Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates - 2020-11-24

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Liverpool City Region Covid19 Updates
... and Important Emergency Notices ...

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This page last updated on 24 November 2020


Liverpool City Region announces UK's 1st fund to support ‘excluded and forgotten' in retail and hospitality sectors

MORE hospitality and leisure businesses and their supply chains in the Liverpool City Region are set to benefit from a new ₤9.5 million COVID support fund. Believed to be the 1st of its kind in the country, the fund will be open to small and micro businesses; including some of those excluded from national support schemes like the self employed, sole traders or home based and their supply chains; within the, hospitality and leisure sectors. There will also be support for businesses in non-essential retail. The funding is the latest round of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority's ₤40 million COVID emergency fund which was 1st announced when the City Region was placed in increased Covid19 restrictions in October. Businesses based in:- Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral are eligible for support from the new ₤9.5m fund. As well as expanding eligibility to some of those businesses excluded from national support schemes, local supply chain businesses in the sector are now also eligible for the 1st time. The announcement comes as political leaders from across the North and London step up pressure on the Government to address the needs of the 3 million people still excluded from national Covid19 support packages.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, on behalf of the LCR Council Leaders and Mayors, said:- "We are doing everything we can to protect as many local jobs and businesses as possible, who are under threat from the impact of Coronavirus. This latest round of local funding will be open to the sorts of small and micro businesses that have so far had to get by without any help from national Government. Thousands of people depend on these businesses for their livelihoods and they are at the very heart of our communities. However, we remain deeply frustrated that, although we can now provide support for more businesses in the, hospitality and leisure sectors locally, we still do not have all the funds we need to support everyone excluded from national support schemes. It defies belief that almost 3 million hard-working people; childminders, booksellers, accountants, entertainers and many, many more; have been left without support since this Pandemic started. These small business owners, freelancers and the Self Employed showed the entrepreneurial spirit the Government so often calls for yet, when they need support most, the Government has not been there for them. So today we are calling on the Chancellor to right the injustice done to the 3 million excluded from support, when he delivers his spending review tomorrow."

Detailed information on eligibility and the applications process will be released later this week via the 6 City Region Local Authorities.


"Be responsible" this Christmas

FOR 5 days over the Christmas period, starting 23 December to 27 December 2020, the leaders of all 4 of the UK's nations have agreed to a:- 'limited easing' of restrictions. Over that time frame, unto 3 households will be able to meet up. Also, it has been agreed that places of worship will be allowed to open and travel restrictions will also be eased. But, the existing rules on hospitality and venues will remain and the:- "Christmas Bubble" formed must be:- "exclusive." This means households will not be able to get together with others outside the 1 or 2 households, within that bubble and that it must not be changed or be extended further. The travel restrictions will allow travel across the 4 nations, and between Tiers, to allow people to visit families in other parts of the UK. For those going to Northern Ireland, or from Northern Ireland, they will be given an extra day either side of the 5 day period, in order to allow them more time to travel. But the virus is not going away and people are being asked to:- "think carefully about what they do" to keep the risk of increased transmission low. This follows calls from the UK's Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Chris Whitty, who has said we all need to have a:- "public spirited approach" to this easing. This will mean adhering to the restrictions in the lead up to Christmas, being responsible with the opportunity the relaxation and then immediately switching back to compliance. This might be a tall order and we risk breaking the very fine balance that we have to achieve between the harm the virus can cause and the societal and economic impacts of trying to control it, should we fail to do this.


Passengers are playing their part in helping to keep everyone safe

MERSEYSIDE'S Residents travelling on public transport are being thanked for following the rules and wearing face coverings on services after an action day revealed high levels of compliance. PCSOs patrolled the city Region's bus network and reported 92% of people were adhering to the rules and wearing face coverings on Monday 9 November as part of the 1st in a series of action days organised by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Merseytravel, transport operators, Merseyside Police and British Transport Police, as part of their Covid19 response work through the Local Resilience Forum. Officers spoke with hundreds of passengers on bus services across Liverpool and Wirral about the importance of wearing face coverings for the whole journey to help stop the spread of Coronavirus and explaining exemptions. The team also made sure passengers are aware of all the advice about how to travel safely which includes:- planning journeys, paying by contactless or pre-paid tickets and being respectful to other passengers and transport staff.

Councillor Liam Robinson, Portfolio holder for Transport and Air Quality at the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said:- "Mayor Rotheram said from the start of this Pandemic that face coverings were a key part of helping stop the spread of the virus, and that if we look out for each other, wear face coverings and follow the guidance, together we could get through this really challenging time. So, I want to say well done to all our residents who are playing their part and acting responsibly on our transport system. It's been hard for everyone, but people's basic courtesy and shared desire to protect each other has not surprised me but nevertheless been really impressive. Now is the time to keep up the good work, we can't afford to be complacent and I'd stress that we need to continue to follow the rules to help keep our families, friends and communities safe."

