It’s been an extraordinary week, and people across the city have been doing extraordinary things to help other people and to help our city.
We’re all at risk from COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It is a disease that knows no social boundaries and is a threat to people of all ages from all walks of life.
Like millions of other people across the country I was really moved by the show of thanks for the NHS and care workers last night.
We all turn to the NHS in our moment of need. They are facing real dangers in carrying out their everyday work – so goodness knows they deserve our gratitude.
But the same is also true of our social workers, care home staff and the thousands of people across the city who care for vulnerable loved ones who have illnesses or disabilities.
There are so many people across the city who are going above and beyond their normal duties.
School staff and childminders are doing an amazing job looking after the children of key workers and vulnerable children who can’t stay at home during the day.
We’ve also asked schools to consider whether they can continue to offer these services during the Easter holidays.
They are facing pressures they have never had to face before, and I’m truly grateful for the work they are doing.
Council staff and the emergency services are working flat out to maintain vital services across the city. Jobcentre staff are under immense pressure dealing with levels of demand they have never seen before. I want to say how much I appreciate all their efforts.
I would also like to thank all our residents for the way they are adapting to the new government guidelines around social distancing and staying at home.
These are both absolutely vital – because they will save lives.
Doctors from all over the world in areas badly affected by COVID-19 have posted videos on social media begging people to follow these guidelines.
My heart goes out particularly to families with children who want to be able to go and play freely in our public play areas. I know that it is upsetting and hard for children to understand that we’ve had to follow government guidelines and close them.
But we have to – because it will help save lives. COVID-19 will spread very quickly if we let it. People are dying of this virus. It might not be you, but it might be your mum or your grandad or your friend.
This is a national emergency. Please continue to follow the government rules and stay safe. For all our sakes.
Councillor Nancy Platts
Leader of the Council