coronavirus

Council supporting Chesterfield businesses to understand the latest COVID guidance

Chesterfield Borough Council is continuing to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to carry out spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses, in all areas, to ensure they are working safely.

Earlier this month the Government launched its autumn and winter plan, which contains public and business guidance as we approach the winter, including on ventilation, face coverings and test, trace and isolate.

HSE are working to simplify the process by sharing this information and ensuring that all businesses know the HSE are continuing to perform spot checks on behalf of local authorities. Businesses will be contacted in Chesterfield to check that measures are in place to help tackle and continue to reduce the risk posed by COVID-19 transmission. If you receive a call or a visit, it is important to act upon the guidance given.

Chesterfield Borough Council’s Environmental Health Team are continuing to work alongside local public health authorities to support the understanding of any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the area.

During the checks HSE provide advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers, and visitors but where some businesses are not managing this, the local authority will take immediate action. This can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.

Working to manage the transmission of COVID means that businesses need to conduct a risk assessment to understand the measures they may require to protect workers and others from coronavirus. For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different business sectors please read the government guidance.

Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “As coronavirus restrictions continue to be revised, the legal duty for businesses to follow the advice to stop the spread of COVID-19 remains.

“We are talking to local businesses and visiting and inspecting sites in and around Chesterfield to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity. Our Environmental Health Team have a great understanding of the current restrictions and are able to help businesses adapt to the current environment.”

HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of areas that include poor hygiene and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day.

Councillor Dean Collins, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “All businesses are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are working safely to manage the risk of spreading COVID. It’s important that we work closely with businesses and support them to ensure they have measures in place to manage the risks. Ensuring these businesses are safe to visit not only benefits the health of the local community it also supports the local and national economy.”

For the latest information and safer business guidance, see  Coronavirus: latest information and advice – HSE news

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Derbyshire reaches one million vaccine doses

Vaccination teams across Derbyshire have passed the landmark of administering one million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

The vaccination programme began on December 8, with an average of more than 6,000 doses per day administered by teams operating out of 27 different sites.

Derbyshire has the highest first dose vaccination rate in the Midlands and the fourth highest in England, having reached more than 71% of the adult population. The only systems in England to reach a greater proportion of adults are Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly.

Derbyshire is the third system in the Midlands to reach the one million mark, and Joined Up Care Derbyshire executive Medical Director Steve Lloyd paid tribute to the efforts of the thousands of people involved.

“This vaccination programme is the biggest ever undertaken by the NHS and its success is a tribute to the efforts of so many people in so many different ways,” he said.

“GPs and practice staff have been right at the forefront, managing the existing workloads while also mobilising to deliver an incredibly successful programme. Staff from all over the system have been involved, putting in countless extra hours to organise and run the whole programme and the vaccination sites themselves.

“Our partners organisations, especially Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, have been vital parts of the programme, providing expertise, staff and facilities to make this all work. So many different organisations have been involved, from the acute hospital trusts to councils, DHU Healthcare and many others.

“The Local Resilience Forum has also been a vital part of the process, providing support and co-ordination at a high level across multiple organisations.”

“A special mention needs to go to the volunteers who have done so many hours, often in difficult circumstances of bad weather or unsociable hours. Their dedication and good will have helped us reach the one million vaccine mark.

“But we need to remember that we still have a long way to go. Hundreds of thousands of people still need to receive vaccinations, including the important second dose, and we still need volunteers and staff to be part of the next phase. We’ve done brilliantly so far, but the job isn’t done yet and we know that significant challenges will lie ahead both in completion of the current phase of this programme and into the future as it potentially becomes a booster programme alongside other routine vaccinations.”

Chesterfield Mayor, Cllr Glenys Falconer receiving a vaccine at The Winding Wheel

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Chatsworth supplies hundreds of ready meals to the vaccination frontline

Chefs at the Chatsworth Estate have begun creating ready meals for distribution to Covid vaccination centres across Derbyshire, with hundreds of meals being delivered to frontline workers every week.

Hot food for hard working volunteers and staff includes Chatsworth favourites such as lasagne, macaroni cheese, cottage pie made with local beef, and mushroom and leek risotto among others.

Instead of preparing meals for visitors to Chatsworth, for the past few weeks chefs in the Carriage House Café kitchen have been cooking ready meals to provide vaccination staff working long hours with fuel for the fight against Covid. Chatsworth’s delivery drivers have been dropping off meals at destinations including Chesterfield Royal, St. Oswald’s in Ashbourne, Royal Derby and others among the county’s 24 vaccination centres.

