The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents local authorities in England and Wales, has highlighted a range of useful information for councils on the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

In particular, the LGA has noted the recent guidance for local government from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which is being continuously updated with information on COVID-19. It covers topics including:

• homelessness and rough sleeping services

• housing

• pubs and restaurants

• schools

• social care.

Other information which may be of interest to those working in local authorities include the following.

The sources of useful information come amidst a warning from the LGA that elderly and vulnerable residents who are self-isolating are at risk of being exploited by strangers and cold callers posing as helpful neighbours in order to scam them.

Fraudsters are playing on the fear created by the coronavirus and the need for the elderly and vulnerable to reduce social contact.

It is urging residents not to accept services from strangers or cold callers — whether in person, on the phone or online — who offer to run errands, collect prescriptions and do shopping and ask for cash upfront, or a credit card and its PIN.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer & Stronger Communities Board, said, “Keeping the elderly and those with underlying health conditions safe is every councils’ top priority and councils will do everything in their power to prosecute fraudsters and seek the toughest penalties for criminals taking advantage in this despicable way.”

Last reviewed 23 March 2020