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Gloucestershire Business News

Council cabinet recognises staff response to COVID-19

The immense efforts of staff responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be recognised by Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet when it meets on June 17 as they put on record their heartfelt thanks to colleagues and partners for their tireless work.

The council has seen many changes and increased demand for services over the past few months and have had to respond quickly to make sure they could continue to meet the needs of people across the county.

The response has been extensive, in addition to providing public health advice, support, planning and leadership the council's response has included:

  • Supporting more than 3,000 residents in partnership with district councils and volunteers, via the Gloucestershire Help Hub.
  • Providing extra funding to support care homes - to date a £1.3million uplift to providers and allocation of a national grant. In Gloucestershire this grant is £7million for infection control.
  • Ensuring the county's care homes and other care settings have the PPE they need and their staff have been offered the training the need on how to use it.
  • Providing blue light trained firefighters to drive two extra ambulances to reduce the pressure on the ambulance service.
  • Supporting schools to stay open for key workers and vulnerable children and ensured families who need packed lunches and extra food got it.
  • Rolling out home working to over 2,000 county council staff within days.
  • Continued essential road repairs.
  • Leading emergency homelessness provision, providing emergency accommodation for 343 people.

It is predicted that the pandemic could cost the county council around £53million extra by the end the financial year, mainly for Adults Social Care and reduced income. Many of these increased costs will be covered by extra government funding, of which the council has so far received £27.7million.

A swift but sustainable recovery of our local economy is essential to the future success of the county. GFirstLEP, the Local Enterprise Partnership, has started work on how to best to support this and the cabinet will discuss this work in more detail at its June meeting.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "I am really proud of the work done by all our staff; from supporting care homes, helping the vulnerable, to driving ambulances. 

"Our public health team especially, has done a fantastic job of leading the county's response to COVID-19. Even staff who haven't been directly involved, have done us proud, swiftly adapting to home working so that core services could continue. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for everything you have done -and everything you continue to do."

He added: "We are now planning for what returning to a 'business as usual' will look like, in line with the government's three phased approach. This will need to be handled carefully and be adapted in line with national guidance. There will also be opportunities, for example where services have increased their digital delivery, that we will look to hold onto, where it makes sense to do so."

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