1. Message from East Devon District Council's Chief Executive Mark Williams and Council Leader Cllr Ben Ingham
In this week's Covid-19 message to residents, Mark Williams, the Chief Executive of East Devon District Council and Councillor Ben Ingham, the Leader of the council, announce the launch on Monday 30 March 2020 of the East Devon District Council Coronavirus Community Support Hub, as well as bringing you up to date with service changes in response to the outbreak.
As part of the overall public sector effort to defeat Covid-19, East Devon District Council is committed to doing whatever is needed to help people directly and to support our communities. Government has asked us to undertake specific roles in terms of supporting the local economy and our most vulnerable people.
This communication outlines our plans to support the most vulnerable people. We are working closely with Devon County Council, national bodies and local agencies, all of whom are committed to help and support local people through this outbreak.
We have been asked to focus particularly on the needs and wellbeing of a critical ‘shielded cohort’ of people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 who may be pregnant, over 70 or have other debilitating diseases. Their needs will be prioritised above others.
To help support this work, we have created the East Devon District Council Coronavirus Community Support Hub to coordinate volunteer efforts, providing support for the shielded category people. The council will be the administrative unit delivering these hubs with a focus on providing access to food, medicines and other supplies in the first instance. The service will launch on Monday 30 March 2020.
Our immediate task is to identify the people with the right skill-set to harness this community effort and volunteers. Our officers are already in contact with many groups and are working to expand this network. We will work with town and parish councils, voluntary and community groups, other local leaders and local businesses to help us build this response.
We are already aware of many great examples of people coming together to look out for each other. We will look to nurture this and do all we can to make sure there is a focus on getting real help and support to all those that are likely to need it most.
As the situation develops we will update you with guidelines and will outline what we will be asking of you, to help us carry out the new duties required by Government.
Thank you for supporting your community in these unprecedented times.
With our very best wishes
Mark Williams and Cllr Ben Ingham