Coronavirus, what you need to know:
You can get the latest updates and guidance as it’s announced by following us on social media:
Moray Council staff are following government guidance for a phased return to the office. We’re reviewing what arrangements will be in place for access points and will communicate any changes to residents once they are confirmed. Meantime please continue to use the contact centre for enquiries.
Self Isolation Support Grant
Self Isolation Support Grant – you may be eligible for a grant if you or a child or person you care for is required to self-isolate by the Test and Protect Services and are on a low income benefit or earn less than the Real Living wage and will lose earned income.
Below you will find the latest information and support options by topic:
If you have e-mailed us recently, please bear with us. We’re working through a larger than normal volume of enquiries with a smaller group of staff, but responding to ensure that those that need our help and support most are given priority.
Please be patient and our customer service colleagues will be in touch as soon as they can.
Moray Emergency Relief Fund
The Moray Emergency Relief fund closed on 30th September 2021.
Our services offer free and confidential support if you've money worries:
- Scottish Welfare Fund – can help with money, food and household items in a crisis. T: 01343 563456
- British Red Cross Crisis Fund - you may qualify for £100 support to pay for essentials
- Money Advice Moray – can help with managing and repaying debts, help with claiming benefits, budgeting and benefit appeals. T: 0300 123 4563
- Benefit Services – entitlement to free school meals, clothing grants, Educational Maintenance Allowance, housing benefit, Council Tax Reduction. T: 01343 563456
- Discretionary Housing Payments can help if you require financial assistance to meet your rent costs. T: 01343 563456
- Citizens Advice Bureau can offer advice and support on a number of topics from budgeting to benefits and emergency aid. T: 08000 857 145
- Self Isolation Support Grant – you may be eligible for a grant if you or a child or person you care for is required to self-isolate by the Test and Protect Services and are on a low income benefit or earn less than the Real Living wage and will lose earned income.
Residents and businesses facing difficulties with council tax and business rates payments are being offered help to spread the load. If you are unable to meet your payments please contact advisors on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you think you will struggle to pay your rent please speak to your landlord (or letting agent) now. Landlords are not allowed to evict tenants that are in financial hardship due to the coronavirus.
Universal Credit can help with housing costs if you have a low income.
Discretionary Housing Payments can also help if Housing Benefit or Universal Credit doesn’t cover all of your rent, although it does not cover non-payment of rent arrears.
Tenant Hardship Loan Scottish Government can offer loans if you have rent arrears and are experiencing difficulties paying them.
Moray Food Plus can help with food and essentials in a crisis. They work on a referral basis from support services such as Citizens Advice Bureau (08000 857 145) and Scottish Welfare Fund (01343 563 456).
Flexible Food Fund
New financial assistance from the Scottish Government to access food, fuel and other essentials is now available to Moray residents. This fund is available from 5th January 2022 to 31 March 2022 as a new one-off payment.
The existing monthly payment, from the Flexible Food Fund (FFF), towards food costs will be enhanced to incorporate a contribution towards fuel costs.
Based on previous rounds of the FFF it is anticipated that over 700 households are likely to access this funding with a budget of £163,000 allocated to provide a single payment to eligible householders.
Previous recipients of the FFF are able to claim as well as new applicants from 5 January 2022.
Entitlement is based on individual household circumstances and is part of a wider package of support provided by Money Advice Moray, such as:
- Ensuring households get all the benefit income they are entitled to.
- Support with budgeting income and outgoings.
- Help with bills and debts e.g. negotiating reduced payments with creditors on your behalf.
- Help to appeal benefit decisions
To access this support applicants should telephone 0300 123 4563.
Organisations and support services acting on behalf of those in need can refer clients by completing this referral form.
Bills & Debts
If you’re worried or struggling to pay bills and debts, including rent and council tax arrears, Money Advice Moray (0300 123 4563) can help to negotiate lower payments and payment breaks with creditors.
If you think you will struggle to pay your mortgage on time please speak to your lender now. Some lenders may offer you options such as a payment holiday or a smaller monthly payment for a short term period.
There is also help available from the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme if you receive certain benefits.
Benefit advice & support
Whether you are in or out of work and you want to check if you are entitled to benefits or need help to claim the right benefits, contact Moray Advice Moray by calling 0300 123 4563 or Citizens Advice Bureau by calling 0800 0857 145.You may also be eligible for Universal Credit.
Fuel / energy costs
Energy suppliers are offering some help to those struggling to pay bills as a result of the coronavirus – both prepay and credit meter. If you have a prepayment meter and are unable to go outside to top it up as you are unwell or self-isolating, speak to your energy supplier.
Suppliers and Contractors
We’re keen to support all contracted suppliers through this difficult time to ensure that they are able either to continue to work with us through the crisis or, where that is not possible, to be in a position to resume normal service delivery when the outbreak is over.
We have adopted the guidance recently published by the Scottish Government regarding supplier relief measures Coronavirus (COVID-19): supplier relief SPPN 5/2020 - gov.scot.
We would ask any contracted supplier who has concerns regarding their ability to continue to meet their responsibilities either during or after the crisis (even after accessing the various forms of support available) without some form of emergency interim arrangements in place and who is not already in conversation with their council contract manager to email: email@example.com for help.