Derbyshire has shown that it is leading the nation’s vaccination roll-out – in one week recently, the country vaccinated the second highest proportion of eligible residents in the whole of England.

Chris Baily Jones, Head of Catering at Chatsworth: “The vaccination drive in Derbyshire and elsewhere is absolutely vital in making us all safe for a way out of lockdown. We’re determined to do our bit to support Derbyshire NHS and all the people working such long hours to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

Ready meals for Derbyshire vaccination centres has been made possible with funding from Chatsworth Estate alongside personal contributions from a number of individuals at Chatsworth. The Devonshire Group community forum, which includes Chatsworth, is chaired by Lord Burlington, son of the Duke of Devonshire, and was set up at the start of the Covid pandemic to reach out and support local communities.

A large number of charitable organisations are supported by the Devonshire Group through donations of money, items and complimentary tickets, and by offering savings on commercial rates. In 2019, charitable giving across the Devonshire Group amounted to £334,452.

For more information on Chatsworth and the community, visit https://www.chatsworth.org/about-chatsworth/our-shared-future/

Chatsworth supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through  Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Images supplied by the Chatsworth House Trust

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Innovation enables The Sanitaryware Supplies Company to flourish during the pandemic

Chesterfield’s Sanitaryware Supplies Company has seen an upturn in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to an innovative hygiene solution which has helped in the fight against the virus.

The foot-operated hand sanitising station came about because the company was selling wall mounted one-litre sanitiser dispensers online, but were asked on a few occasions if it could provide a bulk product which could dispense both gel and foaming soap from larger containers.

Designers then took the product a step further by creating a “no touch solution” for use in both indoor and outdoor settings.

The unit is operated by pressing a pedal at the front, which in turn dispenses liquid gel or foaming soap gel (at the choice of the customer) through an aluminium nozzle. All parts used on the units are supplied from local companies.

The design of the new sanitising station also means fewer changes of the liquid and a lockable unit which prevents the theft of hand washing gel.

Andy Dukelow, director at The Sanitaryware Supplies Company said: “As far as we are aware it is the only foot-operated dispenser on the market which can offer both types of dispensing (gel and foam). Also we have the only unit which is fully enclosed and lockable and can dispense 5,10 or 20 litre bulk-fill containers.”

The first sales of the new sanitising station were individual units to schools, factories and restaurants, followed by a national soap and gel manufacturer who wanted to take them into their portfolio to offer alongside their liquids.

Andy added: “We have since supplied them to schools, Amazon warehouses, cleaning companies, rail workshops amongst others and recently Chesterfield Football Club as a trial site for stadia.

“We have had good feedback from them and have already had enquiries for future units into local football clubs once crowds are allowed back in. In total we have sold over 150 units to date, starting in August 2020.

“We think that once we are out of lockdown, the sales will once again increase as we already have an enquiry for 500 units pending for another national company.

Sales of the new foot-operated sanitising stations, along with other projects such as new ‘Dado panels’ which are used on the inside of rail carriages, enabled the firm to achieve sales over and above those achieved in the same period of 2019 by 40%.

Andy said: “As part of our hygiene and handwashing portfolio we have supplied a large number of hygiene disposal units and scrub up troughs to the NHS, care homes and health centres as they increased their Covid compliance.

“We have also supplied wash troughs to schools, where under new guidance all schools should ensure pupils wash their hands before entering.”

The Sanitaryware Supplies Company supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Derbyshire Voluntary Action urges Chesterfield residents to step forward as community champions

Derbyshire Voluntary Action is urging people in Chesterfield to help their community to stay safe and protected from covid-19.

The charity and third sector support group says we all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and each other safe and protected from Covid-19 at the moment, and this newly-launched initiative makes it easier to do just that.

Jacqui Willis, Chief Executive of Derbyshire Voluntary Action, says “Looking at the latest information about coronavirus in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, it’s clear that we would like the number of confirmed cases to be dropping much quicker than it is currently.

“We are on a plateau at the moment, which is frustrating and disheartening because we all know that the sooner the numbers come down, the sooner we can look forward to lockdown coming to an end.

“We are asking individuals, voluntary and community groups and organisations, businesses – in fact any community spirited person from any walk of life – to come forward to be a Community Champion and to share positive messages about how to stay safe and protected from the virus.”

Community Champions receive the latest information, updates and advice about Covid-19 through Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s regular e-bulletins and social media channels.

