The ongoing and escalating situation with regards Covid-19 caused by the Coronavirus is of deep concern to us all. We are seeing an unprecedented effort by all parts of society to take action to minimise the impact of this pandemic.
In Lincolnshire we have had only a small number of cases so far, but it would be a mistake to think that we will not be badly affected in the coming days, weeks and months ahead.
In the coming days and weeks there is expected to be little change to the services provided by the council. For the moment the leisure centre will remain open and collections of bins will continue; however those who are self-isolating should store any contaminated waste – used tissues or disposable cleaning cloths – for 72 hours before ‘double bagging’ and putting out with other household waste.
Our benefits office will be open as usual, so too housing services and customer services (although if you are self-isolating you should contact us by telephone or email). We have however closed the Trinity Arts Centre, you can apply for a refund online or wait to be contacted by our staff. Please do not telephone or visit the box office in person.
Earlier I met with my senior committee chairmen, the Chief Executive and senior officers, to look at how West Lindsey District Council can continue to operate in these circumstances.
We were joined by the Director of Public Heath from Lincolnshire County Council on the telephone, Derek Ward, who gave us a briefing. With immediate effect all future meetings have been cancelled and our emergency procedures for decision making have been implemented. Arrangements to hold meetings of the Planning or Licensing committees, with a small limited number of councillors, where these become essential, have been put in place; whilst we await emergency legislation from government on meeting remotely. Public participation has been curtailed by the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Cllr. Ian Fleetwood, and will be by submission only.
None of these decisions are being taken lightly. We understand the profound impact these decisions will have on people’s livelihoods, our local economy and our communities.
The threat that a global pandemic on this scale represents should not be underestimated. The coming weeks and months are going to prove a considerable strain on all of us. We must rise to this challenge: We are all better than we know; if only we can realise this, help and support one another, we will succeed in the fight against this disease.
The health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and members always comes first. We will play our part to support the Government, colleagues and communities across the county, in fighting Covid-19. Following the best medical and scientific advice to support, protect and deliver for our communities.