Bracing yourself for the financial impact of Covid-19 copied from an email by Community Action Suffolk

Community Action Suffolk continues to support the Voluntary, Community and the Social Enterprises of Suffolk albeit remotely, during these challenging times! We understand the impact that Coronavirus is having upon organisations both financially and in their capacity to be able to continue operating.

Many new organisations are setting up in response to the COVID-19 crisis which is heartwarming. Funding is starting to come into the County for those organisations who are impacting on the relief effort; if you would like further specialist support on setting up a new organisation and/or funding for a new one, please contact us directly here at Community Action Suffolk.

This newsletter is filled with funding information, helpful tips along with some updates. We want this newsletter to be valuable for you so please, please share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve.

Many of us have had to postpone and cancel events which some groups often heavily rely upon for financial solvency. There has also been an understandable decline in individual giving and with earned income through rent and trading having decreased, many of us are feeling the pinch. Now is a time to diversify your income streams and review your income generation plan and explore alternative options for your future endeavours.

We’ve pulled together some sector news which we will be providing every week so you can keep your finger firmly on the pulse.
Mobilize or Mothball

Many charities will be needed now more than ever with many providing essential services, but in some cases ‘furloughing’ of staff where deployment is not a possibility may be a way of you keeping sustainable in the short term.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

For information take a look here:

library infolrmation

Suffolk Libraries will be closing the county’s library buildings to the public for the foreseeable future from the end of Friday 20 March and the mobile library service will be suspended

All library events and activities have already been suspended to ensure the safety of customers and staff, but SCC will have access to run a Children’s Centre from a library where there is that arrangement in place.

Suffolk Libraries has suspended charges for overdue books and extended reservation and return dates indefinitely, so customers do not need to worry about renewing or returning items. Suffolk Libraries is also promoting its extensive and free eLibrary services during the closure. There are around 60,000 items available including eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines and newspapers. You can also stream music, films and documentaries.

People will still be able to contact Suffolk Libraries’ customer service team with any enquiries. The team are available Monday to Friday 9-5 and can be contacted at or by calling 01473 351249. As staff are now operating this service remotely, customers will have to leave a message and someone will get back to them asap.

Other ways to access the library service while the buildings are closed will be announced in the coming weeks as Suffolk Libraries continues to support the response to local need.


Recycling information

All Suffolk Recycling Centres be closed from today (Monday 23 March) until further notice.

We will shortly put out public information announcing the closures and advising residents:

• That much of the waste that goes through the Recycling Centres is bulky waste (large items such as furniture, wood and metals) and garden waste. People should hold onto these items until the sites reopen. Do not put any electrical items in any of your bins at home.

• Where possible people should compost grass cuttings and hedge trimmings and if you can’t do that keep your garden waste until we reopen. For more information on how to compost at home please visit

• Please do not leave any waste outside the Recycling Centres – staff should concentrate on delivering waste services and leaving waste outside the centres is classed as fly tipping and is a criminal offence for which people will be prosecuted.

FCC Environment staff, who operate the Recycling Centres on behalf of Suffolk County Council, may be redeployed to assist other essential services across Suffolk if needed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A series of tweets will also be sent out by the SCC corporate communications team.

For further information please visit

Business Support in the Corona Virus Emergency

Council encourages businesses to apply for funding

East Suffolk Council is now processing the payment of grants for local businesses provided by the government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Eligible businesses are being asked to complete a straightforward online form which will capture the data required by central government and allow the Council to make payment to each eligible business as soon as possible.

As part of this process, and to ensure as many businesses as possible are aware of the funding available to them, East Suffolk Council is also writing to over 7,000 businesses who may be eligible for the grants – the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund. The Council will also promote the scheme through the media and online channels.

The first fund offers a grant of £10,000, announced by the Government to support small businesses (which receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief). The second is a grant of either £10,000 or £25,000 depending on rateable value, for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

Once each business has completed the online form, they will receive an automated email to complete receipt of the form. The Council will then undertake verification checks and make payment of the grant as soon as possible. Once payment has been submitted to the business an automated email will be sent to confirm payment has been made.

Cllr Craig Rivett, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “We are in unprecedented times and this funding is a lifeline for many local businesses. We have a responsibility to ensure they can access it as quickly as possible and by setting up a clear and straightforward online form, the application process will be as smooth as possible. We hope to encourage everyone who is eligible to apply and get the funding they deserve.”

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.

The online form and full details about how to apply with full eligibility criteria can be found at:

Quick note on ward member co-operation

I have a conservative ward member colleague, I am civil to him but I know he is not my friend. Sorry to spoil the non-political atmosphere of Martlesham and Purdis Farm.   The fact is that the Lib Dems are resurgent and the only ways he can defeat me at the next election because troubles are coming is to implicate me in a scandal or if I don’t do anything of use to the residents of my ward.

Tim Farron – The Leader

Parish councilor  Edward Thompson welcomed the election of Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Tim Farron said that under his leadership, the party would oppose the cuts to tax credits and other benefits in the Conservative’s budget and push for greater spending on infrastructure such as transport and broadband.
At his first speech as leader, Tim said “If you care about human rights join us. If you think you shouldn’t have your emails snooped on join us. ‎If you think everyone deserves a decent home join us.” You can watch Tim’s inspirational speech here.
Parish councilor Edward Thompson said, “These principles are at the heart of what drives the Liberal Democrats, our members and activists. More than ever Britain needs a party that will stand up for what we believe in, so we’re continuing our fightback and I’m asking local residents to be part of it.”
There has never been a more important time to join the party.
Across the Country since the General Election 17,000 people have joined the party. Locally we have been joined by dozens of new activists and members this year, including a number after the cut off for voting in the leadership election, one of which I personally allowed to use my mobile phone to join. The Liberal Democrats have also seen stunning election victories at local council by-elections across the UK, beating both Labour and the Conservatives.
If you would like to join please go to and join the FOCUS teams fightback.