Safeguarding ‘must underpin support’

Councillor Ruth Dombey OBE is Deputy Leader of the LGA’s Liberal Democrat Group

As a community, the situation we are facing regarding coronavirus is unprecedented. This needs an unprecedented response from councils, communities and ourselves as councillors.

I am fortunate in my area to have a vibrant, well-connected group of voluntary and community organisations, but I know that is not the case everywhere.

“Councils are working tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable people are looked after safely”

It is important to encourage everyone to support local coordinated efforts, and to ensure that safeguarding underpins these efforts. Together we will do all we can to help keep the residents of our villages, towns, boroughs, local volunteers and colleagues safe and well.

While much of the focus of national politicians has been on the NHS, councils and councillors are working tirelessly to deal with a huge range of issues arising from the crisis, not least the vital role of ensuring that vulnerable people are looked after safely.

Local councils are on the frontline, providing vital services to the people who need it most, and I'd like to say a huge thank you to all our staff for the excellent job they are doing.

Finally, a reminder that it is vitally important that all councillors follow public health advice and ways of working that minimise your own risk. This is, of course, difficult when you are doing your best to represent your community and constituents, but your own health is paramount.

Good luck in your important local leadership role over the coming weeks and months. And a big THANK YOU for everything you are doing.