They undertake to share the information with other people in their community in whatever ways they want – in conversations, on social media, or in any other way of their choosing.

They are also encouraged to keep in touch to let Derbyshire Voluntary Action know what is and isn’t working in their community so there can be a collective approach to responding to the virus in the way that will work best in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire.

For more information and to sign up as a Community Champion, visit https://dva.org.uk/community-champions/, call 01246 555908 or email info@dva.org.uk.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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East Midlands Chamber urges businesses to donate spare laptops to children – and help secure a future workforce

East Midlands Chamber has urged businesses to donate spare IT equipment to homeworking parents who may be unable to afford laptops or tablets for their children.

With schools closed during the third national lockdown, it means many employees must balance work with childcare duties.

But after concerns have been raised that not everyone can afford the necessary equipment for online home schooling, the Chamber says there will be some companies that can step in to offer support – and it may even bring benefits to their business.

Director of resources Lucy Robinson said: “It’s become increasingly clear throughout this pandemic that Covid-19 is only serving to widen gaps between people according to their socioeconomic groups.

“We absolutely must not allow this to also lead to a widening of the education gap as there’s plenty of evidence to show how important a decent education is to setting children up for a good career – enabling them to contribute to the local economy in future.

“There will be many businesses that have spare laptops and other IT equipment lying around offices unused as a result of either temporary or permanent reduction in headcounts. We would encourage companies to help out by either loaning or donating kit to their own employees who fall into this category, or to schools and dedicated charities.

“Such actions can form a key part of CSR activity, which we’ve seen is becoming increasingly vital to employees who want to work for organisations that share their values, while it could also improve productivity as we’re hearing more and more about disruption to business as a result of home-schooling.”

Chamber donates laptops to Chesterfield school

The Chamber will deliver eight laptops, eight computer towers and eight monitors this week to Ashover Primary School, based near the organisation’s Chesterfield head office, following on from a donation of 12 laptops and three towers last year.

The Friends of Ashover Primary School group has helped to wipe the equipment and certify the destruction to maintain the Chamber’s data security compliance.

The school’s headteacher Sue Myhill said: “This gesture has really cheered us up at what is an incredibly challenging time for everyone.”

Some 47 laptops have also been donated to the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance charity’s IT recycling service since December 2019.

Lucy added: “During 2020/21, we made significant investment in upgrading a large amount of IT equipment that was either outdated, not fit for its designed purpose or required repair. Rather than send usable equipment to landfill, we decided to repurpose and donate it to good causes.”

Chamber member donates to Derby-based not-for-profit that helps schools access equipment

Heanor-based bus operator trentbarton, which provides services in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, has donated two laptops to Enterprise for Education (E4E).

The group is a not-for-profit public-private sector partnership based within Derby City Council’s education department that aims to mobilise the city’s workforce to help young people prepare for both life beyond school and the world of work.

Jeff Counsell, managing director at trentbarton, said: “Like many businesses, we have been moved by hearing about children unable to do as much remote schoolwork as they need during lockdown.

“Some are struggling to do any and some families with more than one school-age child face added difficulties.

“We are pledging our support by donating laptops for the children of families in our community and we urge any other businesses that can do likewise to join in.”

Arshad Iqbal is programme leader for E4E, which works with Chamber members such as the University of Derby, Rolls-Royce, Freeths and Bowmer + Kirkland to support every secondary school in Derby and a number of primary schools.

He said: “There’s a lot of talk that schools will remain closed beyond the February half-term and yet there’s young people at home who don’t have access to a laptop or broadband – meaning they have a fundamental barrier to education.

“In many cases, there’s two children in a household in different age groups, but one laptop between them – and there’s one school we work with where there’s five children sharing a single laptop.

“This makes it difficult not to just access the normal school provision, but also extra educational resources, such as those offered by the BBC and the employers we work with that are trying to encourage more children to take STEM subjects from a young age.”

Arshad said there’s plenty of research that highlights the correlation between doing well at school and having a successful career, while a 2017 study from the Education and Employers charity found that students who had at least four encounters with employers before leaving school would be 86% less likely to become a so-called “Neet” – not in education, employment or training.

He added: “We’re asking businesses if they would be able to donate an old laptop or, alternatively, sponsor the purchase of a new one, offering one small step towards these young people accessing the education we know is so important to success in later life.”

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Record 2020 results for Mortgage 1st despite pandemic

Back in March last year when the pandemic began no one had any idea how the year would pan out and like most businesses Mortgage 1st’s objective was to survive. They have done more than that since and are absolutely thriving!

