Update on coronavirus from the leader and chief executive [March 19]

Published March 19, 2020 at 18:35

As civic leaders, we have committed to keep you up to date as possible and provide regular updates for you as we get face this crisis together.

At present, we are managing to provide our essential services as normally as possible. So far, we are not expecting any disruption on our services other than those outlined yesterday.

Following the government’s announcement on school closures, we would urge all parents and guardians to keep up to date on developments by visiting Lancashire County Council website.

As you’ll be aware, Rossendale Leisure Trust has closed all its centres. We have been working closely with them and fully support their decision. We are pleased they are working on a suggested programme of exercise and fitness for people to follow and will help share them out.

Our local markets are still open for business with traders with a good selection of stock. Given residents have been facing shortages at supermarkets, visiting a local market is a good way of getting the products you need.

This is a really worrying time for businesses and their employees.

Our economic development team are supporting businesses and today we released information about that co-ordination of support.

Today, Rossendale Council has, via the British Chamber of Commerce, lobbied the chancellor for a process to provide quick and simple access to the loan and grant support recently announced.

And as of today, the council can announce we will not be pursuing business rates debtors until further notice. In the coming days we will also be rebilling for business rates for relevant business where Government relief has been confirmed.

One of our top priorities is to support our borough’s most vulnerable and co-ordinate efforts to help them.

We would like to encourage anyone that wants to help vulnerable local people to visit #viralkindness download and distribute their form in your neighbourhood to help anyone who needs extra help.

Our Communities Team is keen to help, where it can. If you wish to volunteer support for vulnerable people our team is helping to co-ordinate these activities in your local area. Please contact them by email. 

Once again, we urge people to follow the advice and guidance as much as possible and take all the necessary steps to prevent getting ill.

Please keep safe and well. We will continue to work with our partners, the government and our community.

Councillor Alyson Barnes, Leader of Rossendale Council

Neil Shaw, Chief Executive of Rossendale Council

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