STRATFORD District Council is beginning to shift focus from dealing with the medical emergency and initial support phase into planning for the future.
Operationally, since the start of the lockdown, the council has:
* Delivered, with the help of volunteers some 800 food parcels
* Provided grants of £25.4 million to 2,074 businesses (as at May 4)
* Taken up to 800 calls a day in our contact centre at the peak
* Purchased 200 laptops enabling over 200 staff to work from home
* Kept the organisation running effectively by using MS Teams and Zoom
* Participated fully in regional and national forums using video conferencing
* Introduced a ‘buddy system’ that keeps all councillors up to date
* Issued daily press updates and social media posts
Warwickshire Covid-19 cases has now passed the peak. The rolling seven day average for daily cases in the county shows a decline from about 800 cases on April 8 to fewer than 400 at the end of April.
The authority is now turning its attention to economic recovery, and, as the council is predicted to be among the hardest hit in the country (see front page story), the recovery is set to be slow.
The council estimates the pandemic will cost around £8.1million in lost revenue in the first half of this year alone. In addition, extra costs incurred to date are at £337,000 and rising.
The council has received some £1.3million from central government leaving a shortfall of over £6.75million.
Council leader Tony Jefferson said: “The Chinese reputedly have a saying – ‘May you live in interesting times’ – we certainly do. Stay safe.”