Coronavirus: How we'll maintain our services
PLANS have been put in place by Keynsham Town Council to keep delivering its services during the coronavirus pandemic.
The council met on March 17 to consider its business continuity plan and how it can assist the community response to the virus.
Council chairman Councillor Andy Wait said: “The council and the Keynsham community have had to respond to a series of drastic but necessary measures introduced by the Government to support the NHS from being overwhelmed, protect our high-risk population, and sustain businesses and workers through what will be a lengthy period of social distancing and self-isolation.
“The flight announcement that says ‘put your own oxygen mask on before you help others’ was never more applicable as to how the council has prepared in order to provide sustained support for the community in response to Covid-19.
“Thanks to the foresight and hard work of our town clerk, we were able, at what may be the last council meeting for some time, to put in place measures to keep staff and councillors as safe as possible whilst still ensuring the council can continue to function.
“The arrangements have been further complicated by the fact that the council is still waiting to return to its own offices in Temple Street, which are finally undergoing reinstatement following the damage caused by the construction works at Riverside.
“If all goes to plan, the offices will be ready for staff to return on Wednesday April 8, a year to the day since they were evacuated.
“From here the council will be maintaining essential services and providing assistance to community initiatives to support our residents, in particular those in social isolation.”
All staff have been working from home since March 23 in line with Government advice, with the aid of portable devices and videoconferencing. Until the office reopens, a temporary mobile number - 07904 161097
- is being staffed from 8.30am-5pm Monday to Wednesday and 9pm to 3pm Thursday and Friday.
Once the Temple Street office reopens, the office and the main council phone line on 0117 986 8683 will be staffed on a rota basis. Town clerk Dr Cheryl Scott said: “Because we can only permit one member of staff to be in the office at any one time, the offices will only be available to members of the public by appointment.
“We envisage that the office may also at times function as a collection point for various community initiatives as they arise. Obviously, we would ask that anyone
visiting the offices complies with the safety precautions, including hand sanitisation and distancing measures.
“Our grounds maintenance staff will continue to empty bins, inspect play areas and keep vegetation at bay to ensure our open spaces remain accessible as resources permit.
“There will, however, be times where staff are either on annual leave or not well enough to work, and we may have to temporarily offer a reduced service or prioritise our work.
“This could include, for example, temporary closure of certain play areas if we are unable to undertake all the weekly inspections, and it may not be possible to keep some footpaths clear at all times.”
If you spot anything that you think needs attention, please email deputy town clerk Dawn Drury at deputytownclerk@ keynsham-tc.gov.uk
The council has cancelled all events and meetings until further notice, including the annual town meeting on Thursday April 23, the business forums, football at Manor Road
and the skate park event planned for May 9.
l The council’s website can be found at www.keynsham-tc.gov.uk