Borough's community spirit can help ease pressure during challenging times
Council bosses have passed on their gratitude to communities across Wigan Borough and urged them to keep doing their bit during the second lockdown period.
Spearheaded by the local authority’s seven community hubs, voluntary and community groups and volunteers, support networks are still in place for those who need it most.
Meanwhile, officers have also been busy ensuring any opportunities for financial help for businesses affected by closures are not being missed - being one of the first to get business grants out in the region.
In recent weeks the council returned to emergency response status, meaning staff have been redeployed to bolster critical services.
Like many other organisations the workforce has been impacted by COVID-19 with some employees required to stay home and self-isolate.
Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities, has asked for residents to keep contributing to the team efforts across the borough as it helps to relieve pressure on public services.
He said: "It has been fantastic to see everyone help each other throughout this year and we all need to keep following the public health guidelines as we continue to tackle this virus and help the NHS.
"We have prioritised essential services and council staff are once again displaying their dedication by filling different roles to what they’re used to. Like many other organisations we have also been affected by the number of staff self-isolating, but we’re working hard to ensure critical services continue to operate.
"We acknowledge it’s a difficult time for everyone - but there are ways everyone can help and display the community spirit that has had such a big impact throughout this year."
For example, households can help ensure bins are accessible and not over-filled for collections.
They are also urged to keep recycling but try to avoid visiting the borough’s waste recycling centres at peak times, such as weekends, and only visit if essential.
Many of the council’s streetscene staff are among those redeployed which means some maintenance services are running at a reduced rate.
And to help keep the borough tidy residents are asked to be mindful of the impact of littering.
Residents can also do their bit by assessing whether an issue is urgent before making contact with council services.
For example, members of environmental enforcement are currently out on the frontline on COVID compliance duties, so are unable to deal with everyday issues like noise complaints.
Councillor Ready added: "I’m sure that everyone will understand why we have prioritised in this way and it showed earlier this year when young people were drawing thank-you pictures for our waste crews.
"Ensuring our residents stay safe is our priority, so officers may not be able to respond in the normal way to any complaints or issues at this time, but we ask for your patience and support.
"These are challenging times, but we are working hard to ensure we keep delivering these essential services, so please continue to Stay Safe and Be Kind."
Anyone who needs support or who would like to request support on behalf of family, friends or a neighbour can contact the council on 01942 489018.
For more information, you can visit www.wigan.gov.uk/coronavirus
Posted on Wednesday 18th November 2020