Agenda item

Covid 19: Update Report

The report of the Chief Executive is attached.


It was RESOLVED that the work of officers of the Council and partners in responding to and supporting the recovery from Covid 19 be noted.


The Leader, Councillor Robinson presented the report of the Chief Executive providing an update on the work completed to date on response and recovery due to the Covid 19 pandemic since July 2021.


The Leader highlighted the key headlines in the report, which reflected the work undertaken both internally and externally by the Council during the pandemic and referred to the lifting of restrictions, which had taken place on 19 July, details of which were highlighted in the report.


The Leader referred to the £106k European Regional Development Welcome Back funding, which had been used for a number of events.  Cabinet was advised that a temporary High Street/Town Centre Manager had been appointed, and that £10k had been ringfenced for each of the six larger town/parish councils. 


In respect of leisure, the significant impact to this sector could not be underestimated and the Leader was pleased to note that since the lifting of restrictions, usage was up to about 80% of pre-pandemic levels.  Work was currently underway at the Arena to convert the indoor bowls facility into a new sports and exercise hall and bring that back into full use. 


The Leader acknowledged the £37k allocation from the County Council, which had focused on providing healthy food and enriching activities to children aged five to 16, and that had been very well received.


In respect of staff sickness or those having to self-isolate, Cabinet was advised that to date 31 employees had tested positive, and 97 employees had self-isolated.


The Leader reaffirmed the incredible success of the Council in supporting local businesses, with over 6,500 payments being made, which equated to over £15m and the Director – Finance and Corporate Services and his team were thanked again for their hard work and diligence during this challenging time. 


Details of the events programme which had taken place, were highlighted at 4.8 in the report, with over 77,000 people attending those events, which had been well received, and Cabinet noted that it was the Christmas lights switch on in West Bridgford on Saturday.


In respect of other notable updates, the Leader confirmed that the Council had signed up to the new Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Compact, which had been developed to build upon the successful response by the voluntary and community sector during the pandemic.  In relation to commercial properties, occupation levels of council owned commercial property remained high at around 96% and Cabinet noted that in respect of rent holidays, that had now been reduced from £134k to £65k as people were able to pay that money back.


In conclusion, the Leader referred to track and trace and mass vaccinations, with booster vaccinations now being rolled out to the over 40s age group.  On 18 October, Gamston Community Hall, which had played such a pivotal role in the initial vaccination programme had been handed back to the Council, and Cabinet acknowledged the work of officers in helping to run such an important operation.  The Leader also referred to the important work being undertaken at the mobile testing centres at Cotgrave and Bingham, which continued to be well received.


In seconding the recommendation, Councillor Brennan thanked officers for their continued hard work to support the Borough’s recovery as regulations had been relaxed.  Reference was made to the fantastic events, which had taken place over the summer and autumn, which had been well attended, with very positive feedback, and it was also pleasing to note that the Council had continued to support local town and parish Councils to do the same.


Councillor Brennan was pleased to note the positive steps that had taken place, including improved attendance at leisure centres, supporting local children with nutritious meals throughout the school holidays, the quick and efficient payment of grants to businesses, and bringing back services as quickly as possible. 


In conclusion, Councillor Brennan advised that the Council would continue to respond flexibly to changing circumstances as we moved into winter and it was pleasing to highlight in the report the excellent progress to date in responding to the pandemic.


The Leader agreed that the threat from Covid remained and referred to the importance of the vaccination programme and emphasised that the Council was resilient and would remain so and continue to support local residents and businesses.   


It was RESOLVED that the work of officers of the Council and partners in responding to and supporting the recovery from Covid 19 be noted.

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