Angus Council thank staff and public for their support during coronavirus outbreak
Angus Council’s Chief Executive Margo Williamson’s thanked staff for their hard work and the citizens of Angus for their patience and understanding at today’s (Friday 3 April 2020) special council meeting.
Margo Williamson said: “The impact and consequences of the global pandemic is unprecedented on our citizens, communities, workforce and businesses. Angus Council staff play a vital role in supporting the continued response and longer term recovery actions and I again acknowledge and thank my colleagues – our Council staff, who are maintaining vital services to ensure we protect and preserve life.
“With staff capacity reduced and a vast increase in many areas of our work, we will face further challenges in the coming weeks. I’d like to thank our citizens, businesses and suppliers for their continued patience and understanding during this time. I appreciate some of the changes we’ve made are not always going to be popular but they are in line with Government guidance and are designed to protect us all.”
Action taken to date includes:
Today’s launch of the Tayside Cares website – the Humanitarian Aid Centre can be accessed from there and the council is ready to support those with shielding letters and others in need.
Children, families and justice
o Social work and social care staff are providing critical services and taking opportunities to work differently to support families. This includes providing respite to children with complex needs and developing a responsive outreach team to support children at home
o Many staff have volunteered to be redeployed into residential child care and are now providing care to young people in our children’s houses
o Eight social work staff are available to offer trauma informed responses to those who contact the newly established Humanitarian Aid Centre and are working together to take a ‘whole family’ approach to meeting people’s needs
ACCESSLine have had a 75% increase in web chats and a 180% increase in emails.
Website analytics show that our citizens are turning to Angus Council’s website for information with 336,000 more page views over the past seven days than the same period last year.
Revenues and benefits
o In one week, 1213 people used the online benefits calculator to identify potential benefits of £3.4m.
o Received 535 crisis grant requests in March. These can be given to cover the costs in an emergency. This is an increase of 65% on the amount usually received in a month.
o 1125 business grant received in March.
Business Angus continues to support and signpost businesses to local, national and regional guidance through the Business Angus website www.investinangus.com/covid-19/
o Over 200,000 bin collections carried out and only 0.05% have been reported as missed since Monday 23 March.
o During this time every household mixed-recycling and general waste bin round has been completed
Schools and learning
o 11 childcare hubs operating in schools with provision from 0845-1800. The hubs will provide childcare in the Easter holiday.
o The school offer is supported by 6 private nurseries and 5 child minders.
o 11 settings will take children from birth, 13 from age 2 and 20 from age 3. The maximum number to attend on any one day so far has been 125. Almost 90% are the children of key workers.
o Continued to offer free school meal entitlement via sandwich bags at the hubs. With approximately 30 children attending each day simply to collect lunch.
o To ensure that children can stay at home instead of attending hubs for lunch initiated payments will go direct into bank accounts with families receiving £11 per child per week. The first payment of £44 per child (2 weeks in arrears and two weeks in advance) is being made on Friday 3 April.
Council and welfare
o Activating the council’s emergency centre plan which is the command, co-ordination and communication hub for dealing with any emergency
o All business continuity plans for essential services invoked and continuing to deliver critical activities.
o Forty-two of the council’s buildings are now closed to the public in line with Government guidance.
o Daily briefings for staff, including questions to Yammer and also frequently asked questions and situation reports daily including to elected members.
o 52 social media posts put out on Facebook providing information/advice around the coronavirus since 23 March 2020.
Voluntary Action Angus have supported over 1300 people with shopping and prescriptions and telephone befriending since the 16 March 2020.
Angus Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP)
o Delivering in excess of 9000 hours of care each week to nearly 1500 people.
o Supporting around 1000 people living in Angus care homes.
o Delivering around 800 hot meals every day.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
o We’ve received donations of PPE from Angus and Dundee College, Arbroath High School, Arbroath Academy, Brechin High School and Stepping Stones Playgroup in Forfar.
You can keep up to date with the latest news and service information around the coronavirus on Angus Council’s website https://www.angus.gov.uk/coronavirus