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TEAM EFFORT: Hertsmere Borough Council’s staff meeting changing demands during coronavirus crisis

 Published on: 27th April 2020   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

There’s been a huge team effort by Hertsmere Borough Council’s staff to help support residents and local businesses during the coronavirus crisis.  

Massive demands have been placed on some roles and, in some instances, staff have been undertaking different tasks. 

The council’s Finance Team has worked to make contact with businesses eligible for assistance under the government support measures and has already paid out £11,575,000 to 814 businesses. 

The Customer Services team has dealt with huge volume of calls over the past four weeks, answering 8,148 calls compared with 5,382 calls during the same period last year and the waste and recycling crews have worked to continue providing a full service, with the exception of blue box recycling collections. 

Meanwhile some staff have been deployed to markedly different roles to those they usually undertake. 

Liz McGill, who has worked for the council for nearly 20 years, is still working her day job in Parking Services, but is also calling vulnerable residents who may need help during the lockdown period. 

She said: “I am happy to help by calling residents that may be vulnerable during this period of uncertainty. I am working through a list of people of have been identified as at risk by the government. It feels good to know that I am helping in some small way.” 

Leader of the Council, councillor Morris Bright MBE said the speed at which the council staff has adapted to their new roles and the huge demands has been incredibly impressive. 

He said: “Staff working in areas that are no longer operating in the same capacity have effectively changed jobs to ensure vital council services can continue to operate and meet demand during the pandemic. 

“They’ve been absolutely first rate supporting businesses and the public, organising volunteers, getting food out to people, looking out for vulnerable families, I couldn’t praise them highly enough.” 

Sajida Bijle, Managing Director of Hertsmere Borough Council, has praised the council’s employees for working so hard to keep essential services going during these exceptional circumstances. 

She added: “Many staff are working from home and many are working on the front line supporting vulnerable families, communities and voluntary efforts to help us through this crisis. It is heartening to see people pulling together to deliver critical services. These are tough times – but, whether they are doing their usual role or temporarily taken on different tasks, our staff are rising to the challenge and I applaud them all.” 

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