Agenda item

COVID-19: THE DISTRICT'S RESPONSE AND RECOVERY

To be moved by Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe

Seconded by Councillor Imran Khan

 

First and foremost we offer our sincere condolences to all families in the district, the country and across the world, who have lost loved ones to Covid-19. Every single loss is a tragedy.

 

Faced with such a challenge we give a big heartfelt thank you to the people of the district, the volunteers, council staff, school staff, health service and all our partners for the incredible work you have done during this difficult time. It has been a real community effort by the whole district. Your fortitude has been amazing and humbling; it will see us through the pandemic to a potential vaccine, recovery and return to a more normal way of life once again.  For now, West Yorkshire is in Tier 3 along with South Yorkshire and the Humber, we must do everything we can to continue this effort and get the infection rate down.

 

There have been countless examples of ingenuity, brilliance and self-sacrifice, showcasing the very best of our district. Refuse collectors receiving gifts and children’s drawings from residents grateful that their bin collections have continued uninterrupted; volunteers in Ilkley sewing personal protective equipment; school children making visors; school staff providing meals and home learning as well as school-based education through lockdown and beyond; community centres getting food to our most vulnerable residents; our Stronger Communities team helping people visit the graves of loved ones safely; Covid ambassadors and wardens out reassuring their neighbourhoods and supporting test, trace and isolate; our social workers continuing with visits and substantive checks amid growing demands, as we took the decision not to apply the emergency statutory instrument which would have allowed us to reduce checks and visits on our children; finance staff working all hours to get grants out to businesses; staff from areas such as leisure services and school transport redeployed to do incredible work in our bereavement services. Just a few examples of the incredible team effort.

 

As a council communication has been vital.  We have worked to keep our communities, councillors and staff well informed throughout.

 

Our ongoing communications with the public has included: letters to every household in the district; regular Stay Connected newsletters to 30,914 subscribers to Covid bulletins and 7,198 subscribers to our coronavirus business support emails; almost 3.4 million views of our Covid webpages; and huge engagement with our social media and customer services.

 

At the time of writing, the latest weekly update on 11th November showed that our hub had spoken to 10,024 people and visited 591 businesses in that week, we gave out 17,630 masks, Environmental Health received 225 complaints or requests for advice and took action on a further 159 reactive cases. Staff and volunteers continue to adapt and respond to the ever changing situation.

 

·         24th March – ‘The Council’s on-going emergency response to Covid-19’

·         30th April – ‘The response to Covid-19 and the forecast financial impact’

·         9th June – ‘Building a Better Future: living with Covid-19 and laying the foundations for a better future’

·         7th July – ‘Finance Position Statement for 2020/21, including investments to respond to Covid-19’

·         8th September – ‘Local Test & Trace expansion’

·         9th November – ‘Covid-19: response, resilience, recovery’

We resolve to:

 

·         Continue to offer every possible support to those who are poorly, recovering from the after-effects, self-isolating or shielding;

·         Build on the success of our local test, trace and isolate initiative to complement the national system;

·         Continue to support all our communities with clear information, reassurance and practical help, including for their physical and mental health;

·         Support our business community and the jobs they sustain as much as we can so that they can survive these difficult times.

·         Invest to support the strongest possible recovery from Covid-19 for our residents and businesses.

We call on the government to:

 

·         Fund and support local test and trace for all local authorities, given it’s been a success for us

·         Invest now in planning with local authorities for vaccination roll-out, which is likely to be essential in getting our lives back on track

·         Invest more in self-isolation grants, as too few people in Bradford district can afford to be without pay for a fortnight.

·         Think about economic recovery now and work in partnership with us.  We have a West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Plan and the Bradford Economic Recovery Plan will be coming for consideration at Executive in December.  We need the funding from Government to deliver this.

·         Provide more financial support for businesses in areas in the North, like Bradford district, where businesses have been hard hit by long term restrictions, particularly the leisure and hospitality supply chain who have received nothing and the 3 million self employed workers, “The Forgotten”, who have fallen through the cracks.

·         Address health inequalities – those who are disadvantaged have suffered the most

·         Provide a proper three-year funding settlement for local government to tackle the costs of COVID as well as the impact it has had across the services of the council.

·         Commit to a decent pay increase for those key workers – such as those council workers, police, fire and teachers who have given their all over the last year to keep residents safe and the country functioning.

·         Take people with you - be open, honest and transparent and then the people will have trust and faith in the journey we are all travelling on.

