Council leader pays tribute to local COVID-19 response

Published Date: 

14 May 2020 - 15:52

Council progress in supporting businesses and local communities affected by COVID-19 has been considered by the Business Continuity Committee (BCC).

A report to the BCC shows that the council’s response has been wide ranging covering everything from food, medicine, information and home-learning services, to care for vulnerable people, business support and longer term planning for recovery.

Highlights include:

  • Getting £23.5 million to date of Scottish Government grant funding to local businesses

  • The community helpline, set up to provide non-medical support, has taken nearly 5,000 calls

  • 2,500+ food parcels were delivered by the end of April

  • The council-operated Oban Airport is providing safety support to a trial delivering vital medical supplies between Oban and Mull hospitals

  • Remote learning support provided for pupils using digital channels

  • Free webinars provided to support businesses to remain in operation, to diversify and to look beyond the pandemic to recovery

  • the coronavirus information web pages set up on the council’s website, to support communities and businesses, are well used, with nearly 198,000 views

The report also touches on the strength of community resilience in Argyll and Bute, and the importance of partnership in getting help to those who do need it:

  • The majority of people who are shielding (ie advised to stay at home for 12 weeks) advised when contacted that they do not need help, that they have their own arrangements in place.

  • Council employees, and members of the public, are making significant changes to their lifestyles to protect themselves and others

  • Local volunteers are playing a vital part in providing support in different ways across Argyll and Bute.

Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council said:

“COVID-19 is having a significant impact on everyone’s life. This report shows that we are all achieving a lot by working together. I would like to thank our employees, partner agencies, families working with our schools to support our young people, and all the volunteers across the area, for getting on with the challenges we are all facing, and getting help to where it’s needed.

As well as delivering support now, the council is making plans to return services that have had to be changed or suspended to allow for COVID-19 safety measures. How or when this will happen for schools, waste and other services will depend on national guidance, and we continue to work with COSLA and the Scottish Government on responding to changing circumstances.

Whenever and however services resume, our priority will be on ensuring the safety of our employees and the public we support.”