Their business model was already built around offering remote advice so when COVID hit they didn’t have to change anything about how they operated. This meant there were no interruptions for their customers who continued to receive the same quality service and support.
Other than adjusting to working from home (whilst juggling home-schooling!) for their Chesterfield based head office team, it was pretty much business as usual for Mortgage 1st.

The team confidently navigated and adjusted to all the changes in the mortgage application process and sympathetically dealt with the delays caused by the initial lockdown and tighter lender restrictions ensuring their customers remained top priority throughout.

When the Estate Agents re-opened and valuations and surveys were allowed to take place again in the spring, it was like someone had flicked a switch and the new enquiries came flooding in. So much so that Mortgage 1st were then able to confidently continue with their ambitious growth plans and recruited 7 new Mortgage Advisers and a Mortgage Processor during the summer adding to the 2 new Advisers that had already joined the team earlier in the year.

With a strong team in place and the abundance of new customer enquires meant a record year of results across the board for Mortgage 1st. Their Advisers applied for 1,672 new mortgage applications equating to £301m worth of lending and they arranged 827 insurance policies to ensure their customers were fully protected financially.

Lisa Stones, HR & Marketing Director, Mortgage 1st said: “We are unbelievably proud of our team and the resilience they have shown during 2020. It’s been the craziest and toughest year in our history and to achieve record results is testament to everyone’s hard work and sheer determination. We have grown even stronger as a team over the last year and are all feeling very positive about what 2021 will bring for our industry, the business and us all personally.

January is always the busiest month for new mortgage enquiries and already 2021 is shaping up to be another fantastic year for Mortgage 1st. Their recruitment plans continue at pace and by the end of March an Apprentice, Mortgage Administrator, Mortgage Processor and 4 new Advisers will have also joined the team.

Mortgage 1st supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

 

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Winding Wheel one of seven new COVID-19 vaccination sites

Chesterfield’s iconic Winding Wheel theatre is becoming Derbyshire’s latest COVID-19 vaccination site today, continuing the rapid rollout of the vaccination programme across the county.

The site will begin vaccinations on Thursday morning, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and it will be followed closely by a second Chesterfield vaccination site at Wheatbridge Surgery on Saturday.

The Chesterfield Borough Council-owned Winding Wheel becomes the tenth primary care vaccination site serving Derbyshire. It is the first of a new wave of openings, with six other sites also opening in the coming days.

The Winding Wheel is a Grade II listed building, built in 1923, and was previously the Picture House Cinema. It normally hosts a popular programme of arts and entertainments, but has been converted into a vaccination site through the hard work of teams from several organisations working together.

The Winding Wheel will initially only carry out vaccinations for healthcare workers, while patient vaccinations are carried out at the nearby Wheatbridge Surgery, ensuring Chesterfield is well provided. Some Chesterfield patients may also be offered appointments at Stubley Medical Practice in Dronfield, if that is more convenient for them.

This start of vaccinations at the Winding Wheel site marks the start of a new wave of openings, including the county’s most southerly vaccination site so far, in Swadlincote. The full list of this wave of openings is:

Winding Wheel Theatre, Chesterfield
Wheatbridge Surgery, Chesterfield
Littlewick Medical Centre
Springs Health Centre, Clowne
Buxton Medical Practice
Shirebrook Sports Sports Hall
Oaklands Village Commmunity Centre, Swadlincote

Vaccinations at the Winding Wheel are being carried out by Chesterfield & Dronfield Primary Care Network (PCN), representing 12 GP practices. Vaccinations are all by appointment only.

People should not contact their GP about a vaccination unless asked to do so, and should not attend any vaccination site without an appointment.

Derby & Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is managing the rollout of the vaccine across the county, and CCG medical director Dr Steve Lloyd said the opening of the Winding Wheel was another big step forward.

The Winding Wheel is such a treasured and historic part of Chesterfield and I’m delighted that it is playing an important in this major vaccination programme.

Carrying out vaccinations at the Winding Wheel means we can provide this vital vaccine to the people of Chesterfield and its surrounding areas in a location well known to most people.

Teams from the PCN, Chesterfield Council and Derbyshire Community Healthcare Services and the CCG have all worked incredibly hard to get this vaccination site up and running, and I’m really proud of their efforts.

The contrast with the modern surrounds of Derby Arena, which opened just last week, demonstrates how flexible, thorough and determined our teams are to identify and prepare the most appropriate venues to reach as many patients as possible.

