APSE will post short advisory notes and responses to network queries between frontline service managers within this hub. Please check back for regular information, links and advice.
You can sign up to our frontline service specific WhatsApp groups to quickly post queries within the APSE network using this form.
For frontline service remobilisation reports click here.
You can sign up for APSE services using this contact form.
For press enquiries please click here
Post Pandemic: Green Urban Spaces (28 April 2021)
This new e-publication explores the value of green urban spaces and the benefits brought to communities throughout the health pandemic.
APSE introduced a new quarterly data collection exercise to assess the impact of COVID-19 on a range of frontline services. This report relates to the first quarter of 2020 (April – June) and shows the averages for individual services from participating authorities.
Following announcements by the Prime Minister on Sunday 10 May as to a route map out of lockdown, guidance has been produced for the owners and operators of urban centres and green spaces to advise on social distancing.
This briefing therefore provides links to the latest guidance effective as of 13 May but subject to further updates on measures in relation to the safer use of Public Places - Urban Centres and Green Spaces.
APSE has undertaken a survey on the resilience of the UK’s Cemeteries and Crematoria services in the face of the current Coronavirus pandemic, the results of which are contained within the attached briefing. The survey findings include
Local authority leisure is facing a period of uncertainty with the possibility of the failure of some trusts and leisure contractors and substantial further financial pressure when facilities reopen with reduced numbers. Sport England is providing support by way of consultancy grants. Key points include:
APSE has undertaken a second survey on the resilience of the UK’s parks in the face of the current Coronavirus pandemic, the results of which are contained within the attached briefing. The aim of the resilience surveys are to ensure members are aware of the different ways in which local authorities are having to adapt and manage their services in order to ensure the needs of their residents are being met in these difficult times.
This briefing contains details of guidance published by the UK and Scottish Governments on the 11 May 2020 and is provided for information to Wales and Northern Ireland.
The guidance issued on the 11 May (updated / effective as of the 12 May 2020) provides specific guidance for those who operate vehicles or whose staff work in them. The briefing includes references to
Following announcements by the Prime Minister on Sunday 10 May as to a route map out of lockdown a series of measures have now been announced to support employers bringing staff back into the workplace
It is worth noting that this guidance has been prepared by BEIS in consultation with devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; this guidance should be considered alongside local public health and safety requirements and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
Many APSE member authorities recognise the importance of Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and during the lockdown period APSE members have also reported increases, of up a third, on fly-tipping. Whilst it would be difficult to provide a direct correlation to this and the closure of HWRCs this has been an issue that has been the subject of media attention and Ministerial pleas for HWRCs to re-open.
Accordingly after representations to Government about the need for clarity to local councils on this issue new non-statutory guidance has been issued today 5 May.
We are awaiting updates from DAERA , Zero Waste Scotland and the Welsh Government’
On 21 April 2020, The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government published guidance regarding the application of the Building Regulations during the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This briefing provides an overview of the published guidance.
Via a survey carried out by APSE in the second week of April 2020, this briefing provides the most up-to-date information as to how these parks and greenspace managers are dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 in relation to public use of open green spaces and ancillary services provision within these spaces such as playgrounds and sports facilities.
This briefing provides a summary of the temporary powers which have been given to all English local authorities enabling them to hold public meetings virtually using either video or telephone conferencing technology. This means that public meetings are temporarily no longer legally required to be held in person and includes all types of public meetings such as annual meetings, cabinet meetings and committee meetings.
This briefing supplements information contained in briefing 20-33 which considered the issues of Commercial income and financial losses incurred by councils as a result of COVID-19.
In this briefing details are included about the letter issued to councils on the 20 April 2020 which sets out additional funding. APSE highlights the previuos low starting point for frontline service budgets
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Gas Safe Register have updated their advice and guidance page on 7 April. Within this page there is a link to guidance for landlords which has been provided by the HSE and includes example scenarios which are to help landlords understand what may be considered reasonable steps to take to demonstrate compliance with their duties regarding gas safety checks.
This briefing follows the announcement of an additional £1.6 BN funding pot for local councils made on the 18 April bringing the total funds to £3.2BN. However the allocations for those new funds do not make clear that any provision will be available to make up shortfalls in income losses to councils which in many areas are a vital component to council budgets.
This briefing provides the most up-to-date information via a survey carried out by APSE in the second week of April 2020, as to how these parks and greenspace managers are dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 in relation to public use of open green spaces and ancillary services provision within these spaces such as playgrounds and sports and leisure facilities.
