Local councils quizzed on readiness for Tier 3

Local councils in Telford and Wrekin are being surveyed about their preparedness for a hypothetical second lockdown or the area moving into Tier 3 of the government's restrictions.

Telford & Wrekin Council has written to smaller councils to discuss the issue
Telford & Wrekin Council has written to smaller councils to discuss the issue

An email, sent by the borough council while Telford and Wrekin was still in Tier 1, asks town and parish councils what community help they could maintain or introduce and what assistance they might need if coronavirus restrictions were tightened.

Yesterday the government confirmed Telford and Wrekin Council was moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2.

But, 10 days before that, the local authority’s Community Services department had written to lower-level councils telling them Covid-19 cases were rising and asking about their ability to run services, including errands for those shielding or self-isolating.

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Community Services Team Leader Fiona Moore wrote: “Like us at Telford and Wrekin Council, whilst you have been working on resetting and reforming your normal business, you are also braced for a potential second lockdown and thinking about lessons learned from last time.

“The council has kept its community support helpline open, and we’re revising our offer to reflect the most common requests for support so we can respond once again to vulnerable residents who do not have any family, friends or neighbour support they can call on.

“To help us respond to requests we are currently recruiting a task force of available staff who will help us to provide some of the practical support needed.

“We know and are thankful for the fact that, during the last lockdown, many town and parish councils implemented a range of community help to your parishoners, sometimes in partnership with local voluntary sector organisations, which obviously prevented those people coming to ‘the council’s door’.”

She praised projects undertaken by various town and parish councils, including “keep in touch” phone calls and breakfast provision.

“It would help us to know what position your town/parish council and its staff and councillors will be in if Telford and Wrekin were placed into the new tier three / lockdown situation,” Ms Moore added.

“How equipped are you to maintain services and what resources might you be in need of to enable you to continue, or start, to provide community help?”

Her letter lists help requests “that most frequently came in” during the spring lockdown, including food delivery and prescription and pension collection, and other areas of potential assistance.

It asks parish and town councils to comment on whether they can provide them, and how that could be arranged.

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