At the end of March, the Government’s announcement placing us in lockdown meant an immediate change to all our lives – but I’m pleased as leader of High Peak Borough Council, that we’ve been able to step up and provide support to communities and businesses across the High Peak.
The Council reacted quickly to offer reassurance and to make sure ‘normal service’ continued to operate, within guidelines, alongside the additional work generated by the response to Covid-19.
Covid-19 is an unprecedented situation that has affected every one of us in ways we probably couldn’t have imagined, and we are all having to adjust to different ways of living, working and learning.
But none of us has to do this alone. Communities and individuals across the High Peak have risen to the new challenges we’re facing magnificently, and it is heartwarming and humbling to see.
For our part, the Council remains very much here to offer our support. Working with the voluntary sector and partners, we have been able to quickly and effectively respond to the challenges raised by the Coronavirus while maintaining as many of our usual services in what can only be described as very unusual circumstances.
The reason we have been able to do that is thanks to the resilience and hard work of our staff and partners, who have shown 100% commitment to ensuring that we come through this as safely as possible.
I commend and thank all of our staff and partners for all they have done so far and for everything they will continue to do.
While we are not quite there yet, I know that this same spirit and determination will stand the High Peak in the best place to begin to recover as we gradually ease out of lockdown and slowly start to return to something akin to ‘normal.
Despite our Council buildings been closed to the public and the majority of staff working from home, figures up to early May show that:
- Contact centre staff responded to 4,719 call and 7,418 webforms
- 316,800 waste collections were carried out – and 25% more dry recycling was collected
- Business grants totalling £21.6m were issued to over 1,900 High Peak businesses
- We responded to 125 business enquiries and made contact with our biggest employers to understand how the situation is affecting them
- 2,259 benefits claims were processed
- 5,000 welfare calls were made to Carelink tenants – 700 a week
- 19 rough sleepers were found accommodation
- The Coronavirus Information Hub on our website received 49,500+ visits – with 27,000 hits to the business financial support pages – and our average reach on Facebook was 15,000 per week
For more information, please visit the Council’s Covid-19 hub at www.highpeak.gov.uk/Coronavirus