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Guidance

Coronavirus: Your questions answered

Last updated: 13 May 2020

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do

The government website has answers to the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Visit their Coronavirus outbreak FAQs page for more information and useful advice.

Public venues, events and activities

Please visit our dedicated Coronavirus: Parks, leisure and venues page for the latest information about:

  • parks and countryside sites
  • allotments
  • Council-run events and activities
  • Public venues, including Horsham Museum and The Capitol

Are there any plans to cancel public events or meetings?

Council meetings that are going ahead remotely. Details on individual meetings will be posted on our meetings calendar page

Food safety and food hygiene courses

All our training courses have been cancelled for the time being.

Can I get a refund on a Temporary Event Notice?

Unfortunately we are unable to issue refunds for Temporary Event Notices.

Community support

What are you doing to support the elderly and vulnerable

We are very aware of the increased need to support vulnerable people across our communities, and the enormous response from people wanting to help in any way they can.

How will this affect the Community Link service, as this involves home visits?

The team have taken preventive measures to ensure continuous service.

Will Community Link still be able to do their home visits?

Yes, the community link team are continuing home visits.

Support for those at risk of domestic abuse

Immediate risk to life comes before social isolation. The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

If you are at immediate risk of harm at home, dial 999.

For information, support and guidance, visit the Domestic abuse page on our website and the Coronavirus: Support for victims of domestic abuse page on the Government website.

Parking

Please visit our dedicated Coronavirus: Parking page for the latest information about our parking services.

Waste and recycling

Please visit our Coronavirus: Waste and recycling updates page for information about our waste and recycling service.

Council Tax and benefits

Our Council Tax, Revenues and Benefits service is administered by LGSS. For up-to-date information on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is affecting Council Tax and Benefits services, please visit the following pages:

The Revenues & Benefits service telephone opening hours are 10am - 2pm (Monday to Friday). This is so that colleagues can focus outside of these hours on customers who have contacted us by email.

Housing and property guidance

What are you doing to support rough sleepers

If you are homeless or facing homelessness please contact us by email housing@horsham.gov.uk. For Homeless Outreach Support contact us 9am-5pm Monday-Friday on 07519 110031.

Guidance for tenants and landlords

The government has produced a guidance document to advise landlords and tenants during coronavirus (COVID-19), and help with the following concerns:

  • Landlords who need to enter their tenants' property during this time
  • Tenants who are either need assistance at home or are worried about letting a contractor enter their home
  • Tenants and landlords who are in the middle of the eviction process

Government support for landlords and renters

There are measures in place to protect renters during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Read the Government's support for landlords and renters

Advice for businesses

Please visit our dedicated Coronavirus: Information for businesses webpage for advice and information on support available for businesses.

What can be done to support businesses/shops whose trade might suffer as a result of the virus?

The Chancellor has set out a series of measures to support businesses through the period of disruption caused by coronavirus.

Find out more on the government's support for businesses webpage

For business rates information, please visit the LGSS website.

Employment support

Journey to Work

Journey to Work is still available to residents of the Horsham District that need employment support during this difficult time. However, support will be conducted remotely via telephone or email. Please visit the Journey to Work page to get in touch.

WISH Club

Following government guidance, all WISH clubs have been cancelled with immediate effect and until further notice. If you need support, which we can provide remotely, please call 07783 222956 or email wish@setas.org.uk

Licensing

We are currently unable to accept any new applications for:

  • Taxi driver or vehicle licences
  • House to house collection licences
  • Street trading licences

Any existing house to house collection or street trading licences issued for the next three months are now cancelled.

Licensed taxi and private hire drivers should visit our Coronavirus guidance for taxi and private hire drivers webpage for advice and information.

Building Control

For information about how Building Control services are affected, please visit the Coronavirus: Building Control service updates webpage.

Planning

For information about changes to our services, please visit our dedicated Coronavirus: Planning services update webpage.

Will planning application decisions be delayed?

At this moment in time there is no delay to decision making or to the Local Plan timeframes and it is business as usual. Most of our planning department can work effectively from home and most planning decisions can be made at officer level so we should be able to continue to operate our service as normal. However if there is a need to cancel public meetings this could impact on the timescales for decisions which need to be made by committee (about 5% of all decisions).

Will the Draft Local Plan Consultation (Regulation 18) be extended?

At this moment in time there has been no change to the Government’s requirements for Local Plan preparation. This includes a legal requirement to review Local Plans every 5 years.  Although we will be discussing the possible impacts of the Covid -19 situation with the Government on Local Plan preparation, our current Local Plan will reach five years of age in November when our annual housing target will increase to 965 homes each year.  It is therefore important that we continue to prepare the Local Plan to existing timeframes in order to meet our legal requirements.

Council asks Government to pause its Local Plan process

Our Strategic Planning team will be continuing their work on preparing a new Local Plan for the Horsham District, and the Local Plan Consultation (Regulation 18) will continue as planned until the closing date of 30 March 2020. All our advertised consultation events were completed before social distancing measures became necessary, and our Local Plan documentation and exhibition materials are still able to view on our website. There is no change to the availability of officers in Strategic Planning to discuss queries or concerns about the consultation process by telephone or email. Copies of the Local Plan also remain available for purchase.

Visit our Local Plan web pages for more details

Is your Duty Officer service still operating?

We are currently suspending a face to face duty officer service and customer contact in our reception area until further notice. We will keep the situation under review.

If you need to contact the duty officer, you can do so by telephone during the hours of 10AM – 1PM (Mon-Fri) on 01403 215187 where a member of the team will take a message and arrange a call back.