Universal Credit – Help and Support


Universal Credit: available support

Changes are being made to the Universal Credit system this month which will see the temporary £20 a week uplift to payments coming to an end. The uplift was introduced by the Government in response to the pandemic and ended on 6 October, when Universal Credit payments returned to their pre-pandemic levels. With that in mind, we thought it would be useful to set out the support that is available from us to residents who may be facing financial hardship.

Residents finding it difficult to transition back to previous Universal Credit payment levels should contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss the support that we may be able to provide. There are a range of options for those struggling financially, including:

  • Discretionary Housing Payments which provide financial support towards housing costs. You can apply for these Discretionary Housing Payments here
  • The Council Tax Hardship Fund, which aims to provide support to those who are struggling financially because of the pandemic. You can apply for this Hardship Fund here
  • Support and advice from our Welfare and Money Maximisation Officer, Lucy Tompkins, who can be contacted via lucy.tompkins@scambs.gov.uk
  • Signposting to external support and advice agencies
  • Along with Cambridgeshire County Council and partners, we also still offer a one-off small payment to help with immediate food of fuel needs. Anyone needing that one-off help should email our communities team.

Email our Benefits team if you have specific questions or call 03450 450 061. Residents on Universal Credit can also seek financial advice and support via Citizens Advice. This should be accessed via a referral from their work coach at DWP Cambridge.

Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce invite you to a business lunch event

  View in browser   Contact South Cambs Business Support Team   Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce are hosting a lunch event next Wednesday and would like to offer you up to four free places to attend.

The event is for businesses in South Cambridgeshire that trade internationally or are considering it.

The event will take place at Holiday Inn Cambridge on Wednesday 29 September from 11.45am to 2.00pm.

A two-course lunch will be provided.

Speakers include: Vic Annells, Chief Executive, Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce
Adele Gritten, Business and Economic Development Team Leader at South Cambs District Council who will talk about the support available for South Cambs businesses
Karen Cash, International Trade Team Leader at Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, who will advise on the latest changes for trading with Egypt, new international trade training courses being delivered by the Chamber and the services provided by the team including customs declarations, transit declarations, ATA Carnets, and export documentation. Karen will also be available to take any questions you may have.

To confirm your place, please email Sadie Parr with the names of who will be attending.     Business Support South Cambridgeshire District Council South Cambs Hall Cambourne Business Park Cambourne  CB23 6EA
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Afghan refugees: donations

Many South Cambridgeshire residents have been deeply moved by the events in Afghanistan and want to donate and help Afghan refugees relocating to the UK through the Government’s Afghan Locally Employed Support (LES) scheme. The District Council has advised that they have made three homes available for Afghan families relocating to the UK. These homes will be fully furnished and up to three months’ worth of food and essential supplies are provided to help the families start new lives. Their latest update can be found here, announcing our partnership with Cambridge City Council to provide wraparound support for the Afghan families.

At this time, The Council are unable to accept donations directly, but anyone who would like to donate their time, goods, or money can do so through the following national and local organisations:

  1. Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group
  2. Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum
  3. Distribute Aid

British Red Cross

Looking for work/training or education – South Cambs District Council have shared the following information.

Realising your potential

The WEA provides support and learning for people who facebarriers in returning to education, job search or work. We have extensive experience working with people facing multiple barriers and from all walks of life. We would love to work with you, to help you realise your personal and professional goals.

If you are not currently working or engaged in education/training and feel like you have lost some of your confidence since the pandemic started then we can support you to:

  • Rebuild your confidence and help you to recognise your potential.
  • Plan your next career move.
  • Move into job search if you are thinking about returning to the workplace.
  • Develop your CV and prepare for interviews.
  • Apply for further education and training.

If you are aged 15+, not currently working and feel that you ready to take that next step in your career, then please contact the WEA to discuss:-

Contact details

Tanis Paulin

Telephone: 07385463335 tpaulin@wea.org.uk

SCDC -Advice update on Covid precautions

As the Government’s cautious road-map out of lockdown continues, people’s health, safety and wellbeing remain of paramount importance. While infection and death rates are decreasing, transmission of Coronavirus is still an extremely serious threat and we all have a role to play in doing our utmost to stop its spread.

This can best be done by continuing to take precautions against catching or transmitting the virus and closely following the Government’s rules for each step of its COVID-19 Response Spring 2021 roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.