 

Minutes:

The motion was moved by Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe.

 

Resolved –

 

First and foremost we offer our sincere condolences to all families in the district, the country and across the world, who have lost loved ones to Covid-19. Every single loss is a tragedy.

 

Faced with such a challenge we give a big heartfelt thank you to the people of the district, the volunteers, council staff, school staff, health service and all our partners for the incredible work you have done during this difficult time. It has been a real community effort by the whole district. Your fortitude has been amazing and humbling; it will see us through the pandemic to a potential vaccine, recovery and return to a more normal way of life once again.  For now, West Yorkshire is in Tier 3 along with South Yorkshire and the Humber, we must do everything we can to continue this effort and get the infection rate down.

 

There have been countless examples of ingenuity, brilliance and self-sacrifice, showcasing the very best of our district. Refuse collectors receiving gifts and children’s drawings from residents grateful that their bin collections have continued uninterrupted; volunteers in Ilkley sewing personal protective equipment; school children making visors; school staff providing meals and home learning as well as school-based education through lockdown and beyond; community centres getting food to our most vulnerable residents; our Stronger Communities team helping people visit the graves of loved ones safely; Covid ambassadors and wardens out reassuring their neighbourhoods and supporting test, trace and isolate; our social workers continuing with visits and substantive checks amid growing demands, as we took the decision not to apply the emergency statutory instrument which would have allowed us to reduce checks and visits on our children; finance staff working all hours to get grants out to businesses; staff from areas such as leisure services and school transport redeployed to do incredible work in our bereavement services. Just a few examples of the incredible team effort.

 

As a council communication has been vital.  We have worked to keep our communities, councillors and staff well informed throughout.

 

Our ongoing communications with the public has included: letters to every household in the district; regular Stay Connected newsletters to 30,914 subscribers to Covid bulletins and 7,198 subscribers to our coronavirus business support emails; almost 3.4 million views of our Covid webpages; and huge engagement with our social media and customer services.

 

At the time of writing, the latest weekly update on 11th November showed that our hub had spoken to 10,024 people and visited 591 businesses in that week, we gave out 17,630 masks, Environmental Health received 225 complaints or requests for advice and took action on a further 159 reactive cases. Staff and volunteers continue to adapt and respond to the ever changing situation.

 

·         24th March – ‘The Council’s on-going emergency response to Covid-19’

·         30th April – ‘The response to Covid-19 and the forecast financial impact’

·         9th June – ‘Building a Better Future: living with Covid-19 and laying the foundations for a better future’

·         7th July – ‘Finance Position Statement for 2020/21, including investments to respond to Covid-19’

·         8th September – ‘Local Test & Trace expansion’

·         9th November – ‘Covid-19: response, resilience, recovery’

We resolve to:

 

·         Continue to offer every possible support to those who are poorly, recovering from the after-effects, self-isolating or shielding;

·         Build on the success of our local test, trace and isolate initiative to complement the national system;

·         Continue to support all our communities with clear information, reassurance and practical help, including for their physical and mental health;

·         Support our business community and the jobs they sustain as much as we can so that they can survive these difficult times.

·         Invest to support the strongest possible recovery from Covid-19 for our residents and businesses.

We call on the government to:

 

·         Fund and support local test and trace for all local authorities, given it’s been a success for us

·         Invest now in planning with local authorities for vaccination roll-out, which is likely to be essential in getting our lives back on track

·         Invest more in self-isolation grants, as too few people in Bradford district can afford to be without pay for a fortnight.

·         Think about economic recovery now and work in partnership with us.  We have a West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Plan and the Bradford Economic Recovery Plan will be coming for consideration at Executive in December.  We need the funding from Government to deliver this.

·         Provide more financial support for businesses in areas in the North, like Bradford district, where businesses have been hard hit by long term restrictions, particularly the leisure and hospitality supply chain who have received nothing and the 3 million self employed workers, “The Forgotten”, who have fallen through the cracks.

·         Address health inequalities – those who are disadvantaged have suffered the most

·         Provide a proper three-year funding settlement for local government to tackle the costs of COVID as well as the impact it has had across the services of the council.

·         Commit to a decent pay increase for those key workers – such as those council workers, police, fire and teachers who have given their all over the last year to keep residents safe and the country functioning.

·         Take people with you - be open, honest and transparent and then the people will have trust and faith in the journey we are all travelling on.

ACTION:  Chief Executive/Strategic Directors