Council leaders and chief executives have asked the County Councils Network (CCN) to collate key issues, good practice and innovative solutions during the Coronavirus outbreak.
These will be used to support peer-sharing across member authorities, inform direct lobbying by the CCN and Associaiton of County Chief Executives chairmen with ministers and civil servants, and direct media and communications. Finally, it will aim to capture lessons from current ways of working in the emergency for future models of delivering services, transport and communications post Coronavirus.
The following framework has been developed to help CCN member authorities identify the key areas to feedback on. If you have information to share under each of the workstreams outlined, please contact the stated CCN officer.
Issues relating to administration of local authorities during the health emergency:
- Workforce – including capacity; safety and morale; use of volunteers and outsourcing/private sector; social distancing.
- Funding – including loss of income; reduced council tax payments; additional funding from Government.
- Excess Death Planning – including understanding the death pathway; mortuaries and storage
- Service provision – impact of covid-19 on other statutory and community services such; stopping or adapting service provision; communication with residents; capacity and sustainability of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS).
- Schooling – work being undertaken for school/childcare co-ordination for keyworkers and school attendance for vulnerable pupils
Lead officer: James Maker
How councils are responding to the additional demand on social care services:
- Capacity and Commissioning – including ensuring a supply of beds for transfer of care; working with providers to maintain existing capacity whilst protecting residents; working across borders with peer LAs and NHS to provide overflow support.
- NHS Collaboration – including joint commissioning arrangements for hospital discharge with the NHS through the £1.3bn fund and pooling of any of the £1.6bn allocated directly to councils; working with NHS on ‘new’ hospital capacity and communication on removal of right to refuse discharge placement etc;
- Safeguarding – including children’s services support for vulnerable children and expected increase in domestic violence incidents.
Lead officer: Jon Rallings
New arrangements that have been put in place to protect the most vulnerable from Coronavirus:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – including securing sufficient provision for LA services; use of PPE across different settings and Public Health England Guidance; handling of infections and testing for Covid 19 – staff and service users.
- Shielding Measures – including guidance and implementation of shielding measures targeted at those identified as most vulnerable by the NHS – including setting up hubs, recruiting and co-ordinating volunteers and voluntary sector, data management and how this scheme dovetails with wider work supporting all local vulnerable people;
- Supporting Vulnerable People – including identifying vulnerable populations; bulk delivery of food, storage and packing; distribution of food and medicines in a rural setting where there is significantly less capacity and greater distances to travel.
Lead officer: Simon Edwards
Matters relating to the relationship with external bodies and local economies:
- Central Government Liaison – including Whitehall responsiveness with LAs (COBRA/ Departmental engagement); reporting requirements (e.g. daily return on excess death planning);
- Local Economy & Transport – including support measures for significant employers or key local economic sectors; impact on demand for food banks; the implications for local transport providers, including buses operators.
- Local Resilience Forum Partners – including experience of dealing with local public sector partners such as the NHS, PHE, police, fire service, or district councils (in two-tier areas); experience with private sector (eg hotels, supermarkets).
Lead officer: James Holden
Recovery, economy, and ‘council 2.0’
How member councils are planning for local economic recovery, business support and longer-term implications for councils
- Immediate economic recovery planning – including work of Local Resilience Forum, support measures for significant employers or key local economic sectors; new policies and mechanisms being explored locally to support businesses and supply chains; and utilising existing funding such as Local Growth Funds, European Structural Investment Funds and Enterprise Zone funding.
- Longer term economic recovery – including thinking about new growth boards and deals that may bring together partners and stakeholders across sectors to bring new ways of working and identify new economic growth activity.
- Transport and buses – including the implications for local transport providers and bus operators, and how far Government financial injection into bus services will ensure that services remain viable; ongoing discussions with STNBs.
- Council 2.0 – impacts of COVD-19 that will have long-term implications on the day-to-day running of local councils, the relationship between district and county councils in two-tier areas, and the benefits that this could bring.
Lead officer: Peter French