Council’s childcare, rent and fee relief for ratepayers

Hills Independent

Childcare gap fee relief, deferred rental payments and writing-off interest charges, are some of the measures The Hills Shire Council is offering residents experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne, said Council approved a raft of measures that provide a “practical helping hand” to those who need assistance in meeting their commitments during the crisis.

“Our community expects Council to be a responsible manager of public funds, while also meeting the needs of our residents, community groups and local businesses,” Mayor Byrne said.

“These measures strike the right balance where we can help our community through this crisis and absorb as much of the impact in a sustainable way.”

New support measures include:

  • Council will provide child care gap fee relief for the duration of this lockdown and for future lockdowns during this financial year to families who can conclusively demonstrate a financial hardship and that they cannot attend the centre;
  • The General Manager can write-off interest charges for a period of six months on outstanding rates whereby the ratepayer is able to show conclusively they are experiencing financial hardship during this financial year and have entered into a payment plan as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The General Manager can negotiate and implement deferrals of rent payments to Council for a period of up to six months and to waiver rent payments up to $20,000 for tenants who can conclusively demonstrate financial hardship linked to COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Approvals of extensions for existing work zones and temporary full and part road closures for a period equivalent to the final construction industry suspension resulting from the relevant Public Health Order and subject to no additional fees being paid by the applicant; and
  • The General Manager can amend, cancel or enter into new leases as required to facilitate the Local Government Election in December.

The Hills Shire Library Service has brought back its Stay Home and Read book delivery service for seniors aged over 65.

The FREE service allows seniors to select up to 10 library items, which are delivered to their door while restrictions are in place.

For further details, call 9843 0555.

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