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Message from Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of the Council - 19 March 2020

We appreciate that this is an extremely unsettling time for our communities. The coronavirus outbreak is having such a huge impact on people's everyday lives.

Every announcement made by Central Government affects every individual and their families. It is a rapidly changing situation and there is lot of information to process. But rest assured, we are working through the details of the announcements and how they will impact on our residents and businesses. Please bear with us.

I chaired a Health and Wellbeing Board meeting this week to ensure a whole-system approach is delivered.

We want to reassure our communities that we are here - we are all in this together. We are doing everything possible to ensure our most vulnerable are protected and our children are fed.

The health, wellbeing and safety of everyone in South Tyneside is our utmost priority and we are committed to providing support wherever we can. This includes working with our third sector partners. We have a safeguarding role and so we need to ensure this support is delivered safely and correctly.

We are also working exceptionally hard with our partners in South Tyneside Homes to make sure our essential frontline services continue while supporting our valuable health colleagues in Public Health and the NHS to limit the spread of the virus in line with national government guidance.

I want to personally place on record my thanks to NHS, social care and frontline staff, who are doing a fantastic job in extremely difficult circumstances.

As our resources become more stretched, we will adapt our workforce to make it as flexible as possible so that we can continue delivering essential services and supporting our communities.

We are working in a very fast paced environment and adapting to daily changes in government policy but we will be keeping residents fully informed every step of the way.

As soon as we have further information from the Treasury about how Government support will be administered, we will be updating the business community.

We would urge people to continue checking our social media channels and the Council's website for regular updates. However, we would ask people to support us by only contacting us in an emergency.

These are unprecedented times and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

Information on the services affected is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19) or follow on social media at facebook.com/STynesideCouncil.

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