Our service will change in response to Government safety advice and we will continue to support you in responding to the emerging issues and challenges.
As you will be aware, the government has now begun to relax the risk management plan to help to reduce the rate of infection of coronavirus. We are continuing to operate within government guidelines concerning social distancing.
In line with this advice, CDS will continue to:
- arrange for all of our staff to work from home;
- stop attendance at all physical meetings;
- manage services through our mobile phone and on-line platforms.
These arrangements will remain in place until further notice.
We will be here to help your Co-op to manage the challenges of this outbreak – for your members and your business. If you have any questions at all, please get in touch with your Client Relationship Officer in the first instance who will have up to date information and advice. You can find their contact details via your Chair or here by finding your co-op on our Directory.
We have not taken these steps lightly but want to follow the best government advice about how to reduce the spread of illness for everyone.
We are once again offering a routine repairs service and so please do get in touch to arrange for this to be carried out today.
For those of you who take repairs services from us, we are working with suppliers to make sure that contractors operate in a manner that keeps everyone safe. This will usually involve
- asking whether anyone is ill or self-isolating
- wearing personal protective clothing – such as gloves and masks
- avoiding personal contact
- limiting work to emergency repairs only where people are unwell
For more information about what we are doing to keep you safe whilst carrying out repairs please have a look here.
We may not always be able to get emergency works carried out if people are ill. We will talk with you personally to agree on what happens in those instances.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, you must continue to do all you can to get gas services done on time. If you have any queries or worries about this, please let your CRO know as soon as possible.
The main change that you will experience is in relation to our attendance at meetings. We will not attend meetings for the time being and we would advise you to think carefully about holding physical meetings during this time. This does not mean that meetings should not go ahead, however, and we strongly encourage that you consider holding online meetings in the first instance during this time.
Meeting regularly is vital to ensure that decisions are continuing to be made about all aspects of coop life. We recognise the importance of this and want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to facilitate this for you. If you are unsure about online meetings and want to learn more then please speak to your CRO. They will be able to set up the meeting on Zoom Meetings and invite members to attend. Anyone with a smartphone, PC, laptop, or tablet will be able to attend online. If you do not have access to an internet device then fear not – you can still attend Zoom meetings using a phone. his will be a new approach for most people – so there may be a bit of a learning curve – but it can be very effective as a way to meet without risk so we encourage you to give it a go today.
Responsibilities for Staff and Governance
For wider governance and HR issues, Coops UK have issued some useful guidance here: https://www.uk.coop/newsroom/coronavirus
Other Regulatory and Compliance Issues
The Regulator has indicated that it continues to expect registered providers to meet all of the regulatory standards although it will take a proportionate approach to consider its response if there are failures due to Covid-19. We are trying to clarify what this means for property compliance in particular.
We will continue to update client co-ops as we get news and information. In the meantime, you should try to continue to carry out all of the communal compliance work such as fire risk assessments and checks, electrical testing, asbestos testing, lift checks, and any water tank tests.
Impact on Residents
We know that residents are going to find it hard to pay rent over the coming months – or longer – as people experience disruption to their work and income. For co-ops, this could mean a significant rise in rent arrears and cash flow. At the moment, although a mortgage holiday has been offered for those who own their homes, there is no clarity about a rent holiday or rent support for those affected.
If we manage your rental income, we will be encouraging residents to let us know at the earliest possible opportunity if they think their income may be affected. This will help us to help them – offering extra support with claims and budgeting – and helping to manage debt issues sensitively – given the limited choices that people have just now. We will want to do this in close co-operation with you to ensure that we also protect your income stream for the co-op as a whole. We are pressing for more action on rent support for those affected and will let you know if anything changes.
All of our team have a dedicated mobile phone and will be available to deal with your queries or service issues during our normal working hours. Please click here for a full list of contact numbers.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Coronavirus impact for your co-op, please do contact your Client Relationship Officer.
If you cannot get hold of them for any reason and wish to escalate your enquiry, please contact:
Director of Client Services