You will be aware that the government has given our Council £215,000 to allocate to businesses that have not been able to access sufficient grant monies to help them withstand the coronavirus pandemic. Around 100 businesses in this situation applied for a grant and the total amount of money required is in excess of £600,000. We have made Ministers aware that the allocation does not cover the requirement and they are understanding of our situation. Our MP Derek Thomas is helping us with our case and we remain hopeful of a further allocation, however that is not confirmed so I would not wish to raise hopes yet.
In the meantime, we are able to pay eligible businesses around a third of what they asked for. These payments will be processed as soon as possible. We will continue to vigorously pursue our case to Government next week and we will update you as soon as we have further information. My fellow Councillors and I are also fully aware of the urgent need for our businesses to get guidance around how and when they can open. As guidance appears, we will need to ensure that any easing of the current lockdown can be undertaken in a manner that mitigates the risk for Scilly and our particular issues as an island community.
Our Scrutiny Committee Chairman, Avril Mumford, and I are very grateful to all those in our community who have responded to our recent consultation. We are pleased to say that there have been around 350 responses, which are being analysed and will be discussed at the Council’s Scrutiny Committee meeting on the 10th of June. These responses raise issues and questions which will help shape how we work with Government and our Director of Public Health.
Government continues to make all of its guidance publicly available on the Gov.uk website and we will continue to share messages where they are of particular relevance to Scilly. I would like to reassure all of you that our Council will undertake its duties with the highest regard for the safety of our whole community.