A COVID-19 recovery plan has been approved at a Warwickshire County Council Cabinet meeting.
The ten-point plan reflects the council’s commitment to move towards the next stages of recovery from the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
Action already taken by the council includes the availability of grants to support businesses, food packages for vulnerable residents, as well as new technologies allowing council staff greater scope to serve the Warwickshire community.
£24million investment funds have been allocated to support the short-term recovery priorities.
As well as responding to covid-19 immediately and in the short-term, it is the blueprint for how the council will work in the future.
The updated recovery plan lays out a course of action, put forward by cross-party groups and engagement with partners, across the following four work-streams:
– Health and wellbeing, adult social care and children’s social care
– Economy, place and climate change
– Education and community recovery
– Organisation and (county council) resources.
Ten priorities aligning with the objectives of the current plan, have been identified. These are:
-Contain the virus and promote health and wellbeing.
-Maintain resilient sustainable services.
-Help children and young people catch up on their education.
-Harness power of communities to tackle inequality and social exclusion.
-Support businesses and grow the economy.
-Stimulate job creation and skills.
-Invest in regeneration and a sustainable future.
-Tackle climate change.
-Develop our people and future ways of working.
-Deliver high performance by harnessing digital, data and other resources.
Measures to demonstrate success will include the consistent reduction of cases of covid-19 and associated deaths, a stable care market, children completing a full academic year without any impact on their results and more residents provided with wellbeing support.
Measures considered to demonstrate economic recovery include guidance for people at risk of unemployment, more job safeguarding and training support for businesses, and faster delivery of capital works and infrastructure projects to drive growth in housing, business and town centres.
The commitment to tackling climate change will be measured by a reduction in carbon emissions, increased biodiversity and tree planting, and more investment in sustainable travel.
Among measures to address inequalities will be a welfare scheme and financial inclusion work while a Warwickshire Food Forum to tackle food poverty across Warwickshire and ensure food access for the most vulnerable.
A revised council plan will follow a review of the recovery plan and will be presented to Council in February.
Warwickshire County Council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “While this is a recovery plan and takes forward our aims as we move forwards, we are still in response mode to the global pandemic and that has to be the main focus of our immediate action.
“But while we will continue to be vigilant in our ongoing response, the county council and our partners are looking to the future – post covid-19 – and take some of the learning and the positives from recent months as we address the new risks and threats that we face. Similarly, the plan scrutinises where things have not worked as well and what needs to be done to fix that.
“It’s important that we stress the positives because, in many ways, the recent months have shown the best of Warwickshire. Communities have pulled together and the numbers of people volunteering has risen tremendously. We have also worked closely with our partners across the region and these strong relationships will be maintained and built upon. These are excellent foundations for recovery.
“The way we live and work will never be quite the same again. But we will use this recovery plan as a springboard to ensure we continue to make Warwickshire the best it can be.”