This means continuing to abide by the guidelines for social distancing by:

  • Washing your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds;
  • Covering your face in enclosed spaces (especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet);
  • Staying two metres apart where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place.
  • It is also essential to stick to the rules around travel and holidaying.

Our Council team continues to provide essential services and support to the residents most in need in our district. They are working in conjunction with many dedicated volunteers who have played a crucial role in helping this work and we are immensely grateful to them.

Residents who need to carry on self-isolating during this time can rest assured that all the support previously available will continue, including financial help.

Our Reopening the High Street team is supporting local small to medium businesses as they reopen and work towards recovery. This includes helping them to carry out comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessments to keep customers and their workers safe; providing signage and aiding the implementation of the two-metre rule in the workplace; and advising on cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with current guidance.

As more Government financial packages are announced for the business sector, our Business Support Team is also there to support the recovery and help struggling firms to access much-needed Government grants to address some of the financial impact of the lockdown and to fund recovery activities. We are also offering support and grant aid to local communities to get voluntary projects and services back on track after months of lockdown. 

Everyone across the district is working extremely hard to put plans into place for when affected services are able to gradually and safely welcome everyone back. Until then, please continue follow the guidelines to help protect the NHS and our families, friends and colleagues. By keeping infection rates low, we will all be able to get back to doing the things we love sooner. 

To access advice and support see https://www.scambs.gov.uk/coronavirus/

For more information on the Government guidelines in the COVID-19 Response Spring 2021 roadmap, see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Useful links:

Government Coronavirus restrictions: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

South Cambridgeshire District Council Coronavirus information: www.scambs.gov.uk/coronavirus

Information on financial support to self-isolate: www.scambs.gov.uk/isolation

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Reopening High Streets Safely Team: www.scambs.gov.uk/business/coronavirus-information-for-businesses/reopening-the-high-street

Support for local businesses: www.scambs.gov.uk/business/coronavirus-information-for-businesses

SCDC looking for staff to work on election day

On Thursday 6 May 2021 elections will be taking place across South Cambridgeshire. Many of SCDC staff and regular polling station workers will once again be working, but we are looking for people who may be interested in working. In particular we are in need of poll clerks and overnight verification assistants. Please see below for details on the jobs available and email elections@scambs.gov.uk to apply or for further information

  • Poll Clerks (ref: PC) (no experience needed) & Safety Marshall Poll Clerks (ref. SMPC) (no experience needed)

When: 6.30 until 22.30, Thursday 6 May 2021

Where: Polling Stations across South Cambs

Pay: £225.00 (including all travel and expenses)

Note: All Poll Clerks must attend a training session

  • Thursday Night Verification Assistant (ref: VA)

When: 21.30, Thursday 6 May 2021

Where: Imperial War Museum, Duxford (TBC)

Pay: £55.00, plus £15.00 per hour after midnight

Note: Staff that have worked on polling day cannot be considered for this role. Staff must be able to stay until the session is complete.

Covid-19 Safety

We will endeavour to make working at these polls as safe as possible:

  • All staff will be required to wear masks (to be supplied) for all roles
  • Routine hand hygiene processes will be in place throughout
  • All attendees at all election processes will also be required to wear masks
  • Distancing measures will be adopted in all locations
  • Busy polling stations will have extra staff (marshalls) to manage throughput of voters
  • We will be adopting one way systems in polling stations wherever possible and will be asking voters to queue outside where necessary

All safety measures are subject to change based on the prevailing Covid-19 outlook


  • All staff must be eligible to work in the UK and will be expected to prove their eligibility if they have not previously done so
  • By working at this election, you will be committing to not working for any party or candidate at these elections

Community Governance Review

The ongoing Community Governance Review for Longstanton, Oakington and Westwick is currently in the second round of consultation, which was extended by three months owing to COVID 19.

This review is to decide how Northstowe is governed in future. There are several options, one of which will see the area of Longstanton north of the Guided Busway become part of Willingham.

The Parish Council has commented on earlier consultations. Our main concern is that Northstowe does not encroach any further north than the Busway, which was an initial constraint of the planning permission.

There are several consultation events coming up and these, along with full details of all the options, are available on the South Cambs website:

 Longstanton and Oakington CGR

South Cambridgeshire District Council; Reopening of High Street Survey

South Cambridgeshire District Council are working hard to support local small and medium customer facing businesses in our district. They have created a survey so that they can gather as much information about local businesses as possible, to find out about how they are faring during Covid19 and their plans on reopening.

You can take part in the survey via any of the platforms below.

