Coronavirus updatePublished Tuesday, 17th March 2020
The health, safety and wellbeing of our community is paramount, which is why we are temporarily changing the way we deliver services with immediate effect.
Melton Borough Council remains open and is working proactively with local and national agencies to co-ordinate the response to Coronavirus outbreak. We are making all possible preparations to ensure we are able to support priority services for our residents and businesses, particularly focussing on the most vulnerable members of our community.
We have however decided that it is necessary to limit face-to face contact to reduce the spread of Coronavirus among local residents and our employees. Customers can continue to use our website, email us, contact us through Facebook and Twitter, or call us. We will however only deal with urgent customer enquiries in person and where an appointment has been made. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
As a council we have well established flexible working practices and many of our officers have the ability to remain fully operational whilst working from home. We will continue to follow government guidance in this area and manage the balance between playing our part in reducing the spread of the virus whilst ensuring we maintain service provision.
Council employees have been advised to prioritise their workload and consider attendance at meetings and training. We have also cancelled non-essential group activities like physical activities sessions and will be advising of further cancellations to other events in due course.
Public facing services such as housing repairs, street cleaning and waste and recycling collections will continue as normal but this is being reviewed regularly and we will keep you updated.
Community Support Hub: The Council has established a Community Support Hub to co-ordinate efforts to support our communities during this difficult period. We have contacted local voluntary, community and faith-based partners to establish what they are currently doing and are inviting any other group to let us know what they are doing by contacting Here4Melton@melton.gov.uk. We are also encouraging anyone who wants to promote efforts to support communities and vulnerable people to use #Here4Melton in any social media as this will help us keep track and promote their efforts.
Support to businesses: The Government has set out measures to support businesses including some business rates relief and a hardship fund. The Council will be issuing new business rates bills based on the changes and is awaiting further guidance on the Hardship Fund. We are working to ensure we can distribute any support as quickly as possible when it becomes available.
Public decision making meetings: Due to social distancing guidelines we have carefully considered our schedule of meetings and consulted with relevant Chairs, the Mayor and the Leader and have decided to cancel the Cabinet Meeting on 18th March, and Audit and Standards on 24th March. Planning Committee scheduled for 26th March is continuing at the current time and officers are considering how we may be able to continue with this and future meetings remotely via teleconferencing facilities. We believe that this is a proportionate way of trying to keep our elected members, staff and the public safe and healthy. We will review our decision regularly and update further on any changes.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Joe Orson said:
“I recognise these are worrying times in what is an unprecedented situation but I want to ensure everyone in Melton that supporting the health and well-being of our communities and the employees who serve them is our top priority. We are doing all we can to prepare for the challenging times ahead and ensure we can both maintain our priority services whilst also helping to co-ordinate the amazing support being offered by people throughout our community. We hope our new Community Support Hub provides a beacon around which we can all rally and work together to help those in need. Can I encourage anyone who is wishing to co-ordinate support on social media to use the #Here4Melton so we can keep track of all your efforts and help link people together.
For the latest NHS guidance please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
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