The purpose of this briefing is to provide information on NHS inform’s communications toolkits and leaflets which are available to help support information on COVID-19 being publicly communicated.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop the HSE are providing regular updates on issues that have arisen. This short briefing covers three issues: -
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Scottish government have issued guidance for social landlords.This short briefing outlines a summary of the key points which include how to look after staff and what steps to take if unable to carry out a service, such as a gas service or safety check.
With the onset of ever more stringent measures to control the spread of the Coronavirus, PHE has issued guidance on how COVID-19 related deaths should be dealt with to ensure those dealing with the deceased and providing other services such as funerals, can act in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
A brief summary of the current issues emerging through the APSE COVID-19 support network and WhatsApp Groups for service areas.
Following the announcement to close all schools except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children, the government issued a further update to the guidance on 31 March 2020 regarding the national voucher scheme for children eligible for Free School Meals.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the government have issued guidance on the 25 March 2020 for food business which is also of relevance to catering services providing school meals.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the government have issued guidance regarding cleaning in non-healthcare settings. This short briefing outlines a summary of the guidance.
This briefing gives a brief summary of the changes which have been implemented by local authority members in parks and greenspaces as a result of the current pandemic.
The briefing also highlights the growing importance of the need for the public to use local greenspace in light of the increasing restrictions on outdoor movements. Finally the briefing note looks at how local authority parks and grounds maintenance services are addressing the issues of continuing to provide allotments whilst ensuring social distancing is also addressed both locally.
Please find attached a copy of APSE’s survey results on how local authority Fleet Maintenance services are adjusting to the impacts of COVID-19 and in particular the operational changes and staff protection measures being introduced across the UK .
Please note that this morning a 6 MOT testing extension to MOTs has been initiated for light vehicles https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mot-centre-and-tester-guidance
Please find attached a copy of APSE’s survey results on how local authority Highways and Street Lighting services are adjusting to the impacts of COVID-19 and in particular the operational changes and staff protection measures being introduced across the UK
The Scottish Government has issued guidance on key worker provision regarding schools and ELC closures ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): school and ELC closures – guidance for key workers’ which was published on 20 March 2020 and was further updated on 22 March 2020.
A brief summary of the current issues emerging through the APSE COVID-19 support network and WhatsApp Groups for service areas.
On 23 March the Prime Minister announced new measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus which includes ‘stay at home’ measures. Whilst the guidance informs the general public it should also be considered along with key worker guidance and decisions as to what staff should be deployed to cover services; particularly those services which will be regarded as critical at a local level.
This short briefing offers a summary of the guidance.
APSE has canvased members to ascertain how local authority building maintenance and housing services are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
APSE has canvased members to ascertain how local authority catering services are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
APSE has canvased members to ascertain how local authority parks and grounds maintenance services are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
APSE has canvased members to ascertain how local authority cemeteries and creamtoria services are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Government has issued guidance on key worker provision ‘Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision’ which was published late on the 19 March 2020.
The full statement is included within the briefing. The statement has already created some ambiguity; whilst it is welcome that the statement is not too prescriptive allowing for some local determination this has led to the question of ‘is there a requirement for both parents to be key workers?’ to be able to access the limited educational provision that will be made available. In this regard APSE would point to the very first bullet point in the guiding principles which states ‘If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be’ which would allow for sensible and proportionate local determination. The full briefing provides an overview of the scope of the guidance.
This briefing is issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and provides guidance to those managing their leisure facilities; On Friday March 23 2020, all facilities were required to close, so the first section is now historic .
Key issues include a focus during the pandemic on retention and membership support.
APSE has canvased members to ascertain how local authority waste services and street cleansing services are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
In response to the government announcing the closure of schools in England until further notice, guidance for schools regarding free school meals has been issued. APSE's briefing outlines a summary of the guidance
Updated 6 January 2021
Issued 3 July 2020
Advice on working from home.
upper tier local authority case number data
Link to the latest guidance from Scottish Government - effective as of 5 January 2021
This is a link to the latest restrictions to apply across all of Wales as a ‘circuit breaker’ attempt to control COVID-19.
Parks remain open but other services will close as of Friday 23 October to Monday 9 November including non-urgent housing repairs, libraries and recycling centres will close.
Guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Government publication on calssfication of "Key workers", includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services and key frontline services.
The Cabinet Office has published a Procurement Policy Notice on responding to COVID-19. It emphasises the flexibilities available under the regulations for public authorities to make urgent/direct awards in exceptional circumstances (bypassing much