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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Coronavirus Update: Supporting Services and Communities

Thursday, 19 March 2020



If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. The coronavirus pandemic is the gravest challenge we have faced as a country in peacetime in living memory, a challenge that will require all of us to help each other and work together over the coming months. To that end, I want to take the opportunity to explain what exactly the council and our partners in the NHS and local communities are doing to ensure that vital services and support remain available. 

In certain cases this means that we will have to deliver them in a different way, especially when they involve face-to-face contact. As of midnight, we have closed a number of our public buildings, including libraries, museums and galleries, Local Studies and archives, Adult Community Education and Dukinfield Crematorium (public counter). However, where possible we will be encouraging residents to access certain parts of these services online. This also means that a number of customer services in these buildings will transfer from walk-in access to telephone and online. This includes customer services, welfare rights and debt advice, housing advice and taxi licensing.

These are steps that we would have preferred to have avoided if at all possible. However, our duty to protect the public, to redeploy our workforce to where it will do the most good, and to follow government guidance has to take precedence. We’re working very hard to put additional support in place for those who may find themselves vulnerable as a result of these changes and the current advice around social isolation.

 

The Council and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are working closely with our communities to design a response to coronavirus, creating local solutions for the specific local issues that the pandemic has raised. Thanks to our efforts to integrate health and social health in Tameside and Glossop, we are in a very strong position to combine our efforts to best support residents and businesses. As well the redeployment of staff that I mentioned previously, we will also be looking at putting in measures to protect the homes of residents affected by coronavirus. For our care providers, whose essential efforts and expertise are required now more than ever, we will ensure that they do not have to choose between their wage, their health or the health of those that they support. We will also work with partners in the community and private sector to safeguard access to food for our residents, especially those who are unwell, self-isolating or caring for others. We will support children and parents through the current period of school closures. Last, but by absolutely no means least, we will use every resource we possess to encourage and mobilise the huge community spirit which exists here in Tameside.

And make no mistake; it is that community spirit that will get us through this crisis. Many groups have reached out to offer their support, and we already have a robust network of voluntary and charity organisations, faith groups, and tenants and residents associations with the connections and the experience to get things done. We are working closely with all of them to support communities to help each other and themselves.

I also cannot stress enough that we need to continue listening to the advice that is being regularly given out by the Council, NHS and Public Health England. For many of us this will be the most difficult period we’ve faced in our lives, and the pace at which the coronavirus is spreading means that things can, and have, changed on a day-by-day basis. We will come out of the other side of this by thinking of each other with every action, and seeking to protect our neighbours as much as we seek to protect ourselves.

For further information on the local response to the coronavirus, local services and public health advice please visit our website at www.tameside.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 0161 342 8355.

Posted by: Executive Leader


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