We know that these are challenging and unprecedented times and we wanted to make sure residents were updated on the current situation at Basildon Council and the interventions the Council is putting in place during this time.
The Council has taken a number of steps this week to act to balance the need to maintain essential services and support those most in need, while following public health guidance to protect the public and staff against infection from coronavirus. The welfare and safety of council staff, residents and people visiting the Borough remain the Council's top priority.
All council staff who are able are now working from home. Most council staff are able to remotely access applications, systems and information to continue their normal duties. The Council has a small number of staff absent sick with symptoms of Covid-19 or self-isolating due to underlying health conditions, or because a partner or family member is suffering from, or showing symptoms of, Covid-19. As yet this is not affecting critical services.
The Council has daily tactical co-ordinating group meetings to monitor business continuity issues and contribute to emergency planning arrangements at a regional level. There are also daily strategic co-ordinating group meetings to look at broader issues, such as the financial impact, impact on local business, potential risks to medium to longer-term projects and community impact. This impact on our communities is, of course, far-reaching. Older and vulnerable people will require particular support, as will those more socially isolated and those on low incomes. The Borough has around 2,000 residents in sheltered housing and, while communal activities have had to be suspended for this group, council staff are maintaining regular contact with them by phone to make sure they are well. Officers have also delivered information on support available to each of these residents. The Council is working hard to put in place for Monday 23rd March a single point of access support service for vulnerable people. This will seek to ensure those in need are matched with the services, provided either by public agencies or volunteers, that can fulfil their needs. We hope that this will provide additional support for people who find themselves in hardship or difficulty as a result of the disruption caused by Covid-19.
While waste and recycling services are continuing as normal, inevitably we have had to make some temporary changes to services this week. In summary these are:
- Non-urgent planned works to homes will stop from the end of this week, Friday 20th March 2020. Emergency repairs and maintenance for council tenants together with external works that do not require access to individual homes will continue as normal.
- The Customer Service Centre at the Basildon Centre will be closed temporarily on Saturday mornings. We are advising people not to visit the Bas Centre if at all possible and instead to go to the Council website or telephone 01268 533333. We have put additional resources to deal with enquiries as quickly and effectively as possible.
- We have closed our three activity centres for the over 50s – the George Hurd Activity Centre, the Laindon Activity Centre and the Pitsea Activity Centre.
- Council-run community centres have closed to bookings. Pre-schools remain open to Friday 20th March and will close in line with school closures from Monday 23rd.
- The Place in Pitsea closes to customers from Friday 20th March. However, services for vulnerable people operating from The Place, such as the food bank, will continue as normal.
- Indoor facilities at Wat Tyler Country Park will close on Friday 20th March, but the park will remain open.
- The Bowls Centre in Gloucester Park closes on Friday 20th March.
- Council and committee meetings are now suspended. The Council will be making arrangements to ensure that urgent decisions are taken by a cross-party group of councillors.
You will find updates as the situation develops on our website at www.basildon.gov.uk/coronavirus. The Council is issuing regular communications with residents and businesses using its website, social media and e-newsletters.
During this difficult period, Conservative councillors continue to work hard on behalf of residents but we ask for your patience as we seek to respond to enquiries that are not relating to Covid-19. Councillors are working hard to assist worried vulnerable constituents in these unprecedented circumstances but will endeavour to answer all queries as quickly as possible.
We hope this information is of some help and we strongly encourage all Basildon Borough residents to follow the Government advice - Keep Safe, Stay At Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.
Anyone who requires any help or assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Basildon Council on 01268 5333333.