Support for hospitality businesses as they re-open
As part of our commitment to the recovery of town centres and the local economy, we’re looking to support local businesses to re-open in the safest way possible.
Following the successful re-opening of shops last month, we have been working to support pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to put in place health and safety and social distancing measures so they can open in line with national guidance.
How have we done this?
Officers have been in touch with a significant number of businesses to help them work their way through the complex guidance and will be sending out information to their database of hospitality businesses with information on where to go for additional support. Now to compliment the host of information on their website the council is also holding a series of webinars for businesses beginning next week. They aim to provide further support on issues and give feedback following the first weekend of re-opening.
What about smaller venues with limited space?
To help support businesses who want to increase space for social distancing we will also be considering applications to use outside space for pavement seating. An upcoming change in legislation is expected to make it quicker and easier for premises to apply for a license to set up a pavement seating area on a public highway. The new application process will reduce the consultation period from 28 days to 5 working days and gives the council a further working 5 days to decide whether to allow it. Businesses can contact licensing for more information via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also reminding business owners that any change of use such as turning a car park into drinking area or putting in place temporary or permanent structures may need planning permission, so they should get in touch before making changes. Businesses can email email@example.com to find out more.
Cllr Peter McBride Cabinet Member for Regeneration said:
“We welcome the reopening of our local hospitality businesses and are here to support them where possible. The hospitality industry will play a big part in our blueprint and wider regeneration plans moving forward, I know businesses have been working hard to make sure you can stay safe whilst out enjoying yourself, so please follow the signs and instructions they have put in place to help you. Safety has to come first, which is why we want anyone venturing out for the first time should know what to expect. We don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun; by being sensible and following the rules we can all have a great time, avoid spreading the virus and help our businesses stay open.”
Alongside social distancing and other COVID-19 issues, it is important that businesses consider wider risks such as fire, Senior Fire Protection Manager Chris Kemp said:
“As some pubs and restaurants plan their reopening this weekend, we all need to keep our focus on the measures that will be in place to safeguard people from the spread of Coronavirus.
“It’s also really important that businesses ensure that their fire safety measures are up to date and that any changes that have been made ahead of reopening are carefully considered.
“In practical terms that means things like ensuring exit routes are clear, that fire doors are kept closed and fire alarms are tested regularly. More broadly it means revisiting fire safety plans and risk assessments, updating them where necessary and ensuring all of the measures are still in place before the premises reopens.
“We’re working closely with local authorities and licensed premises across West Yorkshire to remind people to be vigilant and ensure that fire safety measures remain present in premises in order to keep staff and the public safe, this weekend and in the future.
More information on how to safely reopen businesses including the latest government guidance and useful information on flushing systems to reduce the risk of legionella, to dealing with noise and litter can be found on online at www.kirklees.gov.uk/covid19businessrecovery. Details of the webinars will also be published to this page, later this week.
The Government guidance on safely re-opening businesses during COVID-19 can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19.