Leader of Leicestershire County Council, Nick Rushton, has issued a statement after a national lockdown was announced last night.
These are extraordinary times. But with the vaccine rolling out, it’s important we heed the national guidelines and work together to get through this. Throughout the pandemic, our residents have shown resilience and kindness and I have no doubt they will continue to do so.Person:Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council
We’re still doing everything we can to support our communities and businesses. From supporting the vaccine roll out to working round-the-clock to keep people safe, and to giving much-needed funding to businesses and struggling rural pubs, we’re taking wide-ranging action.
This remains a crucial period. Although Leicestershire’s average is below the national rate, we are seeing steep rises and we cannot be complacent. The new strain is here and it’s much easier to catch and pass on without even knowing about it.
That’s why we’re rolling out new-style testing in persistent hot spots across the county. As one of the first in the country to localise test and trace, we have the expertise to make this work. We remain at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus. When and where we need the community testing most, we’re ready to roll.
During the pandemic, the council has also:
• Invested £360,000 to extend free school meal vouchers over Christmas – and up to £1 million until April
• Given over half-a-million-pounds of Government funding to food banks and community groups – Leicestershire’s slice of the £63m from Defra
• Launched a £2m fund to support communities – a hospice, a homelessness service and a charity supporting young, older and vulnerable people are just three of those awarded money
• Supported struggling rural pubs by offering £1,000 to those at the heart of communities
• Established a £750,000 fund supporting small businesses to get back on their feet
• Set up a dedicated team to ensure the 25,000 people identified as ‘shielded’ by the NHS have support and care in place, if required – and delivered hundreds of emergency food parcels and prescriptions