The Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council today (June 3) praised the authority's fast and wide-ranging response to the pandemic at its first "virtual" Cabinet meeting since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Cabinet councillors welcomed an array of council schemes that were rapidly implemented with positive impacts for residents and businesses, such as setting up a community hub to distribute thousands of food parcels to vulnerable people, and processing over £17m in emergency grants for businesses faster than any other East Sussex local authority.
Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: "I am very proud that we have adapted so quickly and effectively to ensure the needs of vulnerable people are being met and that businesses receive much-needed support during this difficult time.
"We continue to work closely with our partners to assess our covid-related activities and prepare for the future."
Other steps taken included:
- Setting up the Community Hub helpline which has so far handled more than 2,500 requests from people who are vulnerable, isolated or experiencing financial hardship
- Launching the new website eatlocal.info to showcase the wide array of local food and drink businesses offering deliveries as demand rockets with people staying at home
- Making daily welfare calls to tenants in sheltered accommodation and calls to all tenants over the age of 69.
Meanwhile the Customer First team has seen huge increases in telephone calls, emails and webchats since the Covid-19 outbreak.
In addition, the Housing Benefit team is dealing efficiently with significant rises in new housing benefit claims and change in circumstances enquiries.
Household waste collections have continued as normal with bulky waste the only service to be temporarily suspended, and that is now running again.
Councillor Tutt added: "At the same time as quickly activating contingency plans, we ensured the frontline services that residents rely on were maintained over this challenging period. That is a great achievement by our fantastic staff."