We hope you are well and navigating the ups and downs over the last week OK. We understand there are mixed feelings, with the next group of businesses excited to begin opening on Saturday, but mindful of all the things they need to manage to ensure staff and customers are reassured. As detailed below, we are still navigating hastily made policy updates, so please be reassured that we are here to support you in any way we can and don’t hesitate to get in touch.
This update includes information on the following areas:
- HR webinar and Support (please reply with ‘Yes – HR’ if you would like us to email you the link to view the webinar)
- Hospitality Update including Extended Trading Space
- Regent St & Regent Court Businesses – Highways clarification
- Stickers and Posters Available
- BID Recovery Planning & Next Steps
1. HR Webinar – Support and Holiday Advice (Attached)
Please reply to this email with a ‘YES – HR’ if you would like the link to view this webinar. It is very useful and may save you money.
We delivered this in partnership with Absolute HR on Wednesday 24th of June and worked through a number of business-critical and participant questions relating to:
- THE MECHANICS OF JOB RETENTION SCHEME
- RETURNING TO WORK
We took a number of important points from this including:
- There is a need to keep up to date records and documentation of all your decision making. HMRC can audit these for up to 6 years.
- If you are moving staff onto the flexible furlough scheme, you will need them to sign a new employment / furlough agreement.
- If you have not asked your staff to take their accrued holiday yet, this is something we suggest you consider for July.
This and many other useful things, including the questions below are discussed within … we have also clarified some key points relating to flexible furlough scheme dates (with worked examples), and holiday accruals in the document within this link (please click here).
Please note, whilst generic advice is helpful, we have agreed a package of more bespoke support to BID members who need it. Please get in touch if this is the case.
2. Hospitality Update including Extended Trading Space
Please see a You tube link to the webinar that Warwickshire County Council hosted yesterday that discussed many relevant questions (e.g. licencing, risk assessments, insurance reminder, fire regulations, social distancing group checking responsibilities, keeping customer contact details – 21 days, toilet facilities, cleaning, staff PPE, what must be disposable, queue engagement, useful websites etc)
Outdoor Seating / Extended Trading
Last week the government issued guidance on outdoor seating / highways. This stipulates a number of things that businesses will need to consider and places the onus on Local Authorities to manage permissions and licencing and in the case of Leamington, this means both the District Council (food and drink licencing) and County Council (highways / pavement licencing) are involved, as well as Police and other regulators.
We are working hard behind the scenes to ensure a proportionate approach to the application process is adopted – and we are trying to ensure this is all agreed as soon as possible. However, it is not likely that the required Local Authority processes will be in place by this Saturday 4th July. We are also working to agree a process whereby we can support Leamington Town Centre businesses.
To help us plan ahead, we would be grateful if you can let us know:
- The date you are opening and hours? (everyone please – if not done already)
- If you desire to have some extended trading space?
- Are you looking to extend you trading space with tables outside? (and you do not have permission to do so already – please see below).
- The ideal location and number of tables, the nature and timing of proposed outdoor service? e.g. food and non-alcoholic drink only, alcohol also.
We are gathering this data to try to ensure the process is as swift and smooth as possible, though we are not responsible for the final decision.
Please note, businesses who were already permitted to have tables out and trade on the pavement (or other public realm space) outside their premises can do so from this Saturday July 4th within the bounds of their existing permissions.
3. Regent St & Regent Court Businesses – Highways clarification
Although the Parade is closed from 7am – 7pm daily, the junction of Parade / Regent Street has a marshal and remains accessible to all types of delivery vehicles who need to access businesses in the ‘closed area’ including vehicles that need to access Regent Court. The disabled parking spaces in this zone are also available to blue badge holders.
If you need to access this area for delivery, re-stocking, waste, disabled parking etc please do the following:
- Drive along Regent Street the correct direction (one way from West to East)
- Ask the marshal at the barrier to let you pass over the Parade
- When passing over Parade, please drive very slowly and be cautious about pedestrians and bikes passing up and down Parade
- Continue through the closed area no faster than 5 miles / hr
We are not sure how long these measures will be in place for and are happy to collect your feedback.
4. Stickers and Posters Available
As well as our floral pavement and window stickers, we now have posters available. We are happy to drop some in if you specify which ones you need, so just drop us a line.
- Inside Instructions (A4 Poster)
- Spa Space – Fill in text (A4 Poster)
- Spa Space – Parade Safely (A4 Poster)
- Plus – floral pavement / window stickers
5. BID Recovery Planning, Support, Next Steps including BID levy & Annual Report
As always, there is a lot going on behind the scenes and we are working closely with the BID Board of Directors. As well as navigating the short term we are also putting longer term plans in place. This work involves collaborating across multiple Local Authorities and stakeholder organisations and we have adapted the Institute of Place Management 4 stage framework (which we also helped contribute to) to aid this – please see below. You can read more about this in our 2019-2020 Annual Report.
Also, as our BID Members know, our activity is business funded via a levy payment that is issued by Warwick District Council (the accountable body) in early July each year. We wish to let our members know that although you will receive this soon, you will also see in the associated documentation that variable payment terms are available.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss this. We are very conscious that some businesses are not yet trading and we wish to do everything we can to minimise stress and help businesses get back to business at this time.
THANK YOU! … as always … we remain inspired by everything we can see you doing to navigate a path forwards.
Don’t forget to join our Leamington Town Centre Facebook Group if you haven’t already. We will also post updates on the BID Leamington Facebook page – and the Royal Leamington Spa Town Centre Facebook page is where we will showcase what you are now doing.
Best wishes and we look forward to seeing you out and about,
Steph & Alison