Dealing with the unforeseen challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on communities across Kent, and the impact on people, businesses and key services has been unimaginable.
Kent County Council is on the frontline of the response to the virus and has stepped up to the challenge of maintaining core services, while focussing on supporting the most vulnerable people in Kent. We have done this by working hand in hand with district and borough councils and an army of incredible volunteers in every part of the county.
I am heartened by this amazing community response and immensely grateful to the thousands of people who have given their time and gone above and beyond in their efforts to look after people that need it most.
At the most local level parish councils have worked tirelessly to coordinate help and support in their communities, keeping an eye on vulnerable people and encouraging more people to come forward and help.
Now the government has started to map out its guidance that will help us to plan and prepare for the next stage of the response to Covid-19 in Kent.
Nobody knows how long it will take to recover socially and economically from this crisis, but I assure you that Kent County Council will be at the heart of this recovery, helping residents and businesses to adjust to a new version of normality as the government’s emergency measures are wound down.
While such planning is underway, we will of course maintain our focus on supporting those vulnerable people in the county who will need to be shielded and cared for for some time to come. Most importantly, we will continue to ensure we are effectively working hand in hand with the amazing teams out in the hearts of communities in every part of Kent.
We will also continue to support social care providers in reducing the cases of Coronavirus in our care homes. And we will work closely with schools across Kent, as the government gives further details of their plans to reopen some year groups in the next few weeks as well as strengthening our support for businesses in Kent, particularly those in the retail and hospitality sectors.
As we develop our response and make the changes we need to, it’s more important than ever to make sure Kent residents have reliable, up to date information about our services. The best ways to keep in touch are to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and check our website www.kent.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest updates. You can now also subscribe to receive Kent County Council information by email.
Finally, I want to thank all the dedicated staff in the NHS, in local authorities and across the public, community and voluntary sectors who continue to deliver vital services through such challenging times. But equally, I also want to thank everyone who, by following the government’s instructions, is helping to control the spread of Covid-19 in Kent.
With best wishes to you and your families,