North East Lincolnshire Council

COVID-19: Open letter from Council Leader, Councillor Phillip Jackson

To everyone in our communities and businesses,

As Leader of the Council, I thought it important to use this message to assure you that North East Lincolnshire Council, its staff, members and partners will be doing all it can to help each and every one of you through these difficult times.

As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads and the Government continues to oversee the national response, locally we’ll be ensuring the Council does all we can to support local communities.

Our collective response must be driven by equal degrees of resilience and kindness to see us through this major public health challenge. Key to that is being mindful and considerate of others and checking that elderly and vulnerable friends, family and neighbours are coping.

We at the Council intend to handle this in a calm, determined and proportionate way, but in a way that will be regularly reviewed and updated in light of Government guidelines and directives.

Councils touch people’s lives in many ways – collecting bins, working with NHS colleagues to oversee public health, supporting business- services that affect us all.

Like other organisations, there’s every likelihood our staff will be affected by Covid-19 and we’re planning our response on a daily basis to cope with the challenges we face.

That may mean deploying resources, including staff, away from their day-to-day activity into the highest priority services to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. But we’re proud of our staff and confident they’ll step up to the mark to do their best for everyone in the borough.  We have great people across the Council, doing excellent work. Our already very stretched capacity is about to be stretched even further as the response inevitably escalates and impacts on all that we do- and how we do it.

In doing this, I would also ask that you bear with us during these testing times.

Our current focus is directed to dealing with the response to the outbreak and the contingency planning that is evolving literally by the day, managing any significant workforce issues that may arise during the course of the outbreak and ensuring that, as far as practicable, business as usual service delivery happens. We are doing this working very closely with our NHS colleagues (Clinical Commissioning Group) and other key partners.

While our services are currently running as normal, that may change over the coming weeks, but we’ll endeavour to let you know as soon as we’re able when any services are affected.

But be assured, we’ll do our utmost to keep providing the best possible support for you.

We’ll do everything we can to delay and then mitigate any impact on our communities and businesses. We recognise the scale of this challenge and that we may not always get everything right, but our response to Covid-19 and its impact on our communities is the Council’s number one priority today and for the foreseeable future.

As a Council, we’re monitoring the national, regional and local situation and will continue to follow Government and Public Health England advice. Our response will remain proportionate, flexible and evidence-based, led by our Public Health experts and supported by the wide range of professions in our workforce and that of our partners.

In following that advice, I would also urge everyone in North East Lincolnshire to do the same, particular on handwashing and other health and hygiene guidance, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and to keep as many of us as possible healthy.

Please take heed of the official announcements from central government and the NHS and check trusted sources of news for the latest updates:

We’ll also be using all of the channels open to us to regularly update you of what we’re doing and to inform you of unavoidable disruption to any services and other actions we’re taking; please accept that all our decisions will be taken with the health and wellbeing of our residents and our employees as the absolute priority.

Thank you for your continued support and stay safe and well.

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