Facebook; Facebook

Twitter; Twitter

LinkedIn LinkedIn

Re-introduction of Green bin service from 4 May 2020


Greater Cambridge phased return to green bin collections from 4 May

Greater Cambridge phased return to green bin collections from 4 May

Residents in Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire are being asked to put their green bins out on their normal days from Monday 4 May as part of a phased reintroduction of garden waste collections.

Households would usually have two green bin collections between 4 and 30 May but, due to the impact of national social distancing measures, only one collection will be guaranteed. Crews will try to empty more bins on each occasion if they can.

For clarity, households can check their online bin collection calendar to find out their guaranteed green bin collection date. In addition, Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service crews may be able to collect some green bins more frequently than this – when there are enough staff and vehicles. Putting your green bin out with your blue bin every fortnight will mean it is available for them to empty if they are able to.

The national social distancing measures outlined for waste collection services mean that each collection vehicle currently has a driver and only one loader (the crew member who loads the bins onto the lorry), rather than the usual driver plus two loaders. This is in order to ensure enough space is left between staff when travelling, which means what would normally be one week’s work could be spread across two weeks.

Councils in other parts the country are making similar arrangements for their green waste collections as the recycling and waste industry deals with the impacts of this global health emergency.

The decision to suspend green bin collections in March was taken to ensure black bin (general rubbish) and blue bin (recycling) collections could be maintained despite crew members becoming ill or needing to isolate. At one point, around a third of operatives at the Shared Waste Service were absent for one of these reasons.

While the service runs with only one loader per truck, in line with Government guidance on avoiding spreading the virus, it takes longer and is much more physically demanding to complete each round.

Although crews will do their best to collect as many green bins as possible during the first fortnight, only half of residents will have a guaranteed collection in these first two weeks of May. As well as finding out when their scheduled collection is via the councils’ websites, residents will be able to report any accidentally missed bins online, on their guaranteed collection date, as usual. It will not be possible to report a missed green bin collection on non-guaranteed days. Residents are being asked to continue home composting as much of their garden waste as possible until collections return to normal.

Cllr Bill Handley, Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing at South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Most residents have been very supportive in the last few difficult weeks, sending messages and pictures of thanks and this is very much appreciated. We are very pleased to be able to reintroduce the green waste collection service, albeit in a phased way and we hope residents will remain patient while the service ‘beds in’ again. Our crews will be working flat-out to catch up and it would be a big help if residents could avoid the temptation to over-fill their green bins or maybe even wait a little bit longer before they put them out for collection. I suggest that residents continue to put food waste into their black bins for the next few weeks, until we are again able to guarantee a fortnightly green bin collection for everyone.”

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre at Cambridge City Council, said: “I would really like to thank all of our waste crews for their continued hard work throughout this difficult time and also thank residents for their understanding of the changes to their service without the normal information campaign. We have made these changes to ensure the safety of our staff so it is really positive that we are now able to bring back a green bin collection whilst continuing social distancing measures. We are confident that going forward we can maintain, at a minimum, a monthly green bin collection. This also means that as soon as the social distancing restrictions are lifted we will be ready to return to our normal fortnightly collection using one driver with two loaders. Please watch this space, check our websites and sign up for our online portal for the latest information.”

Kevin Roberts, Branch Secretary for the Cambridge 2 Branch of the GMB, said: “During the COVID-19 emergency we have worked closely with the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service to ensure that our members in the workplace have everything in place to ensure they remain safe and informed at work. Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service have consistently communicated with us and have supported the national published guidance by Waste Industry Safety And Health Forum and Public Health England to ensure their staff are socially distanced and provided with all the necessary additional PPE as well as adjusting working arrangements. 

“We support all the efforts that our members are putting in to support the new driver plus one loader arrangements and the management team continue to work with us to support the return of the green collections on 4 May by upholding their existing safety measures.”

Gordon White, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “This is a great example of union and employer partnership where an employer puts health and safety standards for its staff to the forefront whilst also managing to maintain an excellent service provision to its residents and customers, and we hope that other employers follow the same collaborative model.”

You can find information about bin collection services or your usual collection date plus answers to Frequently Asked Questions related to green bin collections. These include information on how to help avoid spreading Coronavirus via your bins; how to store your green bin to avoid pests if it contains food waste; how to set up a home composter; and why the green bin collections were suspended as opposed to the blue or black bin collections. These services remain unaffected and residents should continue to put their black and blue bins out as normal.

The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service is a partnership between Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils.