We continue to live in unprecedented and challenging times. However, I have been humbled by the astounding response from all around the borough and how we have come together ensuring our vulnerable residents and others in need in Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston have been able to get the help and support they really need during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since social distancing measures have been in place we have seen our whole community galvanised into action.
As a Council our Customer Service Centre has now become virtual, continuing to provide a full service. Our Revenues and Benefits team are working tirelessly with residents on the Hardship Council Tax Support available, the Council Tax push back facilities, Processing Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and Discretionary claims and delivering grants to businesses. Our depot team continue to deliver a full waste and recycling service across the borough and we still provide support to our tenants across our housing.
We launched our Community Hub three weeks ago, which offers support 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. 7 days a week to the most vulnerable in our community. The team at the hub have carried out 2,455 calls, 1752 residents have been given advice and over 360 residents have been given an initial service such as a food shopping with on-going additional support and services if required. This was carried out by our 133 volunteers and 33 volunteering groups.
Volunteering has been so vital in helping to support those in need. I know there are many individual volunteers and groups of volunteers who are delivering so many services to so many people across our borough. They are unsung heroes and we are indebted to them during this crisis.
We are also indebted to those in the care sector looking after many vulnerable members of our communities and key workers such as supermarket staff and all those other people who are ensuring critical services continue to operate.
It has been heart-warming to hear throughout our Borough residents clapping every Thursday evening at 8pm for the NHS. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person working for the NHS for all they are doing through the pandemic. All display such bravery and it is important we remember the risk they put themselves in each time they go to work.
I know there will be many people missing their loved ones at this difficult time but it is important for us all to continue following the social distancing guidelines and stay at home. I know we will come through this as a borough, but it is important we continue to work together and help look after each other.
For all of those across the borough who are helping in some way, however big or small it may be, I want to personally thank you.
Please stay home and stay safe.
Councillor John Boyce
Leader of the Council