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‘We must keep to the rules’ - council leader’s plea over coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 14:30 05 April 2020

The government has urged people not to flout lockdown rules. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The government has urged people not to flout lockdown rules. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

2019 SARAH LUCY BROWN

Another week has gone by and we are all slowly adjusting to a situation that just a few weeks ago would have seemed utterly incredible.

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILDavid Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Ipswich Borough Council is still managing to deliver our top priority of maintaining key services – looking after the vulnerable, meeting the needs of our tenants and other residents, emptying bins, helping voluntary groups and getting funds to businesses who are really up against it.

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We are retraining staff from areas of the council that have had to shut down to help deliver these key services.

We have had hundreds of responses from businesses about the government’s support grants and have begun to make payments.

After receiving the money from the government last Wednesday, we have already paid out more than £1.5million to hard-pressed Ipswich businesses. That work will continue this week.

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If you have had a letter from the council about business grants and haven’t responded yet, please do so soon as possible. It’s only then that we can get you the money.

We are also offering help to people struggling to pay council tax. At the end of last week, we wrote to over 7,000 households telling them of the additional discount on their Council Tax that they will receive this year.

People who are homeless or sleeping rough are particularly vulnerable in this pandemic, so last week we spent nearly £150,000 to secure temporary hotel accommodation for those without a roof over their heads.

Our bin crews and all our employees are doing a fantastic job and really appreciate all the support they are getting from residents across Ipswich. It doesn’t cost anything to wave but it means so much.

I’m pleased that the Thursday night show of appreciation has been expanded to include these key workers.

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I know many people are enjoying our open spaces for their daily exercise but we must keep to the rules. We should only be outside exercising once a day, need to maintain social distancing and should not meet other people or gather in groups.

Our brave NHS staff are daily putting themselves in the frontline to defeat this terrible virus. We owe it to them to play our part to the full too.


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