Rugby Borough Council to lead community response to Coronavirus COVID-19
Following the government’s change in strategy in response to the Coronavirus outbreak announced on Monday evening, Rugby Borough Council has issued the following statement:
Cllr Seb Lowe, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “The government announcement on Monday marks a significant shift in the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and I know that this has alarmed many of our residents.
“Rugby Borough Council has been preparing to respond since the outbreak began at the beginning of the year, and we have now put the first steps in place to make sure we are able to help the people who most need it. We are in regular contact with colleagues in the government, at the NHS and other public authorities, as well as with the community and voluntary sector. Together we will lead our communities through these uncertain times.
“Social distancing has the potential to marginalise some of our more vulnerable residents and others who may already feel isolated. We must all follow the national guidelines on social distancing, but our first priority after this is to make sure that our neighbourhoods get to the other side of this pandemic stronger, more resilient and more united. It is heart-warming to see so many community Whatsapp groups, Facebook pages and other support groups pop up in neighbourhoods across the borough, and I would urge all group organisers to contact the council via the council’s Facebook Messenger so that we can share important updates with them.
“Our second objective is to support the residents and communities who are most vulnerable to this outbreak. Today we are announcing a number of changes to council services that are designed to protect the particularly vulnerable, along with the key workers whose services we will need most. We have made plans to make sure that we can continue to deliver essential services such as support for the homeless, benefit and housing applicants, and sheltered housing residents. We know that we will need to be flexible to meet people’s needs and will publish updates to our website.
“Our third priority is to support our local economy. We are already preparing revised business rates bills to reflect new exemptions announced by the Chancellor and our aim is for these to be in place before Direct Debits are paid on 1 April. At the same time we are preparing to administer small business grants on behalf of the government, and we will publish the full details of these when we have them. We will work with the Growth Hub and other organisations to make sure that businesses have the best possible support.
“Through these times it is important that we stay well informed and follow the latest advice, so I would urge all residents and business to follow the council’s twitter and Facebook pages now, if they haven’t already done so. We will use a variety of means to communicate, but these will always carry the latest information first.”
The latest updates to council services, and trusted links to public health advice will be published at www.rugby.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Administrators of community support networks are encouraged to message their contact details and geographic location to the council’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rugbyboroughcouncil, which will also publish the latest updates. Twitter updates will be published at twitter.com/rugbybc.