Council leader pays tribute to public and staff working to beat COVID-19

Council leader Aileen Morton – ““We will beat this with co-operation, collaboration and community spirit.”

By Aileen MacLennan

These were the words of Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of the Argyll and Bute Council, in advance of the first meeting of the council’s Business Continuity Committee (BCC).

The BCC was set up as part of the council’s response to the threat of COVID-19. When it meets, on-line, on 16th April, the BCC will consider a report on the work the council has taken to date to support local people and communities.

The report, which is available on the council’s website, highlights that services across the whole council have made changes to how they work.

Councillor Morton said:  “Tackling the threat of COVID-19 is meaning huge change for us all.  We must all co-operate with the national guidance that will keep us safe and healthy. For our employees this means changing how we work. Many now work from home, often with their children to look after now that schools are closed, some have to self-isolate and social distancing applies to everyone.

“Times that are extremely challenging though often bring out the very best in people, and that is what I am seeing. Employees from less busy services are stepping up where possible to help those where demand is high. Delivering our most vital services and developing new ways of supporting people means dealing with a huge volume of work, at pace. It’s collaboration across the council that is making this possible – that, and the help of our communities.

“Community volunteers are playing a key part in the work we are doing to help the people most at risk from COVID-19. More than that, local people are looking out for their neighbours and friends in different ways to help ensure that isolating doesn’t mean being isolated. This community spirit is something we should all be proud of in Argyll and Bute.

“The council will work tirelessly to help local people deal with COVID-19, and when this difficult situation ends, which it will, we will be here to help life in Argyll and Bute move on.”

The report going before the BCC provides examples of the changes the council has made, including:

  • Providing childcare for children of essential workers
  • Managing the community helpline – 01546 605524 – set up in partnership with the HSCP (Health and Social Care Partnership) and TSI (Third Sector Interface). The helpline provides a single point of contact for local people with concerns about financial, business, education, registration and social and homecare needs. People can also use it to volunteer.
  • Our Revenues and Benefits Team is administering Scottish Government grant funding for individual businesses. Employees from the council’s Economic Development Service are providing additional, temporary support for this.
  • Creating temporary re-deployment opportunities for employees, so that we can focus resources in areas of greatest need.

Reports on the full agenda for the BCC are published on the council’s website

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