The awareness day was held in response to reports of concerns that some students using public transport to get to and from School, College and University were not adhering to the rules. Officers targeted a number of routes and have been delighted with the positive attitude and levels of compliance. Students who will be returning home from university in a couple of weeks and are considering using public transport are urged to make sure they follow the latest advice and travel safely. Visit the:- "Re-Think Travel" campaign for more information about public transport services and key advice. People should not use public transport if they are experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms, are self isolating as a result of Coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms or have been told to self isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.


FSB leads coalition calling for Directors' Income Support Scheme

FSB is part of a coalition of small business leaders, tax experts and company Directors, calling for a Directors' Income Support Scheme to help thousands of business owners who have had no income support throughout months of Covid linked disruption. FSB, Forgotten Ltd, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a former Senior Advisor to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) have written to the Treasury to outline steps needed to help Directors, arguing that the ₤2bn to ₤6bn forecast cost of intervention pales in comparison to ₤55bn cost of furlough, and that millions of jobs are at risk unless urgent action is taken.

Many of those classified as self employed by the Government have been able to claim grants covering the significant majority of their incomes if they've been impacted by restrictions since the Spring, and can continue to do so until April 2021. By contrast, the Treasury and HMRC have stated that a comparable scheme for company Directors would be impossible to establish because many pay themselves in dividends and there is:- "no way" to establish whether such income is derived from business activity or other investments.  Founded on the principles underpinning the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, the groups are arguing a Directors' Income Support Scheme could be established by drawing on details regarding trading profits and remuneration submitted by business owners to companies house; largely through corporate tax returns; information that is already available to HMRC. The collective forecasts that the cost of its proposed scheme would be between ₤2bn and ₤6bn, depending on its scope. Last month, the National Audit Office (NAO) forecast the cost of Government income support for employees to be ₤55bn.

Michael Sandys said:- "The newly self employed and company Directors have been left with little or no help from the Government, and that has to change urgently. Which is why we've called for, in a joint letter, a Directors Income Support Scheme which would finally address the shortcomings that these individuals have faced, at a time when they still need to provide for their families. And with so many jobs already lost to this Pandemic, the Government must act in other ways to get people back into work and fire up the economy once again. At the very least, the 1st step is for the Government to make clear the future of the Jobs Retention Bonus, the cancellation of which has undermined confidence the administration has hoped to deliver. It's impossible to save jobs without saving businesses, which is why we need to see an increase to the level of support provided in grants, which aren't even covering rent let alone the myriad of other fixed costs businesses face. Small businesses are absolutely at the heart of our communities, and we rely on them more than ever, so we need to ensure that they have the right support in place during what should normally be a busy, successful and joyous festive period."


Change of journey fees waived for students travelling home for Christmas

THE UK Government suspends admin fees to enable students to rearrange journeys during the:- ‘student travel window' of 3 December to 9 December 2020. Students are being asked to travel home during this window to reduce the risk of transmission of Coronavirus and protect their families and communities Students who had already booked train tickets to travel home for Christmas before the announcement of the student travel window can now rebook their tickets to travel between 3 December to 9 December without paying additional fees. Students who bought an Advance ticket before 11 November 2020 for a date of travel after 9 December 2020 can now change their Advance tickets to travel during the window without paying a change of journey fee of up to ₤10. Flexible tickets such as Off Peak or Anytime can already be rebooked to another date without payment of an admin fee. The window from 3 December to 9 December 2020, coinciding with the end of the winter term, ensures that students can return home once the national lockdown restrictions have been lifted whilst minimising the risk of transmission of the virus to others.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:- "Students will be eager to be at home with their families after an unprecedented autumn term, and travelling during this window enables them to do so as safely as possible. By waiving change of journey fees, they can now rebook their tickets without being left out of pocket."

This is an extension of temporary measures introduced on 26 October 2020 allowing train operators and independent rail retailers to temporarily waive the usual change of journey admin fee for Advance tickets where passengers could not travel due to local Covid19 restrictions. For more information please visit:- Gov.UK
.


Energy firm to recruit School age board members from the North West

AN energy firm is recruiting School pupils from the North West to join its board and advise it on how to tackle climate change. The move comes in a year that has seen young people face unprecedented uncertainty with regard to their future career prospects, with more and more young people looking to green sectors for a sustainable career. 43% of young people in the North West of England say that the Covid19 Pandemic has made them worry about their future career chances, new research from Good Energy can reveal.

