Fylde Council is resolute in continuing to deliver essential services to our residents and offer vital support to the most vulnerable in our community; thanks to a wealth of volunteers across all sectors of the Council, together we have redeployed staff and resources to meet our changing demands.

Our staff are going above and beyond to meet the unprecedented coronavirus challenge, offering flexibility in working arrangements and stepping up to help in essential services which include Waste Management, Community Support, Bereavement Services, Finance, Customer Services and many others. The Council has been able to utilise the existing skills and experience in our workforce, thanks to previous job shadowing exercises, to bolster our front-line capacity which has meant that we have been able to continue to deliver essential services and prioritise discretionary services, which includes the well-received continuation of all household waste and recycling collections.

All redeployed staff have undergone additional training specific to their new role, with appropriate risk assessments and management taking place. Working alongside existing teams, redeployed staff are helping to deliver the essential services our communities rely on.

The Council is committed to protecting everyone who must be shielded and those who are self-isolating, including our valued staff. Measures have been enacted to allow all employees who are shielding to work from home, and where their role does not allow for this, they are being supported in redeployment to a role which can be facilitated while self-isolating.

We are endeavouring to minimise disruption to our wide-ranging discretionary services, however, instances of self-isolation and redeployment inevitably means some of the services we normally deliver with pride, are being forced to adjust their priorities. For example, our outside spaces may look a little different this year without full seasonal displays and the usual incredibly high standards of cultivation that Fylde is well-known for. This is a result of the reduced capacity team prioritising litter removal, safety inspections, clearing pathways, and maintaining patrols to keep these spaces safe for use by local residents to undertake their permitted daily exercise. We are confident with the hard work of our experienced teams, that most areas can be brought back to our normal high standards quickly, once we are safely through this challenging period. The Council is implementing innovative ways to mitigate service disruption in the community, examples of this include offering webcast funerals as well as partnering with local volunteer groups who, as ever, have been fantastic in their efforts to delivery community support.

Councillor Karen Buckley, Acting Leader of the Council and Chairman of the Finance and Democracy Committee said:

“Council staff are under a lot of pressure to deliver the services we all expect under extreme conditions and with reduced numbers.  It is heartening to see the appreciation expressed by members of the public to our keyworkers, such as our refuse collectors.  At the same time, increased responsibilities have been placed upon the local authority to process hundreds of business support grants and set up and run a Community Hub to help those who are isolated or lonely.  We thank all residents for their understanding and patience during this challenging time.  Fylde Council is coming together to deliver essential services, support the most vulnerable in our society and minimise disruption to the wider community.”