Staffordshire County Council Coronavirus update 17.04.20
More than £22m pumped into Coronavirus Battle Fund
More than £22m is set to be spent to help Staffordshire County Council keep people safe, protect the most vulnerable and ease pressure on frontline services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Leader Philip Atkins said the county council will do everything it takes and spend every pound it needs in order to help save lives and support families and businesses through the enormous challenges in the months ahead.
” Staffordshire has always had an amazing community spirit and it is incredible to see everyone pulling together as never before to help not only family, friends and neighbours, but also to help people who until days ago were simply strangers.
We have seen businesses close, people being furloughed or losing their jobs, residential care homes and the NHS face crippling pressures and some of us have sadly lost loved ones before their time, including frontline care workers to this virus, which continues to show no mercy.
That’s why, as a county council, we will continue to do everything we can to help Staffordshire through the coming weeks. I would like to thank every person in the county who is stepping up to help us do this.”
The report setting out the county council’s response to Covid-19 will be discussed by the first virtual meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday, April 15. Members of the public can watch it live on the webcast here from 10am.
Emergency measures set out in the report include:
- The allocation of £22.296m Government funding to the council’s coronavirus battle fund – with further significant extra costs expected
- The creation of a county-wide food distribution network to supply 20,000 parcels to vulnerable self-isolators
- Creation of I Count – more than 750 council staff have volunteered to switch jobs to support critical roles
- The recruitment, vetting and training of hundreds of people to provide home care as part of our I Care campaign
- A raft of measures for care providers, including: financial support for agency staff, sickness cover and extra care packages
- Exploration of additional financial support for the care sector
- Early sourcing of emergency supplies of PPE for social care providers
- Support for foster carers who have seen a drastic fall in income
- Extra care packages for vulnerable children and adults being supported at home
- Rent holiday for enterprise centre tenants
- Construction of temporary mortuary facilities.
The details of the coronavirus spending comes just two months after the county council set out its own budget and plans to reduce spending by £64m by 2024.
The council has now identified that due to the coronavirus response there is a risk that at least £10 million of savings included in the 2020/21 budget will not be delivered. This, together with additional costs arising from the crisis could well result in an overall financial impact in excess of £50m.
Philip Atkins said:
“Our Medium Term Financial Strategy was agreed before the coronavirus began to cast its shadow and it is clear that there is a significant risk in now being able to deliver agreed savings in the timescales envisaged.
While our immediate priority must be to do everything we can to tackle the coronavirus, we are also looking to the future. We are raising with Government the need to address the financial impact on our own county and local councils as we start to look with partners to rebuild services, businesses and our local economy.
In the coming weeks, the challenge will remain huge and the toll on some will be sadly high, but I know that in Staffordshire we have the resilience, the resourcefulness and simply the sheer determination to see this through together.”
Mass Staffordshire Day sing-along to thank hero key workers
A group video sing-along to the Robbie Williams iconic ‘Angels’ is set to make the perfect Staffordshire Day tribute to the heroic keyworkers getting the county through the coronavirus pandemic.
We’re inviting you to say thank you to our NHS staff, care workers, other key workers and volunteers by recording your own selfie video version of the Robbie hit and emailing it in.
Your videos will then be edited together and will premiere as a special collective moment on Friday 1 May, as part of this year’s online-only Staffordshire Day programme, which will also feature poetry readings, art classes, cooking demonstrations, talks, theatre and live music.
Stay at home rules extended for at least three weeks
At the daily briefing at No 10 yesterday foreign secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that the strict measures in place to stay at home and away from others would continue for at least another three weeks.
Government advice remains to:
Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
- If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.