Coronavirus

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Message from the leader and chief executive

Published: 20 May 2020

Message from the leader of the council, James Swindlehurst and chief executive, Josie Wragg

We write this as we make preparations for the next phase of the national guidance and lock down procedures and we continue to be a long way from the normal lives we thought we had before this started.

In the last week it seems like a lot changed and nothing changed all at the same time; some restrictions were eased, some people allowed back to work but for many of you and us, the situation is the same as before.

We would like to thank all of you who have followed the government guidance, stayed at home for all but essentials and protected all the key workers in the NHS, the council and emergency services.

We have all seen the news reports of people breaching restrictions, having parties in parks and driving across the country but we are thankful in Slough, these people are still in the minority; so thank you all for your efforts and sacrifices.

At the council we continue to provide all the services you rely on – from services for everyone like the weekly bin collections to social care for those most in need.

We have redirected staff and resources to our most critical services and our staff have responded with great flexibility and dedication – stepping up into new roles, learning new technology, volunteering for new and extra hours with no extra pay – making sure everyone who needs our help, in all its forms, gets that help as soon as possible.

Just this week we have had 529 children in our schools, supplied 17,544 pieces of personal protective equipment to services and care staff and have reached the milestone of one million bins collected since lock down began. And this week, our tennis courts will be open for use again – with appropriate social distancing regulations in place.

A mobile covid testing site has been to Slough twice now – with us facilitating and promoting this as much as possible. We hope all those who were eligible for tests have been able to take up this local offer.

We are working closely with our doctors’ surgeries, health services, businesses, schools and voluntary organisations – who continue to offer food and essential medications to those who cannot go out – not only on our crisis response but also on planning for how Slough will not only survive into the future but thrive.

And as a sign of all our new ways of working, we held our first formal Cabinet meeting in the virtual world this week; for those who have been in the traditional meetings in the council chamber it was completely different and certainly interesting, and, as it was live streamed on our special site could be watched by anyone with the internet and without having to come to our buildings.

We will continue to offer advice and information on our website and social media channels – and it will be regularly updated and more information and guidance is released by government and our services change to accommodate that guidance.

In the mean time, thank you again for your sacrifices you are making for the health of everyone; stay safe, stay home as much as you can and stay well.

James and Josie.