Laura Sharman 30 March 2020

Counties warn about service closures during coronavirus

Councils are being forced to close or reduce more services in order to divert resources to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The County Councils Network (CCN) said many councils have closed libraries, household waste recycling centres parks, and adult education centres. They have also stopped planned road repairs, placed restrictions on how many people can attend funerals and stopped birth registrations.

The CCN said many councils were offering digital versions of some services such as Skype calls to residents in care homes and library facilities.

Councils have set aside hundreds of millions to purchase thousands of new beds to ensure that those requiring social care are released quickly from hospital. They are redeploying staff, setting up community hubs to protect the most vulnerable and deliver food for those self-isolating.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network and leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: ‘With regret, with the health of our residents and staff our priority, we have had to withdraw some services for the time being.

'That means in some areas, people won’t be able to visit their household waste recycling centre, library or physically visit their loved ones in a care home. Our message is: these changes will help save lives, so please bear with us.'

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