The crisis has shown how vital councils are in leading the response to a national emergency. National government has rightly recognised this work and it is vital that councils continue to get further support from the Treasury and adequate funding to ensure their financial position remains viable.
- Councils are working tirelessly to protect lives, livelihoods and the most vulnerable in our communities. They have ensured that our most important public services keep running successfully.
- The crisis has shown how vital councils are in leading the response to a national emergency. National government has rightly recognised this work and it is vital that councils continue to get further support from the Treasury and adequate funding to ensure their financial position remains viable.
- Social Care is now the front line of the battle against COVID-19 and carers are doing an incredible job. Councils are supporting care providers who face additional costs in ensuring continuity of care for those who rely on their support. They are also seeking to protect staff and the people they support and providing care to those who fall ill with COVID-19.
- Councils and care providers continue to have major concerns about the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is putting workers and vulnerable people at risk and needs to be addressed immediately.
- Access to testing is also critical and the increase in testing availability is welcome, however it lacks coherence and too many care workers are still needing to make their own arrangements. There is urgent need to offer prioritisation to social care workers who are currently competing with other key workers for testing slots.
- Councils are showing leadership in supporting vulnerable residents outside of the shielded cohort. They have established systems with their local voluntary and community groups to support the non-shielded vulnerable (NSV), providing high volumes of food parcels to this group.
- Councils moved swiftly on behalf of their Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) to secure additional mortuary capacity based on government modelling of deaths resulting from the pandemic. They have ensured there is enough capacity to cope and that the dead are treated with dignity and respect.
- Councils have been supporting livelihoods through the delivery of a local hardship fund, providing business rates holidays for leisure/retail and getting grants to SMEs. Councils have worked incredibly hard to ensure that business grant payments are made as quickly as possible since the funding was received on 1 April 2020.
- The Coronavirus pandemic has underlined the crucial role of councils in leading the local response and in preparing the ground for social and economic recovery. Throughout this period, councils have led from the front and delivered at speed, establishing a true partnership between national and local government and validating the significant trust placed in councils by their local communities.
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