2 COVID-19 Response and Recovery PDF 402 KB
The Chairman welcomed everyone
present to the inaugural meeting of the COVID-19 Response and
The Panel had been established
by Council following recommendations made by Cabinet, with the
purpose of reviewing the Council’s response to the COVID-19
pandemic and to take an active role in respect of the
Council’s agreed recovery plans.
The Centre for Public Scrutiny (CFPS) and the Local Government
Association (LGA) had both welcomed this course of
The terms of reference for the
Panel were outlined in the report including a summary of what the
Council had done so far accompanied by guidance released by the
Centre for Public Scrutiny on the establishment of a COVID-19
related scrutiny panel.
Chairman reiterated that he wanted the Panel to consider and make
deliverable, tangible recommendations to Cabinet and did not wish
to the see the meetings become ineffective with unnecessary talking
and little action. The Council would
need to be fully prepared for a second wave of the virus should it
arrive and be accompanied by the inevitable local or national
The Chairman particularly
wished to assist local businesses as much as possible to
reinvigorate the Ashfield’s economy and would be paying
special attention to any opportunities that may arise to offer the
Council’s support where needed.
Members were reminded that the
meeting would enable them to consider the Council’s first
response to the pandemic and determine a suitable work programme
for the Panel over the next four months.
Congratulations were placed on
record for the amazing work undertaken by employees during the
lockdown period and in particular the waste collection team,
Charles Edwards, the Council’s Environment and Cemeteries
Manager and Helen Carlton-Ashton and the customer services team who
had dealt with over 40,000 enquiries during that time.
The Vice Chairman also spoke
about the resilience and care that had been shown by
Ashfield’s residents and all the NHS heroes that had gone
above and beyond to keep the public safe. The Council had facilitated the distribution of
over £18 million pounds of grant monies to assist local
businesses during the outbreak and had recently commenced opening
up the Council’s high streets and town centres to welcome
customers back and restart the local economy.
The Service Manager, Scrutiny
and Democratic Services gave an outline of the expectations for
Member-led scrutiny through the COVID-19 recovery period and
reiterated that Members would play a large part in shaping the
recovery and response framework.
Priorities would need to be set based upon feedback from residents
(and local communities) and what deliverable outcomes could be
achieved within the Council’s capabilities.
A request was also being made
to the Leader of the Council for a COVID-19 recovery item to be
placed on each Cabinet agenda for the foreseeable future, to enable
the Panel to provide responsive feedback and recommendations for
action as required.
The Scrutiny Research Officer
screen shared a suggested work programme which outlined four
potential meeting dates and topics for consideration. Members were reminded that local communities
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