Following the devastating impact coronavirus has had on Cannock Chase District, in common with other areas, the Council’s Cabinet has agreed a framework for recovery which will be key to the Council, local economy and the community all moving forward.
It has been agreed that `Supporting Recovery` will become the overarching priority for the remainder of its Corporate Plan covering 2018-23 and four key areas of focus have been identified: economic recovery, community recovery, the Council’s financial recovery and the Council’s organisational recovery.
The first key step will be to understand the impact that coronavirus has had on local businesses and residents. The percentage of 16 to 64 year olds claiming out of work benefits has risen to 4.8 per cent as at the end of April. The Council doesn’t yet know the full extent of the impact on local businesses.
The Council’s Economic Prosperity Strategy approved last January will be revised to plan for revival, while the Council will work closely with the local enterprise partnerships, West Midlands Combined Authority and other key partners to ensure that its recovery framework is strategically aligned and to lobby for government investment to support the region to rebuild its economy.
In terms of community recovery, this will involve understanding the impact that COVID-19 has had on our residents and trying to build on the positive elements that have emerged in terms of volunteering and community spirit.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor George Adamson said: “Having dealt with the immediate response to COVID-19 and the government-led lockdown, it is now time to plan for longer term recovery.
“It will take time to resume service delivery; some services may be reduced for some time to come, the focus of services may change and some may not return. The way we do things may change with a move to more online transactions for our customers and more homeworking for our employees.
“The work for the recovery phase is being treated as a matter of urgency and will be developed as the Council scopes the work and gains a better understanding of the emerging picture.
“In the meantime the Council will continue to remain in the response phase for some time to come and this will occur in parallel with the challenges that the recovery will bring.”