Leeds Council leader thanks city for 'staggering' response to coronavirus crisis

The leader of Leeds Council has thanked the city for its 'staggering' response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday, 18th April 2020, 6:00 am

Councillor Judith Blake praised the NHS, council workers, charities and community groups for working together to help the city's most vulnerable and keep vital services running.

The council has issued a series of reports on the work it is carrying out in response to the crisis, including plans to help the city return to normal life following lockdown.

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The reports reveal that footfall in the city centre is down by 90 per cent, grants worth £86million have been paid to local businesses, more than 6,500 children have been fed free school meals and 8,000 volunteers have signed up to help the NHS.

The council has also secured 10,000 surgical masks from its sister city Hangzhou in China to help meet personal protective equipment (PPE) demand.

Cllr Blake said in a statement: “As you will see from the these reports, the level of work being undertaken by the NHS, the council, public health partners, our partners and stakeholders in every sector across the city, region, wider country and even with international partners is staggering.

"Leeds is known as being a compassionate city, and the way all of these organisations, charities and groups have come together to work with our residents, volunteers, businesses and communities to tackle this challenge together is amazing – it really is an incredible team for Leeds which is really making a difference.

City centre footfall is down by more than 90 per cent

“I’d like to thank everyone for playing their part, and would say that even though there are signs we may soon be through the worst of this we cannot be premature with relaxing our approach so I would ask everyone in the city to remain resolute and follow all guidance to make sure this crisis is over as soon as it can be.

“Our task then will be to reset and restart the daily life of the city, and we are already planning on that in terms of how we can support businesses to resume and people to find work so our economy can begin to recover and as much support as possible is available to everyone who needs it.”

These are some of the ways that Leeds Council has responded to the crisis:

- Already more than 3,000 people who have called the coronavirus helpline on 0113 378 1877 have been supported

Leeds Council Leader Judith Blake has praised the city for it's 'staggering' response to the crisis

- Through working with care providers and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, bed space has been freed up in hospitals for coronavirus patients

- Over a thousand food parcels were delivered over the Easter weekend in Leeds, together with 800 meals being provided for rough sleepers and the homeless

- Support for 22,000 people advised to remain at home as part of shielding across the city

- Working with Department of Health, NHS England and partners to create a virus testing centre for key workers which is now open at Temple Green park and ride

- Traffic levels in Leeds are down by 60 per cent during the week and 70 per cent at weekends as people work from home and follow the rules to avoid travelling

- Bus and rail use down to around 10 per cent compared to normal periods, with city centre footfall down by more than 90 per cent

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