The research, which polled 18 to 34 year olds from across the UK, found that looking ahead, young people are looking for the chance to protect the planet as they enter the job market. 44% of 18 to 34 year olds across the North West think that green and sustainable sectors offer a more secure career path than those that pollute the planet, while 68% would prefer to work for an environmentally sustainable business.

In contrast, the average Non-Executive Board Director for a FTSE 150 company is over 60 years old. So Good Energy, a green electricity company based in Wiltshire, is taking the extraordinary step of recruiting secondary School-aged young people from the North West to apply to be ‘shadow' Board Directors, giving a unique opportunity for teenagers from the Region to gain unparalleled experience with a sustainable business before they have even left School.

With 42% of 18 to 34 year olds in the North West describing themselves as active eco-warriors, Good Energy is aiming to harness the enthusiasm, passion and ideas of the younger generation, ensuring that the company delivers on its promise to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Working with environmental education organization Eco-Schools, Good Energy is reaching out to Schoolteachers across the UK to help their students apply for the job of Board Director for Our Future. The final appointed 6 who will be appointed from a range of backgrounds; will be able to help guide the company on the social, climate, environmental and energy issues that matter to young people.

Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of Good Energy, said:- "Grown ups have had decades to act on climate change, but have blown-it. That's why we are taking the radical step of appointing a youth board. They have a better grasp of climate change and the best ideas on how can save the planet. We are seeking School pupils from the North West of England to apply to become a member of Good Energy's Future Board. We want them to advise us on the best ways to tackle the climate emergency."

Lee Wray Davies, National Manager at Eco-Schools, said:- "We know 1st hand how passionate and engaged young people are in protecting the environment. Energy is an area of huge importance to the future of the planet, and this is a brilliant initiative to make it exciting and get the younger generation involved in shaping the future of the energy industry. The Good Energy Future Board will communicate the role of renewable energy in tackling the climate emergency whilst providing kids with a valuable and practical life skill."

Andrew Harding, Community Coordinator at Cardinal Allen High School in Fleetwood, Lancashire said:- "At Cardinal Allen, our students feel really strongly about protecting the environment, so this is a brilliant opportunity for them to use their passion for tackling climate change while also working on their career skills. Our pupils are really excited about the prospect of applying for the Good Energy Future Board, and we think it's a brilliant idea to bring the enthusiasm and opinions of the younger generation directly into businesses. That way, our pupils can be at the heart of working towards building a greener future."

Further details of how young people can apply can be found online at:- GoodEnergy.Co.UK.


FSB leading coalition calling for Directors' Income Support Scheme and urging people to shop local this Christmas

RESPONDING to the Prime Minister's statement in the House of Commons on the new Tier system that is due to be introduced when the 2nd National Lockdown ends on Wednesday, 2 December 2020, the FDB says that it comes with mixed feelings. Relief as businesses allowed to open for Christmas, but concerns remain over threat of Tier 3 restrictions. Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Merseyside and Cheshire's Area Leader, Michael Sandys commented:- "Many small firms across England will be breathing a sigh of relief to hear that they'll be able to reopen their doors again after the second national lockdown ends. However, with Liverpool City Region having already faced Tier-3 restrictions, there is still a great deal of anxiety as businesses wait to discover what Tier they will be in and the impact it will have on their ability to trade. These have been trying and difficult times for so many, and with the festive season upon us it's never been more important to see trading resume once again. As a result of the Covid crisis, many are carrying excessive levels of debt and uncertainty into the New Year and, with a vaccine on the horizon, will be relying on a Christmas uplift to help them survive through the remainder of the Pandemic and beyond."

Within the Liverpool City Region, the Region's Business Group, which is chaired by the FSB, is calling on people to shop local for Christmas to support small businesses and the economy at this critical time. The group has also written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, calling for more funding to support local businesses hurting as a result of the 2nd National Lockdown. Michael Sandys added:- "We are grateful for those that have held back their Christmas shopping until this moment to support their local shops which means that, for the small business sector, Christmas shopping can finally begin. FSB, as Chair of the Liverpool City Region Business Group, has written to the Chancellor calling for more support for businesses and everyone can play their part by shopping local this Christmas. In addition, it is important the threat of suspending Sunday Trading laws is also parked, which would take trade away from small businesses to large supermarkets that have already benefited from the November lockdown of their competition."

