I was never in doubt that councils across the country would be able to step up to tackle this crisis, but I continue to be touched by the heart-warming stories I hear about how the local government family has responded to the greatest challenge we face for a generation.
The Government is relying on us to support the national effort and make sure those who need it have access to food and emergency support. So far, we have delivered, and that is something of which we can all be proud.
“Our role at the heart of our communities means that we’re ensuring many more of our residents are safe and healthy”
We are now providing support to more than 1.8 million people who are clinically vulnerable. Our role at the heart of our communities means that we’re ensuring many more of our residents are safe and healthy – including those at risk of homelessness or food poverty, vulnerable children and victims of abuse.
As Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, I know all too well the spread of challenges we face, but I am reassured by the conversations I continue to have with government.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has spoken of the important role local councils are playing, reiterating the Government’s commitment that councils will get the resources they need to cope with this pandemic.
I want to pay tribute to all of those who have played their part.
Sadly, you will have heard the stories of members of the local government family that we have lost to COVID-19. Some of you may have experienced losses in your own councils.
I know all our thoughts are with those who have died and their loved ones at this dreadful time.
I cannot say enough how grateful I am to every councillor, member of staff and contractor who is going above and beyond right now to support our communities.
Whether it be on the frontline in the battle against the virus, or as a cog in the bigger machine that is keeping our local areas running – you are doing an incredibly inspiring job.