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Covid-19: Report reveals Cornwall Council's response to pandemic

Covid-19: Report reveals Cornwall Council's response to pandemic

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:49am 11th June 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Kreffa warbarth – stronger together – has been revealed as the spirit which has helped Cornwall Council in its response to coronavirus.

The council has this week published a 23-page report which details the work that it has done in response to the pandemic.

It is due to go before the council’s Cabinet next Wednesday when it meets formally for the first time since lockdown.

The report states: “The council has worked nationally, regionally and locally to protect our communities and to support individuals, groups and businesses affected by the pandemic, economically, socially and in relation to their own physical and mental health. Cornwall’s elected members at all levels, together with other public sector organisations and the private, voluntary and community sectors, plus communities themselves have been a major force in mitigating the impact of Coronavirus and have made an immense contribution in line with the spirit of ‘One and All’ and Kreffa Warbarth: Stronger Together.”

It continues: “Our response has been based on the council’s values of listening and working with the people of Cornwall; using our resources wisely; and acting in the best interests of Cornwall to put people first. These values have guided how we have redeployed resources during the pandemic, as we have had to respond dynamically and innovatively, revising our approach as the national coronavirus action plan and recovery strategy has evolved.”

The report says the council initially had three overriding priorities in its response:

  • Protect and support adult social care in order to protect the local NHS
  • Protect the most vulnerable in our society – including children and young people and the shielded
  • Protect and support our economy
coronavirus ppe

It goes on to state: “The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted profoundly on Cornwall – every person, every household and every business has had to adapt to the changed context of living with coronavirus in our society. The important role that the Council plays in providing strong local leadership for Cornwall has been evident and recognised; bringing partners together to co-ordinate our response, to provide trusted and regular communications to our residents and businesses and to seek to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus particularly on the most vulnerable in our society.”

The report sets out how the council has been working with all agencies in Cornwall including in the health and voluntary sector in responding to the pandemic.

This has included having regular meetings of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board and meetings of political group leaders.

The financial impact of Covid-19 is also addressed with concerns about the longer-term impact.

face mask coronavirus

It states: “The council’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been wide ranging both in terms of its service provision and in support of wider partnerships, whether with community groups, the NHS or with our supply chains. The cost of responding to the pandemic, plus consequential losses arising from loss of income (both as a result of closure and debt recovery), together with undeliverable savings plans and losses of council tax and business rates income are significant and continue to grow as more issues are presented and require actions.”

Details of the funding which has been provided by the Government are provided including money which has been passed on to businesses in the form of grants.

The report states: “In summary, the council’s financial position is currently unstable, but our cash and reserves position are strong which gives us resilience in the short term. We are however a large council and the longer-term financial impacts will be equally large which will need to be addressed through the medium-term financial planning.”

A comprehensive financial report is being prepared for the July meeting of the Cabinet.

The Cabinet will meet on Wednesday (June 17th) to discuss the report.

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