Regular Coronavirus updates from James Sumner

COVID-19 update 27-03-2020

 

Concerns on paying the Pitch Fee or your Rent

The Government has announced help for individuals and businesses and published details of the support available online.

We are mindful that with the number of announcements being made in very short timescales that some information is not easy to find, or it has not been passed on as promptly as we would like.

Our trade organisation, the BH&HPA (British Holiday and Home Parks Association) and the Chamber of Commerce are following through with detailed practical advice on government announcements daily. This means that we are following the best advice available to keep the business as healthy as possible, and we will be using every endeavour to pass this on to residents and tenants alike.

This is an unprecedented situation across the country, indeed the world, and we will be applying as much forbearance as we can to help people by accepting part payments, or agreeing other individual terms.  The company will not be evicting people for payment shortfalls caused by this crisis as per Government’s policy of no evictions for 3 months, or where efforts have been made to manage the situation thereafter.

The 3 month “no eviction” policy is not yet set in stone as no one knows what the true scale of the pandemic will be, or how long it will take to resolve, and I will not be surprised to see further announcements on the subject.  We will endeavour to keep all of our staff, residents, and tenants abreast of developments by email updates as soon as practical.

If you have a specific query please let us know by telephoning us on 01344 884666 or by emailing us and we will try and help or advise you. We are all in this together.

Help for the Self Employed – Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

For those residents and tenants who are self-employed, the Government announced on Thursday (26/03/2020) that it will support self-employed individuals and members of partnerships by providing a grant of 80% of their monthly profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Further information is available online.

HMRC will calculate the size of the grant using the average monthly profits from self-assessment tax returns submitted for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits of less than £50,000 and where the majority of their income comes from self-employment.

The scheme will initially be open for a three month period and the self-employed will be able to make their first claim by the beginning of June 2020.

Individuals should contact HMRC now to check their eligibility and will be invited to apply once the scheme is operational.

Help in the Bracknell Forest Area

As I’m sure many of you will have heard there is a great drive to get individuals to help in these unprecedented times, and this has seen a surge in people offering to help the NHS in particular.  Bracknell Forest Council is following a similar process locally and is also looking for volunteers.  They are also asking any vulnerable people to make contact with Healthwatch Bracknell Forest on 01344 266911.

Further information is available online and guidance at the end of this message.

Water and Electric Meter readings

In line with the government’s advice on social distancing, we’ll be making some changes which will affect your meter readings this month.  All residents’ accounts will be billed using estimated readings.  We will be keeping this process under review and will return to actual readings as soon as practical.

Invoicing

Invoices should be arriving on everyone’s doorsteps as usual in the coming days.  We have been working with our software developer to design a system that gives us the ability to send out invoices to residents via email.  We anticipate having this developed and ready to activate before the end of next month.  Obviously we will seek your permission to use this method.

I, once again, would encourage those residents who may be on email, but are not receiving our email updates currently, to send us your email address as soon as possible so that you can be added onto the round robin list.  Please send your name, home address and email address to:

enquiries@warfieldpark.co.uk

SCAMS

We would also like to make everyone aware that there have been instances where individuals and gangs have taken advantage of the heightened sense of concern over COVID-19.  It is saddening to see that in such an uncertain time there are those who are seeking to take advantage of such circumstances for their own selfish benefit.  We would encourage everyone to be vigilant in these unprecedented times.  Further information is available from the Public Protection Partnership online.

And finally…

Before I sign off, you’ll be seeing members of our Grounds Team conducting general maintenance of the Park (and some pre planned work) from next week.  Clearly there will be restrictions on what they can do because of the current situation, but we will aim to maintain the Park to the usual high standard as far as possible.  Please be respectful of the latest social distancing guidelines from government by ensuring you are at least 2m (6ft) away from our team members at all times.

The coming days, weeks, indeed months, will be filled with uncertainty, but rest assured that we will try to help support you and the whole Warfield Park community. The impact of this is touching all of our lives and we’d like to reassure you that we’re here to help where we can.

James Sumner
Business Operations Coordinator

Bracknell Forest Support Info

COVID-19 update 24th March 2020

As I’m sure all of you will have seen last night the Prime Minister has, in effect, declared an all but total lockdown of the country. This is an unprecedented action during peace time and speaks of the seriousness of the issue we are facing individually and as a Nation.

Following the Prime Minister’s statement last night key Warfield Park staff were discussing provisional arrangements at approx. 21:00pm last night.  The Company’s Directors were updated of those initial discussions at approx. 21:30pm.  Initial guidance was published by Government late last night, on what premises are permitted to stay open and we have reviewed that early this morning.  Government guidance is that Residential Parks are currently able to remain open.

Therefore, we will be remaining open whilst the Government allows us to, and we will attempt to operate with a level of normality where possible, albeit with reduced staffing levels in line with Government guidance on social distancing.  There will normally be 2 – 4 members of staff performing business critical tasks in the office and 2 – 4 members of the grounds team conducting pre-planned works.  We will, as always, try to respond to queries and issues as quickly as we are able to, however, please be aware that we may not be in a position to respond as quickly as we would like.

Naturally this will affect how we are going to be operating during the coming weeks and possibly months ahead.  We will be keeping this under constant review and we many need to change our approach with little or no notice.

