To the residents of Blaenau Gwent,
The Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences are becoming ever more serious now in the UK, and following Monday’s announcement from the Government we are all having to adjust to a very different way of life for the foreseeable future. It is difficult for us all not to be able to go about our daily lives as we would normally, and even harder to explain this to the younger members of our families who naturally want to be out enjoying the sunshine with their friends.
I acknowledge this is not going to be easy, but you must continue to follow the latest official advice from the Government and Public Health agencies. This is:
• Stay at home and only go out for food, health reasons or for work (if this is absolutely necessary) including asking people to work from home.
• Stay 2 metres (6ft) apart from other people.
• Only travel if necessary.
• Shielding measures for the most vulnerable members of our community for the next 12 weeks
It is important we all comply with these measures in order to mitigate the spread of the virus and to give our health & social care colleagues the very best chance to cope over the next few weeks and months. For some people catching Covid19 is fatal, and we must do all that we can to protect these people. #StayHomeSaveLives is trending on social media for a very good reason!
As Leader of the Council I am joining with all Blaenau Gwent councillors to provide you with a message of reassurance that we are doing everything we possibly can to support our communities. It’s true that we are political opponents, but for now we are united in the fight against this crisis. When we put our political differences aside it is clear that we all care passionately about the communities we represent, and that is something I am proud to be a part of.
The Covid19 response is a real joint effort across Gwent, and indeed Wales, and we continue to work closely with a number of partners to respond effectively, determinedly and proportionately to this crisis.
Some major, often difficult, decisions have been made in relation to our services as we must focus on continuing to provide those ones that are most critical, especially for our most vulnerable residents. Staff are being redeployed into critical services to make sure we have the resilience going forward to continue services.
Based on advice, we have closed all our council offices to the public, and also all children’s play parks and the recycling centre in Ebbw Vale.
There are many other changes to services and you can keep up to date with the latest service information here – https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/emergencies-crime-prevention/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information/
You can also follow our social media accounts which are updated frequently:
• Facebook – @blaenaugwentcbc
• Twitter - @BlaenauGwentCBC
I know all councillors would like to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication to supporting our communities through this period. Thanks to those who are in their everyday roles leading this response, and to those drafted in to cover where needed. I’d also like to thank partner organisations including the Aneurin Leisure Trust for also making their staff available to us to help out in critical areas.
Our childcare provision for key workers has started at designated sites today, and also the provision of free packed lunches. This work is important to keep those key workers on the frontline, but it’s vital that parents/carers only access this provision where absolutely necessary and if they would be unable carry out their critical role otherwise. There’s plenty of useful guidance on this on the Welsh Government website – https://gov.wales/coronavirus-and-childcare-provision
Thank you to the school staff working at these hubs who are helping to keep the wheels turning on the overall response to this emergency.
I acknowledge that this is an anxious time for many in relation to their employment and for local businesses. The UK Government has pledged support and you can find out information and advice here:
There are more announcements to be made by the Government soon I believe.
I’d like to talk a little bit about Community Spirit! It’s very much alive here in Blaenau Gwent! We saw it during the recent floods, and we are seeing it again on a much larger scale. The people of our borough know how to pull together when it really matters, and we must all continue to work together to remain safe and positive. Thank you to everyone who is going out of their way to help people in their communities – we are all in this together.
If you are particularly concerned about anyone in your community however, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01495 311556.
Again, I would ask for your patience during these unprecedented times and to please bear with us and understand as we maintain our focus on the key areas.
Above all, stay safe and remember Stay Home Save Lives.
Councillor Nigel Daniels
Leader Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
Please note the latest advice & guidance can be found here: