MORE than 5,000 households and 4,000 businesses have received support from South Somerset District Council as the area struggles through the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Baker added: “We are in a strong financial position due to our transformation and commercial strategy.

“It is important to recognise that every council across the country is being put under financial pressure by Covid-19 but we have been there for our communities from getting business grants out quickly, creating a hub for emergency supplies and ensuring anyone at risk of homelessness has a safe place to stay.”

Since the lockdown was announced, SSDC has:

  • Provided support to more than 5,500 households facing hardship
  • Provided business rate relief to 1,764 businesses with a value of £25 million
  • Provided business grants to more than 2,800 businesses with a total value of more than £33 million
  • Extended its customer connect service hours during the week and moved it to a seven day a week service and helpline to assist those impacted by the lockdown
  • Phoned hundreds of potentially vulnerable residents to check if they need help and support
  • Worked to get all rough sleepers off the street and support 180 homeless residents in temporary accommodation
  • Set up a completely new service – the Wellbeing Hub – which has provided more than 800 boxes of food and essential supplies to shielded people, vulnerable, those facing hardship and children entitled to free school meals
  • Coordinated and supported a network of community and voluntary groups to ensure everyone has access to help in their community

SSDC is currently calling on the Government to ensure it is fairly funded for its additional work during Covid-19.

But this will not have any impact on the delivery of Phase 1 of the Chard Regeneration Project, the district council has promised.