We are supporting businesses as best we can as the Coronavirus restrictions are relaxed, in particular in relation to enabling space for social distancing and safe operation.
We are asking businesses across Moray to answer a short series of questions to help us develop our plans to meet your needs, and make sure we have the resources to assist wherever possible.
Please download the consultation questions, and send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. We will be using the information in our planning from 9 June onwards. We appreciate this is a tight turnaround, but we want to work as fast as possible to get things ready.
Your Council Tax pays for essential services that are delivered to all residents in Moray, so it is really important that if your circumstances have not changed that you continue to pay what you should, maintain your direct debit payments, or payment plan, as detailed on your bill.
If you’re in financial hardship, you may qualify for Council Tax reduction, among other benefits.
Our housing and property service is restricting contact with customers until further notice to reduce the spread of Covid-19. These changes are required to keep customers and our colleagues safe. In the meantime, if you're having difficulty paying your rent or managing your finances due to the current pandemic, read our guidance for those seeking assistance.
The Scottish Government have made a business support grant available for each licensed taxi/private hire driver who meets its eligibility criteria:
- Was working or available for licensed taxi driver or private hire driver work between October 9 2020 to at least January 31st 2021
- Has experienced a loss of income (50% or more compared with 2019)
- Have not applied for this grant from any other Local Authority
Please note that your form cannot be actioned without the required evidence.
We aim to process the grant within 4 weeks so please do not contact us before this time period has passed.
If you have not heard anything after 4 weeks then please contact us at email@example.com quoting your full name and Taxi Driver Licence number.
Recycling centres in Elgin, Forres, Keith and Buckie are open, with strict physical distancing enforced. To manage traffic, and to protect the safety of our colleagues and residents, a booking system is in place at Chanonry Recycling Centre, Elgin.
Entry will only be permitted to Chanonry Recycling Centre wiith a valid booking reference. Please make sure you read the booking form carefully, which sets out the materials being accepted at our recycling centres.
Some supermarkets have recycling facilities on their sites. At all locations you’re advised to observe and maintain social distancing, and incorporate recycling into your essential journeys for food or medicines.
Recycling bins (glass, paper and cardboard, and plastic and cans) are being collected three-weekly, alongside your green bin. Brown bins are being collected fortnightly. Please put out your containers for collection for 7:30am on your collection day as there may be changes to your collection time.
Please look out for your neighbours and check they are able to put their bins out. It may not be possible to come back for un-serviced bins until your next scheduled collection day.
Due to changes in staff, waste and recycling assisted collections may be collected by a different crew and at a different time. Please make sure your containers are easily accessible and visible. We may have to change where we collect and return your bins from and to.
Eight public toilets across Moray have re-opened.
Under 22’s Free Travel
5-21 year olds living in Scotland can now apply to access free bus travel from 31 January. In light of high levels of COVID-19 transmission, the Scottish Government is asking that you only apply for the scheme at this point if it is essential that you, or your child, travel while restrictions are in place. All other eligible applicants will be proactively encouraged to apply at a later date.
Even if you already have a National Entitlement Card or Young Scot National Entitlement Card, you must apply for a new or replacement card to travel by bus for free. Parents or guardians must provide approval for children aged between 5-15 to access the scheme by applying on their behalf. Young people aged 16-21 should apply themselves. The Transport Scotland website provides all the information needed to apply.
There are two ways to apply:
Online at getyournec.scot or through parentsportal.scot (if this is used by your childs school) If you cannot, or do not want to, apply online please contact Customer Service by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 123 4565 who can tell you how to proceed.
New cards (you have not previously had a Bus Pass):
- Over 60s or Disabled applying for a new card online at getyournec.scot. No application form will be required in this case
- If you cannot provide the relevant digital evidence to allow you to apply online please contact Customer Service by email: email@example.com or 0300 123 4565 for further information
Renewals, replacement photos, lost, stolen or damaged cards:
- You can now request these online at getyournec.scot. No application form is required
- If you cannot provide the relevant digital evidence to allow you to apply online please contact Customer Services, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0300 123 4565, with your name, date of birth, full address and previous address, if you have moved since your last card was received.
There is also information available for the renewal evidence for Disabled/Companion card holders
Registration Office inc birth and death registrations
Death and still-birth registrations are being carried out remotely over the telephone. Please note that due to the changes imposed these registrations are taking longer to process.
Births registered on Mondays/Tuesdays and Thursdays with details captured over the phone by registrars and a strict appointment system for face-to-face signing of papers. Social distancing will be observed and residents should not enter the registration office without a valid appointment.
Those looking to register a birth should contact our registration office (01343 554600) or email email@example.com to make an appointment.
Marriages and civil partnerships
Marriages and civil partnerships can still go ahead however available dates are currently limited.
Requests for Copies of Certificates
Requests for copies of certificates can be made using the online ordering service however due to demand these are taking longer to process.
Advance Lair Purchase
The advance purchase of lairs is currently suspended.
The issuing of Blue Badges has been impacted by the demands Covid-19 has placed on our resources.
We apologise for the delay in processing new applications and renewals. Action is being taken in order to return to our normal service standards as soon as possible. The backlog of current applications are being processed in date order and will be assessed at the earliest opportunity.
We continue to accept new and renewal applications for Blue Badges - please allow extra time for your application, review or appeal to be processed.
Thank you for your patience.