Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Further to Minute No. 14, 24th June 2020, the Chief Executive submitted a report which provided an update on the continued Coronavirus (COVID-19) work being undertaken across the city including the emerging recovery approach, outbreak management, together with information regarding the management of current issues and risks. The report also highlighted how the city’s multi-agency command and control arrangements continued to be used alongside the Response and Recovery plan which aimed to mitigate the effects of the outbreak for those in the city, especially the most vulnerable, and to help prepare for the longer term planning of stages of recovery, including local outbreak planning.
With the agreement of the Chair, the submitted report had been circulated to Board Members as a late item of business prior to the meeting for the reasons as set out in section 9.1 of the submitted report, and as detailed in Minute No. 17.
By way of introduction to the report, the Chair highlighted the comprehensive discussion which had taken place at the recent full Council meeting, emphasised the need for all to remain vigilant, noted the recent launch of the COVID-19 Outbreak Control Plan, highlighted key aspects of the next stage of the recovery process and emphasised the key importance of clear messaging which reminded communities to stay safe and abide by measures that remained in place. In addition, the Chair paid tribute to the work that the Chief Executive had undertaken in this area, specifically, the role which he had played at a national level, including championing the role of Local Government during the pandemic.
The Chief Executive then provided an update which covered a number of areas including:-
· the significance of the new plans established with local partners to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and prevent and manage outbreaks;
· the progress made in respect of the sharing and receipt of relevant data, and the progress being made regarding the test and trace system;
· the importance of the national system having a very strong local and regional foundation in order for it to maximise its effectiveness;
· key factors for consideration in terms of the next phase of the recovery process;
· the need for the financial position of the Council and the sector as a whole to be stabilised in order to enable the Local Authority to continue to play its key role both in the recovery from the pandemic and in serving the community generally.
The Director for Public Health reiterated the importance of remaining vigilant and working with neighbouring authorities to continue to undertake preventative work and to manage infection rates. An update regarding the latest statistics in terms of Leeds’ 7 day infection rates was also provided to the Board.
In response, Members then discussed the detail within the submitted report, which included the following:-
· Members highlighted the speed at which outbreaks or suspected outbreaks had been managed in Leeds, and emphasised the need for such an approach to continue;
· The continued importance of ensuring that the cross-party approach towards lobbying the Government for the resource it required was emphasised;
· The key importance of maintaining a consistent and clear communications strategy aimed at the promotion of communities abiding by the regulations which remained in place;
· The recent introduction of the increased powers at a local level to help prevent the transmission of the virus, the delivery of that role by the Local Authority and partner organisations and how that fed into the national programme.
In conclusion, the Chair highlighted the crucial need of ensuring that the Local Authority and partners were sufficiently resourced in order to be able to deliver the services which they were required to, highlighting the risks raised by the current financial position faced throughout the sector.
(a) That the updated context, progress made and issues, as the Council and partner organisations move through phases of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, as detailed within the submitted report, be noted;
(b) That the launch of the Leeds COVID-19 Local Outbreak Control Plan, aimed at ensuring effective local arrangements for outbreak management and which is linked to the national testing and tracing approach, be noted;
(c) That the emerging issues for consideration during the next phase of recovery, be noted;
(d) That the need for vigilance across the city as we move into the next phase, with an emphasis upon ‘stay safe’ messaging, be recognised;
(e) That in respect to the financial implications for the Council arising from the Coronavirus pandemic, the contents of the submitted report be used as context when the Board considers the more detailed financial health monitoring report, as detailed at Minute No. 22.
Publication date: 24/07/2020
Date of decision: 20/07/2020
Decided at meeting: 20/07/2020 - Executive Board
Effective from: 30/07/2020