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Message from Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of the Council - 24 March 2020

I want to talk directly to residents and businesses across South Tyneside about the ever-evolving situation we find ourselves in.

Last night the Prime Minister was very clear. We must stay home, protect frontline services and save lives. We all have a part to play and it is only by adhering to these strict rules that we can overcome this pandemic.

This is the biggest health crisis in our lifetimes, and it is impacting upon every single one of us. Rest assured that despite the profound challenges we are facing, the council is working round the clock to ensure we can continue to provide support to the vulnerable and deliver frontline services.

We are continuing to deliver essential frontline services and are adapting our workforce and working practices to be as flexible as possible, however, there will inevitably be disruption as our own staff too adhere to public health guidelines. We appreciate your patience and understanding and ask you to bear with us during these incredibly difficult times. Our website, which we are updating in real time, is the best source of information about disruption to services and we working on advice and support to enable you, where possible, to interact with vital council services while at home.

Keeping our communities safe, caring for residents and trying to protect our local economy are our priorities, but we need your cooperation and support. Please stay at home, except for shopping for essentials, exercise, medical or caring needs or if you absolutely need to travel to work.

Please help us to help you and others; by working together and doing the right thing we can halt the growth of this virus.

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