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March 2020

Friday 27 March

It has been an extraordinary and very challenging week.

The bulk of my time has been spent alongside the Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, in daily meetings with senior officers to review the Council’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Following last Friday’s declaration of a major incident, we’ve been constantly focussing on the urgent decisions that have needed to be made as we respond to an ever-changing situation.

The scaling back of non-essential services has continued throughout the week but you can rest assured that we’re making calm and informed decisions in order to focus our resources on protecting the most vulnerable people in our Borough.

Keep checking the Council’s official news page each working day for my official update which will bring you the key news and decisions as our response to the situation continues. For updates on all Coronavirus (COVID-19) related developments in Stockton-on-Tees – including health advice and disruptions to services – visit the Council’s dedicated webpage

On Tuesday I joined a teleconference alongside fellow Council Leaders and Chief Executives regarding the latest developments in the response against coronavirus with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP.

On Thursday I took part in a teleconference ‘meeting’ of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board. As you can imagine, there was a packed and varied agenda including items on the Armed Forces Covenant, an updating on housing and social care and, of course, a lot of work relating to COVID-19.

Our frontline NHS staff are a constant source of inspiration for us all with their tireless efforts. We showed our support as a Council on Thursday evening by joining the #lightitblue campaign and turning our feature lighting blue in recognition of the sacrifice and service of health workers.

The best way we can all support them and help to save lives is by adhering to the national guidance and staying at home. There is full guidance available online here.

I would also ask everyone to keep checking the NHS page on coronavirus for official health information and useful tips on how to stay healthy and active within your home.

My thoughts remain with everyone affected by COVID-19 during this difficult time. Stay safe and thank you to everyone for their support and efforts as we work to fight this virus.