Last month, before the 2nd National Lockdown, the most severe:- ‘Tier 3' restrictions were imposed on Liverpool City Region. FSB welcomed the ₤30 million support package but argued it would not be enough to help vulnerable and struggling businesses. With the Government to announce the new area Tiers on Thursday, 26 November 2020, uncertainty remains as to what specific restrictions local businesses will face. Ahead of tomorrow's Spending Review, FSB is calling on ministers to provide adequate support to protect local businesses and the economy. Michael Sandys said:- "For many small businesses the next few weeks should be the busiest period of the entire year, but City Centre, Towns and high streets have seen footfall collapse, and it's vital that there is a clear path for recovery. So that's why for whichever Tier a small business is placed under, the Government should match this with a strong, proportionate level of support. Liverpool City Region has played a leading role in the fight against Covid19, particularly with the successful piloting of mass testing, demonstrating bold leadership to halt the spread of the virus, protect our NHS and save lives. It is important that all of the good work done in recent years to make this a great place to live, work and invest is not undone in the next few days. The announced end of the 10pm curfew will be a welcome one for those especially in the food and drink sector, who traditionally would be seeing their profits soar over the Christmas period. It made no sense to close these safe, well regulated environments and create crowds of people on the street and on public transport. For all small firms, they'll want to know that any restrictions imposed upon them, reflect the advice and data from SAGE in highlighting exactly where and how the highest risk areas are across society. Pubs and bars who have kitchens and Christmas menus to offer will also welcome these new rules, but those who predominantly serve drinks may well be forced to make difficult decisions about their futures without the right levels of support. Those pubs forced to serve takeaways and click and collect meals in the strongest Tiers will be hard hit by these measures and will struggle to make it through to the New Year, these firms in particular will need targeted support. Hairdressers and salons too, who have worked hard to ensure they are Covid Ssafe will be pleased to be able to remain open and continue trading after what has been a tumultuous year for them. We know based on the evidence that these locations were not major transmission sites for the virus, so salons, barbers and hairdressers should be able to enjoy a strong December. The upcoming Spending Review from the Chancellor will be a crucial moment for him to reiterate his support for all small firms across the board. Not only is it vital to see help given to those who have seen trading fall through the floor, but also those who are yet to receive any support whatsoever."


Funding Approved and Work Starts on ₤17.8m Sci-Tech Daresbury Development

STEVE Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has announced an ₤8.4m investment in Project Violet, the next stage of development at Sci-Tech Daresbury, the world class location for high tech business and leading edge science. A ₤2.5m loan from the Urban Development Fund, together with ₤5.9m from the Combined Authority's Chrysalis Fund, provides cornerstone funding for Project Violet, which is expected to create or support 332 full time equivalent jobs. Lead contractor Willmott Dixon has officially begun work on the ₤17.8m Project Violet development, which will comprise 42,000 sq ft of speculative grade A office and innovation space, coupled with the highest energy efficiency standards, for dynamic, forward thinking science and technology focused businesses. The project will encompass two buildings (V2 and V3) providing 12,000 sq ft each and one building (V1) of 18,000 sq ft. Each building will provide floor plates of around 4,100 to 6,150 sq ft and as part of the work there will be major landscaping improvements around the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus. The progression of the Project Violet development underlines the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture's commitment to the future prosperity of the Liverpool City Region and wider North West through meeting the market demand for high quality workspace for high growth science, technology and innovation led businesses that are attracted to the area's unrivalled ecosystem of private and public sector business support, academia and transport connectivity.

Speaking about Project Violet, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "Our Region is very lucky to have Sci-Tech Daresbury, home to some world-leading businesses and research organisations who are doing some incredible work in the fields of science, technology and industries of the future. We've invested ₤8.4m to help the site continue to grow and succeed, and to ensure that we're able to offer the world class facilities to keep attracting new businesses and jobs to the area. This project alone is expected to create hundreds of local jobs. Retaining as many businesses, jobs and investment as possible, while attracting more will be really important in helping our Region recover from the economic effects of this Pandemic, but we're already making a start."

John Downes, Chief Executive Officer of Langtree and Chairman of Sci-Tech Daresbury, commented:- "The groundbreaking ceremony and funding confirmation mark 2 important milestones for not just Project Violet but also the development of the wider campus. These new buildings are a pivotal addition to the site, and will allow us to provide a home for more innovative businesses of all different sizes, from dynamic start -ups to established global firms. We're currently seeing strong demand for workspace from businesses developing products and services that will help the economy forward in years to come, and we're therefore proud to continue to develop our site to cater to this requirement. We're very appreciative of the Mayor and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for their support in helping us take the project forward. Willmott Dixon is undertaking its work in a conscientious and meticulous manner; both in terms of the stringent safety precautions on site and its approach to social value. We look forward to working closely with the team during the construction process on initiatives that will have a real benefit for local people in terms of skills and employment."