I’m also particularly pleased that we are beginning vaccinations in Swadlincote, which is our most southerly site yet and provides a vaccination site for communities of South Derbyshire.”

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted that the Covid-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out in Chesterfield. The use of The Winding Wheel Theatre, which the council owns and operates, as a local vaccination site is a huge step forward in our fight against the virus.

“We’ve been working closely with NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners to support the roll out and ensure that The Winding Wheel Theatre is ready to receive health care workers for their vaccinations. At this time, Chesterfield residents will be invited to have their vaccination at another local venue, and I urge as many people as possible to come forward and get vaccinated.

“Although this is a huge step forward, we must all make sure we continue to follow the Government guidelines and protect our most vulnerable.”

Vaccinations will be rolled out to more sites over the coming days and weeks, as the vaccination programme continues to build momentum.

The first vaccinations in Derbyshire took place at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital on December 8th, followed by the county’s first vaccinations at a primary care site on December 18th at Stubley Medical Centre.

Festival of Remembrance

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East Midlands Chamber survey shows region’s economic recovery is “treading water” – but businesses are confident about future

The economic recovery has stalled in the East Midlands as tightening Covid-19 restrictions took their toll on businesses, according to new research published today.

An East Midlands Chamber study found cashflow and advanced orders were significantly affected for many firms during the final quarter of 2020 as the second national lockdown in November – straddled by the most severe tiered coronavirus restrictions imposed on the region and the uncertainty leading to the end of the Brexit transition period – undermined resilience to future shocks and the ability to respond to new opportunities.

However, the Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 2020 showed signs of light at the end of the tunnel as a net 16% of businesses in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire said they expected to create jobs in the three months following the study, which was conducted in November – while there were also positive indicators for turnover, profitability and investment intentions.

The restrained confidence for the prospects of 2021 was reflected in the Chamber’s State of the Economy Index, which aggregates the survey data to provide an overall “health score”, as it flatlined following the rebound of Q3.

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at East Midlands Chamber, said: “Future pricing intentions started to creep up as increases in raw material costs – along with access difficulties – began to impact on manufacturers. Advanced orders and bookings were down for many as the national lockdown in November caused some to pause their plans and a general sentiment of ‘wait and see’ started to pervade the conversations of some.

“In conversations with businesses, many spoke of a ‘weariness’ and ‘fatigue’ at navigating themselves and their staff through the difficulties of the past 10 months.

“However, there was still an undercurrent of tentative optimism for the coming year, as reflected in the confidence indicators for future turnover and profitability, perhaps acknowledging that the current predicament can’t last forever.

“The economy, as a whole, hasn’t slipped back to the place it was in during May and June, nor has it continued its rebound from that position. Instead, it can best be described as ‘treading water, waiting to see whether the final days of a year that asked more questions than anyone would have anticipated finally delivered some answers.”

Key findings of East Midlands Chamber Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 2020

Some 476 businesses across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire took part in the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 2020.

A third of these were from a manufacturing background, while 200 exporters were represented within the cohort.

Key findings from the survey, conducted between 2 and 23 November, showed:

• Sales decreased for a net 9% of businesses involved in the UK market and net 17% of firms in the overseas market in the three months leading to the survey
• Advanced orders for the three months following the study were down for a net 14% of companies in the UK market and net 21% of those with international operations
• Cashflow worsened for a net 15% of companies. This was the fourth consecutive quarter in which this indicator fell into negative territory
• Investment intentions were in positive territory, with spending plans revised upwards for a net 2% when it comes to buying new plant, machinery or equipment, and a net 10% for training
• A net 6% decreased their workforce during Q4 but a net 16% expected headcount to increase over the first three months of Q1 2021
• Business confidence levels remained stable after a deep fall over the summer. A net 35% of firms expected turnover to improve in Q1 2021 and a net 20% predicted a rise in profitability

What policymakers must do in 2021 to help businesses

The Chamber models the survey data across a range of key performance indicators, including sales and orders, recruitment, cashflow, investment intentions and confidence, to produce a quarterly State of the Economy Index, which enables it to compare local business performance quarter-by-quarter.

In Q2, the score fell to -411, its lowest level on record and the first time it’s fallen into negative territory. It was back into positive territory for Q3 – but only just at +17 – and there was only a three-point increase to +20 in Q4.

This means it remains the third lowest score on record and 221 points lower than the pre-Covid survey for Q1 2020.

