COVID-19 Update: 5th June

Welcome to the last COVID-19 update of the week from Cardiff Council, covering: Cardiff's plans to exit lockdown as one of UK's ‘safest' cities; Cardiff Council's £29m COVID-lockdown bill explained; and a new website to help people manage their money.


Cardiff's plans to exit lockdown as one of UK's ‘safest' cities revealed

Creating one-way walking systems to safeguard the public, setting up welcome points to explain how moving round the city centre will work and opening up Cardiff Castle's grounds to create a ‘new' public square for local businesses to use are just some of the schemes Cardiff Council is considering as it prepares to exit lockdown.

A detailed plan of action has been published by the council which outlines a raft of innovative measures with the aim of making Cardiff one of the ‘safest' cities in the UK as life begins its return to ‘normal'.

The plan has been developed with Arup, recognised technical experts on redesigning cities. It will be used to consult residents, businesses and councillors on how the council will:

  • safely re-open the Welsh capital making it accessible to all;
  • support businesses as they start to trade again;
  • re-establish footfall in the city centre while complying with social distancing requirements;
  • help people to access the city centre despite reduced public transport capacity; and
  • promote Cardiff so that it develops a reputation as a safe, welcoming, exciting and forward-thinking place to visit post-lockdown.


Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "These plans start to outline how life can resume and how Cardiff can prosper despite COVID-19. We want to restart, recover and renew Wales' capital and I'm determined that when lockdown restrictions are lifted, our city will reopen in a way that is safe for everyone; in a way that does everything it can to safeguard thousands of jobs; and in a way which is both welcoming and confident about the future of Cardiff.

"We are working through the finer details of these plans with businesses, residents, and local Councillors and I'm confident if we adopt the same ‘one-city' approach that has seen the public sector, communities and businesses pull together throughout the pandemic, then we can truly make a reality of the common desire to ‘build back better'.

"I'm especially excited about our proposals to open up Cardiff Castle's grounds as a new ‘public' square for local residents to use for free. The castle grounds are spectacular. It could provide restaurants and cafes with covered areas to use, giving them a chance to make up for floor space and clients they would otherwise lose because of having to observe social distancing rules in their properties.

"We are also working with a local technology firm to develop an App which could see people order their food from the castle and then have it delivered to enjoy in the finest setting the city has to offer. I'm also keen that we work with the music board to bring live music back to the city as soon as we can. We will look at ways of using public space to create safe event spaces where people can enjoy music and street entertainment in a safe and welcoming environment."

The plan outlines a series of measures designed to open the city safely and in a way that will encourage people to return to work, to shop, do business and enjoy the wide range of restaurants, cafes and bars the city is home to.

You can read about the full details:


Cardiff Council's £29m COVID-lockdown bill explained

A breakdown of the estimated £29m cost to Cardiff Council of responding to the Covid-19 outbreak between April and end of June has been revealed in a report to the authority's Cabinet.

Among the costs are:

  • £5.1m spent on personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • Support to domiciliary and residential care providers to reflect the additional costs of providing care during the pandemic;
  • £2.1m on providing free school meals to around 12,000 pupils daily
  • £2.1m to support suppliers paid in accordance with Government guidelines, in order to ensure service continuity both during and after the current Covid-19 outbreak;
  • £1.8m on bereavement services - (enabling the procurement of a temporary morgue facility);
  • £1.7m on operational changes to waste; and
  • £1.6m on housing to support the homeless during the pandemic.


The council has also revealed the income losses COVID-19 is estimated to cost the council over the same period.


These include but are not limited to:

  • £3.8m lost in parking fees, parking penalties and Moving Traffic Offences (MTOs);
  • £2.3m lost from venues and events;
  • £1.3m lost from trade, bulky and recyclable;
  • £700k lost from leisure and outdoor sport;
  • £700k lost from school meals;
  • £600k lost from Storey Arms and the Music Service;
  • £500k from planning and building control.


The report lay bare the expense involved in dealing with the effects of the virus.

The authority estimates it will spend more than £18m responding to the crisis and a further £11m is estimated to be lost in income as a direct result of COVID-19, in the first three months of the financial year alone.

Cabinet member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, Cllr Chris Weaver, said: "Cardiff Council has reacted quickly to the crisis, changing the way we work, putting clear focus on maintaining essential services which deliver for our most vulnerable residents.

"Since lockdown began our services have had to respond and adapt to the crisis as events continued to unfold. We have set up food operations ensuring people across the city who are shielding or in financial difficulty because of the virus will not go without food. We have changed the way our waste services operate to ensure weekly kerbside collections are maintained while keeping our staff and residents safe.

"We have procured millions of items of PPE to ensure our services and the care sector can continue to operate. We have also worked closely with the care sector to ensure it can continue to operate in these difficult times, delivering a vitally important and valued service. Our school hubs have opened for the children of key workers and we have provided meals and cash payments for thousands of disadvantaged children throughout lockdown.

"Of course all of this comes at a cost and we have spent more than £18m ensuring the city continues to run and the most vulnerable among us do not suffer unnecessarily. Our focus has always been on ensuring the resilience of services critical to our COVID-19 response, doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable citizens and our staff, and trying to halt the virus spreading."

The £18m additional expenditure is being kept under constant review, and is being updated regularly as further pressures emerge. These include assessing the financial impact of a significant increase in the number of applications for Council Tax Support and current work to establish effective ‘Contact Track and Trace' services locally as part of an all-Wales initiative.

Read the full article here:


Helping to manage your money

A new website to help people manage their money has been launched this week.

Cardiff Council's Money Advice Team has developed a brand new website providing support for residents on a range of financial matters including budgeting, claiming benefits grants and discounts, debt advice and income maximisation.

The new site provides a wealth of information on different money-related topics and includes a section about money matters during the COVID-19 outbreak, giving advice on issues like employment, housing advice and getting food and essentials.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "Dealing with money issues can be confusing and if you're not sure how things like credit or mortgages work, people could end up losing out financially or getting into debt.

"Our trained staff can help people find solutions that work best for them and last year, the team helped people claim more almost £15m worth of benefits they didn't know they were entitled to and helped save customers more than £1m on their outgoings.

"The new website is clear and simple, with easy to find information and support on a range of money matters. It's more important than ever that we make this information available and easily accessible for people. At this time, when our face-to-face services from our community hubs have been reduced because of the pandemic,this is a really valuable resource for our customers.

"Many individuals and households across the city will no doubt be feeling the financial impact of the COVID-19 emergency so it's important that customers know that our Money Advice team is still here to help. Our Adviceline remains open six days a week and customers can also contact the team through the website."

Visit the new Money Advice website at