As the Government announces new and emerging priorities for people across the country, I want to reassure everyone that we are working hard, not only to keep vital services running, but to find ways to support citizens coming to terms with these arrangements.
We’re absolutely focused on the many issues that Coronavirus has created, working tirelessly to find appropriate solutions. At the moment, our senior managers are focused on continuing to provide care for the elderly and vulnerable, supporting local businesses and looking after our own staff so they can continue to deliver vital services to local people. I’m pleased to see Nottingham City Council staff galvanise themselves to respond to this crisis, making the changes needed to keep people safe and the city running.
I am pleased that together with the County Council, we have agreed to reimburse local bus and tram operators for free trips made by concessionary pass holders before 9.30am on weekdays. General advice remains to limit travel wherever possible – resulting in fewer people using public transport and posing a public health risk. If elderly and vulnerable people do need to make journeys, they can now do so on public transport for free. A number of supermarkets are now allowing access for this group of customers only for the first hour the shop is open. This arrangement is available on Nottingham City Transport, NET trams, CT4N (commercial and Link buses), Centrebus and Marshalls. Trent Barton have also introduced the same measures.
Children’s Centres and Community Centres
I can also report that our Children’s Centres will remain open only for people who have health appointments. Our council’s early help teams will now support families remotely via phone and will make additional resources available for families on the Ask Lion website: www.asklion.co.uk
Meanwhile most community centres are now closed, with no new bookings being taken. We may need to reopen some centres and use some in a different way in the near future.
Following yesterday’s announcement, we are working with schools and head teachers across the city to co-ordinate the school provision that will be in place from Monday for the children of key workers, such as NHS staff, police and fire service. Key workers provide essential services which help to keep everybody safe and well – often doing their jobs at risk to their own health. The list of other job roles that will be defined as ‘key workers’ will be provided by the Government soon.
Our aim is to keep some of our local authority maintained schools open as well as support our partner academies to provide places for children of not only key workers but also for vulnerable children who need additional help and support during the day.
We expect to be able to give more information about this to parents on Friday (20 March).