Monday 26 February 2024
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More than 800 enforcement visits and 23 fines issued by council during lockdowns

Rushcliffe Borough Council served 23 fixed penalty notices to businesses found to be in breach of Covid restrictions during the pandemic, new documents have revealed.

And officers from the authority made more than 800 additional Covid-related enforcement visits, with the council stating “none would have been necessary pre-pandemic”.

The figures come as part of a report published by the council to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the authority.

The report confirms the full amount of business support grants handed out by the council to struggling businesses during lockdowns, as well as actions taken by the authority to support residents and community groups.

Councils like Rushcliffe and other authorities in Nottinghamshire were given powers and funding by the Government to launch enforcement action on Covid-19 breaches.

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This included setting up warden patrols across the county to ensure lockdown rules were complied with by both residents and traders.

And the figures show that, of the 23 fines issued to businesses not sticking to Covid rules, one West Bridgford business was forced to close after being “guilty of repeated breaches”.

On top of the 800 enforcement visits, a further 350 advisory visits were conducted to ensure compliance across the borough.

However, the council says overall compliance by businesses was “very high”.

Writing in a report, Catherine Evans, service manager for economic growth and property, said: “The environmental health team worked incredibly hard ensuring that businesses were complying with the Government guidance.

“Overall compliance levels amongst businesses was very high and this helped significantly by the advice and support provided by the team.

“In the initial lockdown, guidance was being updated regularly and the team had to keep up to speed with that to ensure they were giving the right advice.”

Her report also confirms the support payments issued by the council on behalf of the Government to residents, traders and the self-employed.

It states the authority has issued 531 payments of £500 to people on low income who were self-isolating, amounting to £265,500, with support totalling £324,394 given to social recovery projects and community food schemes.

More than £36 million was distributed in Covid grants to businesses, while £19 million was offered to traders and companies in business rates reductions.

Ms Evans added: “The revenues team, supported by colleagues from
other service areas, very quickly established a process for businesses to access grants.

“This saved many businesses and thanks to this rapid response the high streets of Rushcliffe are still well occupied with minimal impact on empty units.”

Her report will be assessed by councillors at the authority’s corporate overview group on May 3, following a request from members to assess the pandemic’s impact on the council.

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