Date issued: 16 March 2020
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Cory, and the group leaders of the Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative and Highwoods Independent groups, Cllr Martin Goss, Cllr Tina Bourne, Cllr Robert Davidson and Cllr Gerard Oxford, have issued the following joint statement:
“Colchester Borough Council is stepping up its preparations to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
“We are working across the political spectrum with officers to help us protect frontline services, keep staff safe and key services running.
“Going forward, we will communicate clearly and frequently with residents about the actions we are taking and to inform people of the actions they can take in their local community.
“We will be looking to help coordinate and support efforts across our communities to assist those older and vulnerable residents who will need to isolate themselves as this virus spreads.
“It is clear that we are not at the peak of COVID-19 and we have been planning ahead to put structures in place so we can do everything we can to keep Colchester going.
“This will potentially mean changes in the way we provide and deliver services including ensuring we make the best use of technology available to us. It is likely we will see some blips in the usual high-quality delivery of our services, and we would urge all residents to be flexible and understanding.
“These are unprecedented times and things are moving very quickly, but we will keep residents updated on any changes to services and postponement of events and meetings.
“We also want to thank the council’s staff in advance. This is potentially going to be a long and difficult period but, like us, they are committed to supporting the residents of Colchester throughout.
“We urge all residents to also play their part by following the public health messages around the steps they can take to prevent the spread of this virus. More information can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
“However, we call on people to think of others and not panic buy, as this harms all of us. If some of us are unable to buy soap, sanitiser or other vital supplies, the virus could spread more quickly. Elderly people without the internet or being unable to visit the shops frequently will suffer the most, due to panic buying. They are also the people most at risk.”