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  • Oliver Hodgson

Council leaders and Chief Executive praise officers

COPELAND Council’s leadership has praised the authority’s “dedicated and talented” workers for their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, and Pat Graham, Chief Executive, have applauded the team’s efforts following the production of a graphic which shows a snapshot of the significant difference made by the council to the community over the first two months of the crisis.

The council has been on the front line locally of Government roll-outs and initiatives and has been key in supporting some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

Officers have been redeployed from their normal roles to call vulnerable residents to check their welfare and set up and support community groups to issue vital food and medical supplies to those in need. This included organising home deliveries of prescriptions and issuing food parcels to those financially affected by Covid-19.

It was also responsible for housing residents affected by homelessness and supporting those affected by domestic violence, and issuing housing benefits and discretionary payments to those whose circumstances changed during the pandemic.

Its Revenues team also issued more than £14 million in business grants in the first two months - and has since issued millions more - while colleagues, including those in Waste, Street-Cleaning and Parks and Open Spaces, have continued to deliver frontline services in difficult circumstances.

In a joint statement, Mike Starkie and Pat Graham said: “Our officers have all worked incredibly hard to support those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Many of them have gone above and beyond in their duties, and worked many more than their contracted hours, spending additional time away from their loved ones, to deliver vital support to our most vulnerable residents, and to maintain the delivery of key services.

“We’re incredibly proud of each and every one of our officers and thank them sincerely for their unwavering commitment and dedication to the organisation and their communities.”

In the first two months of the pandemic, up until May 15, here is an example of just some of the work carried out by officers:

  • 1700 calls to vulnerable residents

  • 233 food parcels delivered

  • 166 medically vulnerable residents supported

  • 234 cooked meals issued in three day period

  • 25 community groups supported

  • 16 staff members deployed to help

  • 72 people offered homeless advice and assistance

  • 19 disabled facilities grants issued

  • 29 homeless people accommodated

  • 8 victims of domestic abuse helped

  • £14.6 million in business grants awarded

  • £5.4 million in Expanded Retail Relief awarded

  • 344 man-hours spent supporting and advising businesses

  • 800 households awarded Council Tax Hardship Reduction

  • 524 new benefit claims processed

  • 3920 changes in circumstances processed

  • 195 Discretionary Housing Payments made

  • 5558 customer calls answered

  • 2087 customer emails answered Its team also dealt with:

  • 189 pest control enquiries

  • 187 land charges applications

  • 43 licencing applications It collected:

  • 800 tonnes of recycling

  • 420 tonnes of garden waste

  • 3000 tonnes of household waste

  • 98 building inspections carried out

  • 60 planning applications received

  • 45 planning applications determined

  • 130 social media posts created

  • 20 press releases issued

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