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COVID-19 Message from Steve Maxey, Chief Executive

Published on Wednesday, 18th March 2020

This is an unprecedented public health issue and a fast moving situation to respond to.

The safety of the public and our staff is our first priority, together with providing as much support as we can to residents. We would like to repeat the essential guidance around personal hygiene and the need to follow the advice about self-isolating if people have COVID-19 symptoms or are in close contact with people showing those symptoms, advice that should be followed stringently for those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.

As the Government’s guidance does not include a ban on public movement but instead is focussed on reducing non-essential contact and managing risks, we have taken measures in all of our buildings to encourage social distancing, and have taken steps to ensure that all staff who can work from home do so. We are talking on an individual basis to vulnerable people around self-isolating. We are reducing non-essential visits and taking other steps to reduce the risk to staff and residents.

We are aware that communities are doing a lot to support themselves and we are working with partner organisations to support these efforts to help people who are affected by the new guidance on social distancing. We are also aware that distancing and self-isolation will increase financial pressures on some residents and families. Anyone struggling with Council Tax, rent or other payments to the Council should contact us to discuss (over the phone or via the website) what we can do to assist (for example by rescheduling payments). We are studying the measures announced by the Government yesterday and will review what help we can provide to support this.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and follow the advice from the Government. I’ve been incredibly pleased with the support from staff who have been going above and beyond this past few weeks to ensure our services continue to run as smoothly as possible. We do however envisage that some of our services will be impacted in the coming weeks as the advice from Government changes when we reach different stages of this outbreak. We will be communicating any changes via our website and social media channels in the first instance.

Steve Maxey

Chief Executive