Council’s coronavirus response praised by residents and peers

Telford & Wrekin Council’s pandemic response has been praised by both borough residents and a specialist review by national councils body the Local Government Association (LGA).

Council’s coronavirus response praised by residents and peers

The Council has just finished a residents’ survey to learn what they think of the Council’s response, which almost 5,500 people completed.

Initial analysis shows that 75% of respondents were either very or fairly satisfied with the support the Council provided residents during the pandemic.

The full survey results will be published in the coming weeks.

This follows the LGA’s review in July of the Council’s work this spring and summer and how it is now planning and driving recovery from the pandemic.

The review panel looked at a range of issues including what the council is doing to support the local economy, environment  and the care sector, as well as scrutinising its leadership and communications. 

It highlighted a number of specific Council initiatives such as:

•the delivery of free school meals when schools closed at the start of the pandemic, weeks before any national scheme to provide these 

•Operation Guardian which extended the Government’s list of those residents shielding in the borough from 5,500 to 18,000

•The pace at which it has distributed business grants

•Extra support provided to a range of community-run initiatives to help these cope with extra pressures during the lockdown including food banks and work to tackle homelessness, mental health and domestic violence. 

The review panel described the Council’s response as “impressive delivery….both independently and with and through others, and it is making a difference.”

It said that the Council had delivered a huge amount through its communities thanks to its clear leadership and strong work with partners.”

The panel also highlighted the strength of the Council’s communications during the pandemic describing this as “very impressive”, showing how the Council was on people’s side and a trusted source of information.

They also praised the Council’s commitment as services start to return to find new approaches rather than defaulting back to pre-pandemic ways of doing things.

Council leader Shaun Davies said: “The Council and its staff have worked incredibly hard over the last six months and I and my cabinet colleagues want to thank them for all their hard work and achievements.

“It’s very good to see their efforts recognised as impressive by the LGA. However, as the last few days have shown, this pandemic and its effects are very far from over and there is still a very long way to go and much more work to do to as we continue to protect, care and invest in the borough, its residents and businesses.”

Telford & Wrekin has been asked to provide a number case studies for the LGA to promote as best practice examples to other councils. The Council will then undergo a second LGA review in November of its continuing work to help the borough recover from the pandemic