Leeds City Council has today issued a series of reports updating on the work it is carrying out in response to the coronavirus crisis and initial planning already underway to help the city return to normal life.
Following on from the update issued last week which can be seen at www.news.leeds.gov.uk, the council has now issued a detailed update report which demonstrates the broad range of work it is carrying out itself and with partners and stakeholders across the city, region, nationally and internationally to tackle and minimise the impact of the current crisis on the city, its residents, businesses and communities.
It has also published supporting documents relating to response delivery and recovery planning, regional multi-agency working and risk awareness to address key issues as well as preparing the city for the end of the lockdown.
The highlights noted in the reports includes Leeds securing 10,000 surgical masks from its sister city Hangzhou in China to help meet personal protective equipment (PPE) demand, and the council supporting businesses in the city by processing grants so far totalling £86million.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“As you will see from the these reports, the level of work being undertaken by the NHS, the council, public health partners, our partners and stakeholders in every sector across the city, region, wider country and even with international partners is staggering. Leeds is known as being a compassionate city, and the way all of these organisations, charities and groups have come together to work with our residents, volunteers, businesses and communities to tackle this challenge together is amazing – it really is an incredible team for Leeds which is really making a difference.
“I’d like to thank everyone for playing their part, and would say that even though there are signs we may soon be through the worst of this we cannot be premature with relaxing our approach so I would ask everyone in the city to remain resolute and follow all guidance to make sure this crisis is over as soon as it can be.
“Our task then will be to reset and restart the daily life of the city, and we are already planning on that in terms of how we can support businesses to resume and people to find work so our economy can begin to recover and as much support as possible is available to everyone who needs it.”
The main report gives detailed updates on all aspects of work being carried out by the council and its work with partners to offer vital support and deliver services in the best way possible. The focus is on protecting the most vulnerable people in Leeds, ensuring service delivery and business continuity and supporting individuals, families and businesses and encouraging residents to support their communities. Other priorities include planning and responding to impacts and changes to support and protect the NHS and social care providers, as well as other critical services and key workers to keep the city running.
Some of the other highlights listed in the reports include:
- Already more than 3,000 people who have called the coronavirus helpline on 0113 378 1877 have been supported
- Through working with care providers and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, bed space has been freed up in hospitals for coronavirus patients
- Over a thousand food parcels were delivered over the Easter weekend in Leeds, together with 800 meals being provided for rough sleepers and the homeless
- Support for 22,000 people advised to remain at home as part of shielding across the city
- Working with Department of Health, NHS England and partners to create a virus testing centre for key workers which is now open at Temple Green park and ride
- Traffic levels in Leeds are down by 60 per cent during the week and 70 per cent at weekends as people work from home and follow the rules to avoid travelling
- Bus and rail use down to around 10 per cent compared to normal periods, with city centre footfall down by more than 90 per cent
- Key council information and guidance has been translated into multiple languages
- Council communications channels being used to reinforce national messages as well as local messaging such as supporting physical and mental health at home, home learning services available and offering support for anyone suffering domestic abuse
- Encouraging people in Leeds to tell their stories of community support to local and global audiences through www.togetherapart.xyz
Work on essential council schemes including on infrastructure such as roads, bridges and flood prevention measures is continuing, but with all contractors required to fully observe all requirements in terms of site and public safety and social distancing.
Recovery planning for the end of the lockdown is already underway, looking initially at business support to help businesses restart operations and to match those out of work with job opportunities through the council’s employment and skills team.