The two group leaders on Harlow Council have made the following joint statement on the council’s response to the national coronavirus situation:
Councillor Mark Ingall, Leader of the council, and Councillor Andrew Johnson, Leader of the opposition, said:
“These are unprecedented times which call for unprecedented action. Recent government announcements have made it clear that the council must make a number of changes to the way services will be provided over the coming weeks. It is hoped that these measures will be temporary with the priority to get services back up and running normally as soon as it is possible and safe to do so. For now the council’s service provision will remain under review on a daily basis.
“Responding to the coronavirus outbreak is the council’s number one priority. By taking these steps the council is protecting the health and wellbeing of its residents and staff. We are working together with senior managers to make sure all services are protected, staff are kept safe and vital services still run.
“We know these are uncertain times for all. Support will be provided to those residents who are finding it hard at this time. We know that some residents access the Civic Centre for housing advice, to pay rent and manage council tax. The council is working to identify and support the residents who rely on these services. Council staff will continue to support and check up on those residents who are affected by temporary service closures and changes.
“Across the country things will continue to move at speed so local action and decisions will need to be taken quickly. This means there will be regular communication issued to keep residents informed. Residents can stay updated through the local media, the council’s website and the council’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and we will communicate directly with our service’s customers.
“Covid-19 is a fast-moving, developing issue at an international, national and local level. Harlow Council is taking its responsibilities very seriously in following government advice to help prevent the spread of this virus and making sure residents know what they can do to help. The council continues to monitor the local situation working closely with Essex County Council and other partners. The council’s response will also be guided by any additional measures set out by the government to reduce the spread of the virus and protect the local economy and make sure residents and businesses know what support is available.
“We urge all residents to continue to follow the public health messages around what measures they can take to prevent the spread of this virus. More information can be found on the government website
“We anticipate that it is going to be a long and difficult period, but our staff and councillors are committed to supporting the Harlow community throughout. Harlow was built on its community spirit and it is that which will bring our town through this. We have already seen the local community reaching out to support the vulnerable by collecting and dropping off supplies and we know that residents and business will continue to do what they can, but you are not alone Harlow Council will be working hard to help and support everyone it can.”