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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

A proactive, responsible and balanced response to Covid-19

Tuesday, 08 September 2020

It is of concern that the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise in Tameside. A trend not unique to Tameside, and something we are seeing in other areas of Greater Manchester and across the country. Protecting the health and wellbeing of our population is at a critical tipping point.
 
Strong and decisive action is needed. So I make no apologies for trying to limit the number of people in high risk settings, on public transport and in unnecessary contact. That is one of the best ways we can support our communities in the effort to fight back and break the chain of transmission. I am particularly conscious that as we support all our children and young people to be in school and college we must be hypervigilant. We will follow the appropriate protocols to contain the virus, protect children, teachers and support staff, while ensuring lessons can continue.
 
Public service employees are working harder than ever to deliver services in challenging circumstances.  Throughout the coronavirus pandemic the employees of Tameside Council have worked tirelessly – providing food and basic essentials to those at risk, protecting our most vulnerable residents in their homes, and keeping essential services, such as waste collection, running. Many of them have in fact put their own health and wellbeing second, while others have been separated from their families to keep vital services in place.
 
Most of our workforce is based out in the community. You can see them every day – out and about on the streets emptying bins and clearing litter, tending to our parks and open spaces, calling on the vulnerable at home, checking food hygiene standards in restaurants and takeaways, and helping people find the information they need at the library.
 
To help limit the spread of the virus a proportion of our office based workforce started to work from home at the end of March. Many of them continue to do so as we carry on the work to contain transmission of Covid-19. Enabling staff to work from home wherever possible is the right thing to do, and follows both the science and medical advice from the government. By the way, I should also tell you that not all are working from home. Many of our office based staff have been diverted into frontline roles, protecting our community at a time of need.
 
Clearly the national lockdown and the continuing restrictions are having an impact on the economy, both nationally and locally. We are working hard to support our town centres and traders, and will continue to do so. However, even more damage will be done to the economy, and to the lives of our residents, if the virus is not effectively controlled. Urging workers to return to the office at the same time as reopening schools will jeopardise the test and trace system's ability to cope, while increasing risk on public transport which many of our residents rely on to be able to get to work. Containing the virus now is the key to health and prosperity in the long term. Anything else is a recipe for a social and economic slump of the kind we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
 
In the ongoing fight against the coronavirus I am asking residents to volunteer to become ‘Community Champions’, helping to spread key messages and feeding back to us about what is working well and what is not. By doing so you will be joining a network of people receiving regular briefings on the Covid-19 situation in Tameside and how best to protect your family and community.
 
If you’re interested in becoming a Community Champion please visit the website to learn more here www.tameside.gov.uk/communitychampions or e-mail community.champions@tameside.gov.uk

Posted by: Executive Leader


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