Chris added: “It’s clear that 2020 was unprecedented, unpredictable and created amazing levels of uncertainty. Much of what has gone on has been out of businesses’ ability to control. However, under those circumstances, with one hand tied behind their backs, they have worked to manage those factors that they can control, looking for internal efficiencies, improvements in quality and new opportunities.

“As we move into 2021, policymakers must do likewise. It is in their gift to control the nation’s capacity for testing, the speed at which a vaccine is rolled out and the availability and reading of data on how the pandemic is progressing.

“They can also control the levels of business support provided, the rules as to how it’s accessed, and the measures that exist to allow businesses to reopen and make money without Government support.

“It is essential that we get this right for 2021, particularly as we begin the year in the worst possible manner with the prospect of at least two months of national lockdown.

“Despite all the challenges of the past year, the vast majority of businesses have made it through – with some even finding opportunities to excel. If the first half of 2021 follows a similar pattern to the past six months, then more of those currently treading water may sadly slip under.”

 

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Chesterfield company’s pledge to help get local community finances back on track

A Chesterfield company has opened up a new office in the town as part of its efforts to support clients and the wider community in its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sovereign Wealth want to help reassure people and local businesses who are concerned about the recent economic uncertainty caused by the virus, or those who have been hit hard financially.

Dominic Fallon, Partner of Sovereign Wealth LLP and founder of the Chesterfield branch said: “We’ve decided to focus our energy on where we feel we can help the most in the local community. At the moment, financial plans that may have seemed secure pre-Covid should be re-evaluated. Financial decisions made before March 2020 were not based on the current economic environment.

“Volatility in equity and financial markets are rightly causing concerns, and it’s important to understand any knock-on effects on pensions or other financial arrangements, and how to protect them.”

When life becomes unpredictable, it’s easy to feel out of control with finances, but it doesn’t have to be like that, says Dominic.

“One way to help yourself through this is to seek the best advice. We are bombarded by information daily about recessions and dips, and often these aren’t the things we need to be worrying about, but we do as they are at the forefront of our minds. One way to stay sane and stop worrying unnecessarily is to seek reliable, dependable advice, and getting to know the whole situation, not just now, but any long-term financial implications. This way, you can make an informed decision.”

“We’ve set up an office in Chesterfield so that we can work Covid securely; we have the correct distance requirements etc. Much safer in the current climate for our clients. But, we can also use Zoom for clients who can’t manage to get to the office.”

But Dominic’s aim to help the community doesn’t stop there. Working with other local businesses, Dominic and his team and working to give something back to the community of Chesterfield this Christmas.

“Everyone has struggled this year, whether it be financially or mentally, and we wanted to give something back. We are working with other local businesses to organise a food collection which will be distributed to local schools to pass on to any families who might struggle without school meals over the holiday period. If you have any food items to donate, please drop them to our office at Sovereign Wealth LLP 3 Old Road, Chesterfield S40 2RE. Give yourself the feel-good factor – there is no better feeling than doing good.”

If you’d like to sign up for Dominic’s top tips to keeping calm through the pandemic, you can email Dominic.Fallon@sjpp.co.uk

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Chesterfield to fall under highest level of local restrictions (Tier 3)

Chesterfield – along with the whole of Derbyshire – will be under the highest level of local restrictions when the national lockdown ends on 2 December.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We understand the concern and frustration that today’s announcement will cause for many people, particularly local businesses which have already endured so much disruption and hardship this year.

“In particular, we know the county-wide tier three restrictions will hit our hospitality and tourism industry hard in the run-up to the festive period. This is something which I and all other Derbyshire council leaders highlighted in an urgent letter to Government this week, urging them to consider less strict rules for our area.

“But unfortunately, while we have seen some improvements in infection rates, they remain too high.

“We must all continue to play our part and abide by the updated restrictions when the national lockdown ends, to continue to slow the spread of the virus, reduce pressure on the NHS and protect the most vulnerable. In doing so we can lower infection rates, and hopefully move to a lower tier in time.

“Our community’s resilience will continue through these ongoing challenges, and as we prepare for the festive season I know this spirit will keep shining through, even though our celebrations must be different this year.

“As a council we will do all we can to keep essential services running for local people, as we have since the start of the pandemic. However, there will be some ongoing impact on some of our services when national restrictions end on 2 December – we are currently reviewing this and more information will be available on our website and social media channels as soon as possible.”

Find out more details about the current restrictions on the Government website: www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know#very-high-alert

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