Cheltenham Borough Council Leader's Coronavirus update: 16/04/2020

The team at Cheltenham Borough Council have been working tirelessly over the past few weeks to protect local people, services and businesses at this uncertain time.

Read the latest update from Steve Jordan, Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, on the council's work in response to the Coronavirus:

"As for many others, the last few weeks for the council have been a frenzy of activity. I would break this down into 3 main areas.

"The first has been to understand rapidly changing national government guidance and new schemes such as grants for businesses and then working with others to decide how best to implement them locally as quickly as possible. While perhaps understandable, it has often taken government longer to roll out detailed guidance or circulate key data than they had originally hoped.

"The second area was physically changing how we do things. This has involved everyone altering how they work but the biggest impact has been adapting to home working and the huge increase in conference calls. While the technology already existed for this, ramping up the capacity and making sure everyone can use the kit has taken time.

"Finally, there have been decisions about individual services. Some have been shut down to comply with the latest government guidelines, others have had more people allocated to increase capacity while some, such as the Gloucestershire Community Help Hub, have even been created from scratch.

"Nobody has known an Easter weekend like it, but it did give a brief time to take stock. The work so far does seem to have brought a level of stability and we can perhaps hope it marked ‘the end of the beginning’ of the battle with COVID-19.

"While the virus has spread very quickly beating it will still be a long haul. The amazing effort of everyone involved in health and social care is essential but much of what has kept things going so far has been the charities, groups and individuals helping vulnerable people in their local areas creating a network of support. But it only takes a few key people to have to isolate for part of the network disappear overnight.

"Also, we are seeing an increasing number of homeless people needing housing along with an increase in demand for support from local food banks. Fortunately, we still have more volunteers than people needing help and we will need them all to get through this."

For more details on the Coronavirus health guidelines, and the support available from Cheltenham Borough Council, check out the latest resources on their website:

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