
Two, new, semi-detached, 3-bedroom houses in Blackfield are available to buy under our new scheme aimed at getting local people on the property ladder.
Shared ownership aims to help those who can’t otherwise afford to purchase a home of their own on the open market. Purchasers buy an initial share of between 25% and 75% of the property depending on what they can afford, and pay rent on the remaining share. Further shares can be bought until the property is bought outright, with rent reducing as shares in the property increase.
If you have a local connection to the district and are interested in owning your own home but can’t afford to buy on the open market, shared ownership could be an affordable option.
Find out more and see the properties available for sale under shared ownership at https://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/1737/New-Forest-District-Council-shared-ownership
Southern Water services
Southern Water continue to provide their services, including emergency repairs, during lockdown.
They have developed safe ways of working during the pandemic and will ask customers to keep their distance if they need to visit your home.
If you or someone you know is vulnerable, you can be added to their ‘Priority Services Register’ to make sure help will be provided when it’s needed: https://www.southernwater.co.uk/account/extra-help-and-support
Correction – support bubbles
In the last email we incorrectly stated that ‘you MUST form your support bubble with a household who lives locally’.
The government advice is:
If you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.
See full support bubble guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household#who-can-make-a-support-bubble
Missed an email? Read previous residents emails at: https://newforest.gov.uk/article/1610/Residents-email-archive
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