Anthony Dillon, Managing Director for Willmott Dixon in the North, added:- "We are proud to be underway on this exciting project, 1 that will be a catalyst for growth and a hive of excitement for so many innovative businesses of all sizes. We believe in delivering brilliant buildings, transforming lives, strengthening communities and enhancing the environment so our world is fit for future generations; Project Violet is a project that supports every one of those goals and we are committed to investing with local chain partners wherever possible as well creating new local employment opportunities."

also reponding to the news, Paul Vernon, Head of STFC's Daresbury Laboratory commented that:- "Science and technology are proven drivers of essential growth, creating jobs and opportunities for collaboration and attracting investment. The Science and Technology Facilities Council's Daresbury Laboratory, 1 of only 2 National Laboratories and part of UK Research and Innovation, has a pivotal role to play in this both Regionally and nationally. The hugely exciting Project Violet, combined with flexible access to UKRI's globally significant facilities and expertise available here to businesses, will continue to make Sci-Tech Daresbury unique, attractive and relevant for the challenges the country is facing. Through this next exciting milestone in its development, Sci-Tech Daresbury will continue to champion technology and innovation, while supporting the growing demand from businesses from across the North West and beyond."

Cllr Ron Hignett, Halton Borough Council's portfolio holder for regeneration, says:- "It's great to see work on this project get underway; it is a major milestone in the continuous development of Sci-Tech Daresbury. Project Violet will provide new accommodation to meet the growing demand from businesses, a place where they will receive the support they need to thrive and grow."

The development is funded using the Enterprise Zone retained business rates and investment from the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture. Funding provided by the LCR Urban Development Fund is backed by the 2014 to 2020 ERDF England Operational Programme and it is a new funding route to foster smart, sustainable and inclusive growth for our Liverpool City Region. Chrysalis is supported by the 2007 to 2013 European Regional Development Fund for the North West, under the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas ("JESSICA") programme. Designed by 7 Architecture, the new complex is situated at the gateway of the campus next to Keckwick Lane and Innovation Way.   The project is set to complete by the end of 2021.


Total UK cases Covid19 cases in and around Liverpool City Region

THE total number of UK Coronavirus (Covid19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by:- 11,299 cases and the total number now stand at:- 1,538,794 that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

THE total number of Covid19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be:- 608, within 28 days of positive test, according to the Department of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is:- 55,838, within 28 days of positive test. Deaths with Covid19 on the death certificate:- 66,713.

The number of Covid19 patients currently in UK Hospitals:- 16,158. The current number of Covid19 patients currently in mechanical ventilation beds in UK Hospitals:- 1,487 Daily number of Covid19 patients admitted to UK Hospitals:- 1,506.

In England, there are a total of:- 1,324,742 confirmed cases. North West - total of:- 296,113 confirmed cases.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the Liverpool City Region are as follow:-
 

Area and number of confirmed cases:- Risen by:-



National UK Lockdown

LOCKDOWN

 Liverpool City Region

Liverpool, 23,601 confirmed cases.

62

Halton, 4,523 confirmed cases.

27

Knowsley, 7,656 confirmed cases. 17
Sefton, 10,278 confirmed cases..

33

St. Helens, 7,398 confirmed case.

26

Wirral, 9,826 confirmed cases.

27

 
Colour Key:- 0  1 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30  31 to 40 41 to 50 51 to100 100 over  



The number of laboratory confirmed cases within Local Authorities around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

 

 

 Blackburn with Darwen, 9,251 confirmed cases.

 
Blackpool, 5,020 confirmed cases.

 Bolton, 14,542 confirmed cases.

 Bury, 9,351 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire East, 8,537 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire West and Chester, 8,662 confirmed cases.

 Lancashire, 45,436 confirmed cases.

 Manchester, 30,140 confirmed cases.

 Oldham, 14,302 confirmed cases.

 Preston, 6,929 confirmed cases.

 Rochdale, 12,092 confirmed cases.

 Salford, 13,005 confirmed cases.

 Stockport, 10,156 confirmed cases.

 Tameside, 10,108 confirmed cases.

 Trafford, 8,457 confirmed cases.

 Warrington, 7,946 confirmed cases.

 Wigan, 15,914 confirmed cases.

 





 

Daily reported Covid19 deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the 1st laboratory confirmed positive Covid19 test.   Daily and cumulative numbers of Covid19 patients admitted to Hospital. Data are not updated every day by all 4 nations and the figures are not comparable as Wales include suspected Covid19 patients while the other nations include only confirmed cases.
 

The latest UK R number is estimated at:- 1 to 1.1 with a daily infection growth rate range of:- +0% to +2%.


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