We are aware that Bracknell Forest Council has had to suspend brown bin collections due to staff shortages and have been advised that they will be catching up on this as soon as possible.  As WP staff will be prioritising business critical tasks in the coming weeks, we will not be able to assist with green waste collections; however, we will temporarily relax the Park Rules in regard to garden maintenance and upkeep until normal services reconvene. Residents must manage their green waste themselves in the interim period

I wish everyone all the best at this unprecedented time.

 

Update THURSDAY 19th MARCH 2020

Further to my email to all residents regarding COVID-19 on the 12th March 2020 I am providing an update following on from that.

This is a frequently changing situation and at times it is difficult to keep pace with that, and I hope everyone appreciates it is difficult to give accurate up to the minute information when that changes on an almost daily basis, and what is correct today may not be correct tomorrow.

As I’m sure many of you will be aware Government has announced almost unprecedented measures to keep the country going.  Government is stressing that we all need to remain calm and act in a proportional and rational manner while listening to the scientific advice.  We have I believe some of the best scientific expertise in the world.

Government Guidance

Please follow the below link to review the latest advice from government for;

Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.

For those who prefer a brief summary the most relevant points are:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or a new and continuous cough.
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible.
  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information.
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs.
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
  • Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

Government strongly advises you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:

  • are over 70
  • have an underlying health condition
  • are pregnant

I will reiterate what I have said in my previous email, please can we ask residents to look out for each other especially if neighbours have pre-existing conditions which could leave them vulnerable.  If you do need to visit, remember, wash your hands before, during and after.

If you do use your car wipe down your steering wheel, gear stick, door handles, boot release catch, for example.

What we are doing

We are planning for the eventuality that Government may need to institute a Nationwide lock down. We don’t know what shape that may take so we are having to work with an unknown factor.  Based on what has happened in Europe any lock down will likely restrict travel to visiting the shops for food or going to and from work.  If that is the case, we do not currently plan on closing the office unless absolutely necessary.

However, if the office is closed, we are currently talking with our IT provider and software developer on how we can continue to function as a business with as little interruption as possible.  We’re currently pushing forwards with how best members of staff can work remotely where this is possible, so that we can continue to answer queries as they arise.  If we’re unable to make that work effectively, we will likely need to run a skeleton staff in the office of 2 to 3 people at any one time and this will likely be reflected with our grounds team.

As we have the emails for a great number of residents, we are currently working with our software developer on how best to enable residents to receive invoices and the Warfield Wire via email.  We are hoping to have this tested and operational by the middle of April.

What we’ve said previously (12/03/2020)

  • Please do not be offended if we do not shake hands; that is a key means of the virus being transmitted.
  • Please can we ask residents to avoid coming to the office unless absolutely necessary.  Please use the phone or email us.
  • Please can we ask residents to make sure they wash their hands regularly.  Please see Public Health England’s YouTube video on how to effectively wash your hands.
  • We will be installing hand sanitisers in the office as soon as we are able to obtain them from our suppliers.  Once they have been installed, we will be asking visitors if they have used them.
  • If you do need to come into the office to make a payment or talk to us please be patient as we will need to wash our hands and wipe down surfaces between each visitor.
  • Please do not be offended if you come to the office and we ask you to return home if you have a cough or look unwell.
  • For those residents who pay by cheque, card or cash please can we ask you to consider signing up for a direct debit as it means you will not have to visit the office and you also receive £2 a month discount off your pitch fee.  This can help you, your fellow residents, and us to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Please can we ask residents to provide us with up to date contact details especially email addresses and telephone numbers as this will help us keep you informed and enable us to contact your friends or family if necessary.

What you can do to help us

In addition to the changes which I announced in my previous email (12/03/2020) we are making the following updates to that.

  • Please stand approximately 1 metre (3 steps apart) from each other as much as possible, this helps minimise the chance of spreading COVID-19.
  • The office entrance will be closed as a point of course to deter unannounced visitors, and we will only answer the door when the bell is rung.  We will be disinfecting the doorbell, door handles and desktops.
  • If you are wanting to visit us, please can we ask you to contact us via phone or email to make an appointment.  This is so we can make sure we can wipe down surfaces before a visit.
  • If you need to visit us to make a payment, we ask that you only visit to pay on Wednesday and Thursday only between 10:00 – 12:45 and 14:00 – 15:45, so that we can concentrate our efforts specifically on those days.
  • If you are paying by cheque, please could you deposit this in an envelope in the office letterbox, and we will process these through the day.  If you would like a receipt, please let us know on the envelope and if we have an email address we will email a copy to you.
  • Again, for those residents who pay by cheque, card or cash please can we ask you to consider signing up for a direct debit as it means you will not have to visit the office and you also receive £2 a month discount off your pitch fee.  This can help you, your fellow residents, and us to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission to everyone.  A Direct Debit form will be included with the next edition of the Warfield Wire.
  • Please can we ask residents to provide us with up to date contact details especially email addresses and telephone numbers as this will help us keep you informed.  If any of your neighbours do have email and are not receiving our email updates, please tell them to let us know.

What to do if you have symptoms

Please see the following link to see governments advice to the public.

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

Government have also produced illustrated guidance on self-isolation.

Our thoughts are very much with those who have been affected and continue to be affected by this virus around the world.

Stay up to date

Remember, if you would like to know more about COVID-19 please only refer to reputable sources such as the Government website. Should you need to contact us, you can call us on 01344 884666 or email us. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for regular updates.