AUGUST 2020 and FEBRUARY 2021

During the autumn and winter of 2020/21, to meet the requirements to respond to the impact of Covid-19 in terms of delivering corporate and service responsibilities, recovery of services, health and safety requirements, priority projects and supporting the coordination and development of the Community Response, Policy & Resources Committee on 20th August 2020 approved the Essential Business and Priorities until 31st March 2021.  To continue to meet these requirements through the Spring; Policy & Resources Committee on 25th February 2021 extended the period of the Essential Business and Priorities until the Annual Council Meeting, scheduled for 13th May 2021.


Essential Business and Priorities

The five areas of the Town Council’s essential business and priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic are as follows:

1. Ensuring that the Council meets its statutory obligations in relation to its corporate responsibilities and the operation/closure of its services in response to the challenges presented by Covid-19 and the associated regulations and restrictions; including functioning as a decision making body, the recovery of its services and finances and the implementation of the Assessment of the Impact of Levels of Restrictions on Council Services.

2. Supporting the coordination and facilitation of the Town’s Covid-19 Community Response scheme, including its development, refocussing if necessary to respond to needs and changes, it's appropriate resourcing, ensuring that risks are minimised and that safeguarding is maximised in order to protect residents and volunteers.

3. Undertaking the Council’s legal obligations and work that is conducive to the efficient operating of the organisation in order for it to support 1 and 2 above and be in a position to recover post Covid-19, including both strategic and operational finance and medium term planning.

4. Priority Capital Project: Shakespeare Park Improvements, which have commenced and the contractor has undertaken work on the site; associated with this is drawing down the necessary loans to finance the project; also preparation work will need to be undertaken for the next stage of improvements to the playground and tennis courts, including identifying funding sources and procurement timescales.

5. Progressing other projects, which have been granted external funding, e.g. Tap4tennis at Thorpe Astley Tennis Courts.


Delivery Actions

The main actions in support of the essential business and priorities are:

(a) keeping up to date with government Covid-19 recovery guidance and guidance issued from the Town Council’s insurers for work and service activities, taking any necessary action and reviewing plans, procedures and risk assessments to ensure that activities and operations continue while mitigating the risks posed by Covid-19;

(b) review the potential impact of NHS Track & Trace and ending of Shielding on the Community Response services and support for the Community Foodbank and ensure that funding, information, processes and assessment of risk and mitigation are in place to respond;

(c) preparing Business Continuity Critical Function Analysis and Recovery Process for Council Services which may need to close again if restrictions are applied in the future and for staffing resources should there be increased sickness absence;

(d) assessing the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 incident, its impact on service operations, income and resources, and developing a medium term plan for addressing the financial and resource implications and ensuring implementation of the plan;

(e) implement changes to the Council’s website structure in order to meet new accessibility requirements for public sector websites as set out in “The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018” by the deadline of 23rd September 2020;

(f) day to day management and overview of the Shakespeare Park Improvement Works, including financing and cash flow, liaison with the Council’s professional consultants and regular review meetings, including implementation of the associated actions, to ensure that the project is not delayed, additional costs are avoided and where possible, savings are made; and

(g) identifying funding sources, confirming plans, contracts and setting procurement timescales for the improvements to the Shakespeare Park playground and tennis courts