The council is working with other public sector organisations, including local NHS services, the borough’s leisure and culture provider Link4Life, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, the voluntary sector and police, to ensure that all possible actions to help safeguard people are being taken.
Statutory services will be maintained and people will be contacted if they are going to be affected but some facilities must be stopped to help stop the spread of the disease, and enable the council to have enough staff available to support the most vulnerable.
Services are being focussed on the most vulnerable groups, including people aged over 70. This will include redirecting council and partner staff to provide direct support and reassurance to those with the greatest need.
In line with national advice, schools remain open but the situation is being monitored.
On Wednesday 18 March 2020 the following decisions were taken (effective from Friday 20 March 2020 unless otherwise stated) -
Council meetings have been cancelled or cut back
Council staff are working from home where possible to help ensure our workforce capacity is maintained
Grants scheme is being set up for small and medium size businesses (SMEs)
All of the borough’s libraries, Touchstones Museum, theatres at Middleton Arena and Heywood Civic Centre have been closed until further notice
Leisure centres will close at 10.30am on Friday
Hollingworth Lake activity centre and the visitor centre will close
Rochdale Food & Drink Festival has been cancelled and the Bowlee Car Boot Sale season due to start on 5 April has been postponed
The Dippy exhibition is being suspended
The council has stepped into help run Rochdale food bank and is working to ensure others in the borough remain open
While some face-to-face customer services and limited IT access is being maintained at Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood libraries there will inevitably be a reduction in the amount available.
Therefore, the council is also asking people to –
Use the council website (rochdale.gov.uk) to access services whenever possible
Closely follow national advice about coronavirus at all times
Ensure elderly relatives, friends and neighbours are aware of the latest advice
Help elderly and vulnerable people in any way you can but in a way that does not spread the disease