District council releases coronavirus statement
PUBLISHED: 08:51 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:00 19 March 2020
Uttlesford District Council
Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has announced that the R4U-led administration at Uttlesford District Council (UDC) is following government advice for dealing with coronavirus, has plans in place to minimise any impact to council services, and urged people to support vulnerable residents and local businesses.
R4U Councillor Petrina Lees, UDC deputy leader and portfolio holder for health and wellbeing said: “The NHS has fewer than a quarter of the number of intensive care beds per person than Germany and half as many as France.
“During this pandemic the council will continue to work with the local NHS and volunteer sector. Whilst UDC is not directly responsible for healthcare, we do provide a number of important services that residents rely on. The council’s goal is to maintain those services, even with likely staff shortages due to illness and self-isolation.
“If there are impacts, the focus will clearly be on prioritising services for those residents who are most at risk.”
Like other local authorities, UDC gets regular government briefings – and Cllr Lees has urged the district council to establish regular briefings for local party leaders for government and council updates.
Meanwhile, she said she is “pleased” with “the scope of the actions being taken”, including contact with Uttlesford town and parish councils, and the council’s adaptability to a “fast-changing environment”.
Cllr Lees urged local people to ensure local businesses “remain at the heart of our town and village life.”
She said: “Please, please continue to support them. This is the time to shop local or we may lose them.
“Our small local businesses such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, independent and village stores are vital parts of our communities. They will be more affected than most by any loss in trade as people self-isolate.”
She also urged residents to consider donating their time to volunteer groups supporting vulnerable locals, adding: “It has been inspiring to see a number of people working with the volunteer sector and neighbours to offer delivery services to those at risk of isolating.
“At R4U we’ve asked our councillors dig in and help out in their communities where they are able.”
UDC will continue to provide updates for residents at uttlesford.gov.uk/coronavirus.