COBRA Update: 22nd April

Town Centre Movement Package
COVID 19: 21st April – Phase 2 Improvement Works
April 21, 2020
COVID-19 Update: April 27
April 27, 2020

Support for Businesses without a Rateable Value:

  • Christina Ewbank (Chamber of Commerce) has been speaking to Peter Sharpe on this issue and has produced statistics
  • Written a paper that has been sent to Caroline Ansell and David Tutt this morning with a proposal
  • Proposed an Economic Resilience fund for East Sussex for micro-businesses which is similar to that announced by Welsh Government – for those who work from home, co-hub spaces, rent offices or rooms or businesses such as the Enterprise Centre without a rateable value.
  • Business East Sussex would administer the fund, due diligence carried out by Edeal, Brighton Uni, Let’s Do Business Group and other agencies. Work together with Business East Sussex and Locate East Sussex to give Paul Scully MP the power to provide a fund for this.
  • Would address a big problem for East Sussex – make up of businesses are predominantly smaller businesses. Need to lobby to support businesses
  • Gathering the evidence is extremely helpful – David is passing onto LGA – as it is a significant concern to many other authorities across the UK.
  • Has spoken at Team East Sussex about this – and with Richard Dawson. Ian Fitzpatrick happy to take to County.

Payment to Self-Employed

  • Request remains for a quick payment – and not having to wait three months. Should be an interim payment

Rateable Value Appeals

  • EBC have confirmed that for properties whose rateable value change – they will do what they can to change so that they are eligible for grant. EBC can’t ask the VOA on individual circumstances. 


  • Ongoing – increased complaints all the time. Going through the policies as they are received and reporting back whether or not there’s a policy that’s strong enough.
  • Offering triage service to members – to identify policies that would be available for a claim to be upheld.

Small Business Rates Grants

  • Business Rates: Eastbourne at the moment – applications for £14m – paid out – £13m.
  • Paid 70% of small business rates grants have been applied for
  • 65% of the retail, hospitality and leisure grant of £25,000
  • 50% of the retail, hospitality and leisure grant of £10,000
  • 96 businesses failed validation – so contacting directly to seek further clarification
  • EBC are making calls to businesses eligible to encourage to apply. BID have offered to assist with these calls

Recovery GroupSurvive | Revive | Thrive

  • Group has met and asking members to tell us what the future of the town will be post COVID, concerns businesses and organisations have and how we can help shape and implement this.
  • Collaboration will likely take place via Knowledge Hub.
  • Eco Action Hub – have launched – Your Priorities – asking for people’s ideas of the change. Miles will send link to all


  • Still a live issue – David T took at Team East Sussex meeting

Police Update

  • Cycling on seafront – PCSOs are on seafront but not priority as COVID regulations come first
  • General update – sickness levels are down (less than 6%) and testing has commenced for those experiencing symptoms
  • Updating patrol activities regularly to make sure that they prioritise those that need support more. Supermarkets are coping really well.
  • Daily spreadsheet is sent to trading standards and environmental health for any premises that remains open and are flouting COVID 19 regulations
  • Still getting COVID related calls regarding meetings. Are slowing down.
  • Increase in neighbour disputes
  • No specific obvious increase in violent offences
  • Increase in dwelling burglaries – but these have been opportunistic, and a suspect was arrested
  • Haven’t seen a spike in non-dwelling burglaries. These seem to have slow
  • No backlash to 5G masts – although Mid Sussex has had some damage
  • Front office at Grove Road is now closed. But – opening hours have been extended at both Seaford and Lewes
  • Domestic violence – focusing on from central perspective. Not seeing locally an increase – but it may be happening behind closed doors

Claremont Hotel and Burlington

  • Got agreement between two insurance companies for works and contracts to be signed. Best demolition is working with structural engineers to commence propping work which will commence within the next two weeks.

Local Authority Update

  • Community Hub response – since went live beginning of April – 1,700 calls. Team taking around 100 calls a day
  • Food and access to food remains dominant issue. Referring quite a few to the community sector. Response from voluntary sector has been phenomenal
  • Food box disruption – working with Howard at the Foodbank. Have supplies in stock. Issues will run on for a while – but have good stock levels

PPE Supplies

  • Chamber received email from Graham Peters to say that Conquest and DGH needed more gowns – via Team East Sussex and SELEP
  • Spoke to Jarvis Manufacturing in Eastbourne. Had already approached Public Procurement to offer but no response. Was able to put in touch with Graham Peters. Jarvis Manufacturing is receiving materials today, and will be manufacturing gowns as soon as they have received CE certification.
  • Becky Shaw confirmed that to best of knowledge – it hasn’t run out – but it is ‘tight’. Government know it is a priority.
  • County are receiving PPE deliveries. Now set up email address for non-clinical community based need for PPE. Email for potential suppliers of PPE who wish to provide this. Will go through to County Council. Developing links with CCG with regards to the community provider response – those able to make masks and scrubs. Key person on the CCG who is able to advise.  

Voluntary Sector

  • Turning attention to social need – those who need help with mental health and social isolation – particularly those disabled.
  • 3VA will be reaching out into the voluntary sector to see how its going, what the support needs are and anything additionally what we can do

EU Settled Status

  • Agreed to review in due course. Collaborating with Caroline Ansell’s office regarding content of letter. Keep as action until resolved.