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Royal Mail stops asking you to sign for a delivery to prevent spread of coronavirus

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Royal Mail has set out their new procedures for delivering goods that usually need a signature.

They say that Public Health England (PHE) has advised that people receiving parcels are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus assing that from experience with other coronaviruses, they know that these types of viruses don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or parcels.

However in a statement they have said they will not be handing over their hand-held devices to capture a customers signature. Instead the postmen and women will log the name of the person accepting the item. They say this will apply to all deliveries that require a signature.

In their information they have published they say:

Additionally, for all customers (including those who are self-isolating) where we need to deliver any parcel that won’t fit through your letterbox, we will place your item at your door. Having knocked on your door, we will then step aside to a safe distance while you retrieve your item. This will ensure your item is delivered securely rather than being left outside.”

They add that if you are unable to come to your door they will isse a ‘Something for you’ card advising other ways you can arrange to collect your item. One example they have given is by getting a friend or family member to collect the parcel from the local Customer Service Point on your behalf. In this situation, and to keep your mail as secure as possible, they will need to bring along the card we left you and a form of ID in the name of the person the item is addressed to. Full information on acceptable forms of ID can be found hereOpens in a new window.

Royal Mail added:

“We are actively monitoring this rapidly evolving situation. We take the health and safety of our people very seriously. We have provided guidance to our people, our customers and communities in which we operate, to help prevent the spread of any infection. We are doing so in line with preventative guidance from Public Health England.”

Business

‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open

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Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting https://grantapproval.co.uk

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