“To help deliver this again in the second wave, councils need the necessary funding, data, information and personnel on the ground to inform and support their communities, alongside effective testing and contact tracing."
Responding to the publication of updated government guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Protecting our most vulnerable people has been councils’ number one priority throughout this pandemic.
“We are all aware of the significant social, economic and wellbeing costs of higher restrictions placed on those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.
“This updated guidance provides some much-needed clarity, particularly for people in areas with a higher rate of infection. Councils are keen to ensure that all those affected, their carers and employers are clear on what this means for them.
“Councils have already proven during the first wave of this crisis that they can provide the extra help needed for those who have to shield and have no other means of support, including care, promoting wellbeing and access to food and are prepared to step up again if required.
“To help deliver this again in the second wave, councils need the necessary funding, data, information and personnel on the ground to inform and support their communities, alongside effective testing and contact tracing.
“Councils also want to continue to work with government, to share their experiences and what local people are telling them, to support every vulnerable member of their communities.”
Notes to editors
Councils in England face a funding gap of more than £5 billion by 2024 to maintain services at current levels - this figure could double amid the huge economic and societal uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The LGA’s detailed submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review sets out how £10 billion is needed to not only plug this gap but meet growing demand pressures and improve services for communities.