Covid-19 - Message from the Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux
Over a number of years we have been working with you through The Deal to build on the amazing sense of pride and community we feel for our borough.
We didn’t envisage that this sense of community spirit would be in demand in a scenario like the one we now find ourselves in.
It has become clear that we are now facing a fast-developing situation in our response to Covid-19.
Undoubtedly this will test each one of us in new and unprecedented ways.
But we know that the qualities that define Wigan Borough – our sense of pride, togetherness and cooperation – can be relied upon.
In essence, our over-arching response to Covid-19 will be underpinned by The Deal and our need to be kind to everyone.
We know our wonderful communities are already organising volunteer responses, whether it is checking on vulnerable neighbours or offering calm reassurance to friends and loved ones, we can all play a part.
We are a borough that pulls together when required, I have no doubt that we will all rise to the challenge.
So what does this all mean in practice? The council has set out a five point plan:
Wigan Borough’s 5-point plan in response to Covid-19
- The health of all our people
Our overriding priority is the health of the people in Wigan Borough. We are doing all we can within our resources to protect the health of our population. We have excellent, established and strong partnership arrangements with our local NHS and these will be relied upon throughout the coming months.
We are prioritising our most at risk families, the elderly and those with pre-existing long term conditions through redeploying existing resource, working with our hospitals to support transfers of care, supporting providers of social care and ensuring other vulnerable groups are assisted through a co-ordinated approach.
We need you to play your part by washing hands often, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and following NHS guidance on self-isolation (external link) if you or a family member has symptoms.
- Support our strong communities
In partnership with our community groups across the borough we are establishing a network of hubs backed by The Deal which can help co-ordinate support for our communities including supplying those in need, receiving donations and co-ordinating volunteers. This will help maximise the effectiveness of support for people in need and provide advice and guidance for the many smaller community support groups which have been set-up following the onset of the pandemic. We are working closely with our voluntary and partners, including Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, on safeguarding those at risk including the homeless, those with complex needs and people at risk of domestic violence. You can play your part by looking out for vulnerable neighbours and donating to food banks.
- Support our businesses
We are working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Business Growth Hub to develop a business hub to support and advise businesses, charities and community organisations. We are lobbying Government for rapid implementation of Covid-19 budget decisions on business support and relaxation of a range of costs and requirements. If you are a business and are struggling in the situation please contact our business engagement team (external link).
- Continue to work well with you as a council
We will continue to carry out all the services that help you live and work in the borough and we will maintain all our essential services such as waste collection, household recycling centres, cemetery services, emergency housing repairs, school dinner provision and more. For staff we are implementing our business continuity plans for home working and we are reviewing council meetings but will ensure council business continues. Your councillor may ask you to contact them by phone or email rather than in person.
- Communicate to you
The council has a number of social media channels and a website which we will update on a regular basis with information to ensure you are kept informed on a local level with reliable advice on staying safe and healthy. Please follow our social media channels and keep up date on our COVID-19 webpage to stay informed.
We will adapt, of course, to a fast ever-changing situation and we will continuously review in light of government guidance.
And, as ever, we will be working closely with you and partners to ensure we all receive the support we need.
Councillor David Molyneux, Leader, Wigan Council
Posted on Tuesday 17th March 2020