Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: James McLaughlin, Head of Democratic Services As this is a virtual meeting, a recording of this meeting will be viewable after the meeting at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest in respect of any of the items of business on the agenda.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.
The Chair advised that there were no items of business that would require the exclusion of the press or public from the meeting.
To consider an update from the Chief Executive on the Council’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.
The Leader commenced by saying that everyone’s thoughts and prayers were with those affected by the pandemic. He also praised the excellent work from key workers across services.
A brief overview of the current situation in Rotherham was outlined:
- support for vulnerable people with a shielded list of 8,600+ people
- 1,500 in receipt of support/supplies via Government
- more than 600 positive tests for Covid-19 but with a limited testing regime there would be more
- 89 deaths in Rotherham Hospital and over 50 outside hospital
- the hospital was coping with the demand of those with acute symptoms and less acute
- over 1,200 volunteers for the Community Hub/Rotherham Heroes to help the wider community who needed help i.e. people not in the shielded group
- Disclosure and Barring Service checks undertaken and 364 volunteers were active
- 348 requests the previous week (w/c 20 April)
- Leaflets would be going out to all households where people were not known to services
- RMBC staff absence was back down to 10% as some had returned from self-isolation; at one point over a third of waste operatives had been absent
The Council was working at the national, regional and local level to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and to ensure that critical services were delivered and the most vulnerable residents supported. The Chief Executive emphasised that the Local Authority (LA) had responded to Government guidance as it emerged.
The Local Resilience Forum (LRF) coordinated the response across South Yorkshire and a critical incident had been declared. Council staff were working with the LRF in six themed cells, including one established to focus on recovery. The majority of critical services continued to be delivered and the level of overall capacity was positive. Many employees had been moved into other roles, such as the Rotherham Community Hub, with some now back working in wards.
The Chief Executive proceeded to talk through the briefing paper at length, which covered the following areas:
- Governance, management and control arrangements
- Rotherham Community Hub (RCH)
- Neighbourhood working
- Communication and engagement
- Availability and accessibility of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Managing the deceased
- Impact on services - adult care, children’s, waste, domestic abuse and housing
- Access to data on cases of COVID-19 and deaths
- Supporting the workforce
The COVID-19 workstreams would continue to be delivered and reported to GOLD group and Tactical group daily. Any further changes needed in response to the crisis would continue to be reported and mitigating action taken where necessary.
A number of issues were raised and discussed by Members.
1. Leaflets to households – These would be delivered by the Royal Mail and contain general information rather than more specific local information. Elected Members would have small quantities of other leaflets and work with the Neighbourhood Coordinators regarding delivery. The general leaflets were only available in English as it would be a challenge to produce them quickly in other languages. Some local ... view the full minutes text for item 172.