Council leaders thank residents for support during coronavirus pandemic
THE leaders of Rugby Borough Council's political groups have thanked residents for supporting the council during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cllr Seb Lowe, leader of the Conservative group and leader of the council, Cllr Maggie O'Rourke, leader of the Labour group, and Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, issued a joint statement ahead of the publication next week of a report summarising the council's response to the pandemic.
Since the start of lockdown, the council has redeployed staff to operate the Government's community shielding hub for the borough and run the Rugby Foodbank.
So far, the council has delivered 1,000 food parcels from the shielding hub to vulnerable residents and 500 packages via the Foodbank.
Council staff have also delivered the Government's support for businesses in the borough, distributing 1,300 grants worth more than £15 million, and carried out minor adaptations to homes to allow the NHS to safely discharge patients from hospital.
Elsewhere, the council has maintained essential frontline services throughout the lockdown, with crews collecting bins from around 12,000 homes every day, including Bank Holidays.
Rainsbrook Crematorium and the council's cemeteries have remained operational, offering bereavement services with the support of funeral directors, while the council's Community Support and Advice Team, and contact centre, have delivered advice and information to residents throughout the pandemic.
In the joint statement, Cllr Lowe, Cllr O'Rourke and Cllr Roodhouse recognised the role council staff have played in supporting the borough's vulnerable residents during the lockdown and thanked the community for its support and patience.
"The coronavirus pandemic has been the most significant civil emergency Rugby Borough Council has ever had to deal with," the group leaders said.
"The council has rightly prioritised the needs of vulnerable residents during this time, supporting the clinically extremely vulnerable who were advised by the NHS to shield and sourcing accommodation for rough sleepers and homeless residents in the borough.
"Many staff have been redeployed to support this work and we're grateful for all their contributions, which have kept Rugby going through this difficult period.
"While some of our lower priority services have stopped while staff have supported other services, we have now started to return staff to regular roles and thank residents for their support, patience and understanding during this period."
The cabinet consider the report on 1 June at the first council meeting held by video conference and streamed live on the council's YouTube channel.
The report will be published next week on the council's website at www.rugby.gov.uk/cabinetJune2020.