I am sure many of our Members will be a little uncertain as to what Malvern Hills District Council is concentrating on at this time of crisis. All local authorities in Worcestershire, (the County Council and the six District Councils) are working closely together as “One Worcestershire”. They are also in daily contact with central government and are implementing government directives along side the emergency services, working closely with agencies such as Community Action and Age UK, and in due course, with the army.
As a former Leader of the Council I can assure you that the present Leader of the Council, together with the Council’s Chief Executive and entire Officer team are working tirelessly to maintain as many Council services as possible but their priority is clearly based around protecting our community and providing support wherever possible, especially to the elderly, the vulnerable and the homeless.
We are all rightly thanking our magnificent NHS teams, the support staff and care workers who are literally saving lives every day, whilst often putting themselves at risk. I would also like to thank those working in local government who sometimes get forgotten. The officers who visit the homeless every day and are working to find homes for them so that they no longer need to sleep rough. The bin men who are at present maintaining full collection services across the district and many, many more.
The Council House is now closed to the public and Councillors alike. Councillors are operating from home as are as many officers as possible, with just the minimal staff working from the Council House. Many staff are being redirected to deal with the crisis but wherever possible the Council hopes to maintain its key services including planning, licensing and waste collection. If you are experiencing a delay when contacting the Council, please be patient; everyone is doing the very best they can.
District Councillors, though working from home, are maintaining where necessary daily contact with their Parish or Town Councils. Case work continues as far as possible as normal. Many of us have telephone lists of residents we have helped over the years and are making calls, especially to those older residents, to ensure they are coping and have everything they need. I never realised just what a ten minute conversation on the telephone means to some people – its something we can all do and I promise you, it make such a difference to someone who is self isolating and living alone.
Something else many Councillors are doing is to put a post card through letter boxes of those we think may be in need of help. I have also supplied a number to each of my three Parish Councils. You can download and print a copy below. Please feel free to reproduce if you are able to help those in need locally to you. You don’t have to reproduce onto post cards, a simple paper flyer will suffice.
Please stay safe and above all STAY AT HOME.
Councillor David Chambers