On Friday Portsmouth Labour Councillors took part in the weekly Covid-19 conference call update for city Councillors from the chief exec and other senior staff at the council. They were given updates on the council response to covid-19 and asked some questions to officers that you have been raising with them over the past week.
Updates came from across the council on PPE, social care, working conditions of staff and support for our city’s businesses. It’s clear everyone at the council is working incredibly hard under what are difficult and challenging circumstances.
Cllr Stephen Morgan MP, who had a thorough briefing with the chief executive on current issues, work with partners during this crisis and plans for the city’s recovery earlier today, also attended the call alongside our other councillors.
Speaking at the weekly update Cllr Cal Corkery raised concerns from residents around PPE in care homes here in Portsmouth. Cal said: “Alongside other Labour Councillors I pushed for increased use of PPE and testing for frontline social care workers. It’s clear that officers are doing their best but being hamstrung by weak national guidance and supply chain issues”.
Cllr Graham Heaney asked about the current testing capacity and the plans in place to ramp it up. Graham said: “Its important we understand who would be prioritised in regards to testing and that we’re assured there will be no limit to that testing or retesting for essential workers who may have tested negative previously”.
Central Southsea Cllr George Fielding asked how many tests had already taken place so far in Portsmouth. George said: “To date only 5 tests have been undertaken and we’re keen to understand when we will be ramping these up to the 300 a day capacity we currently have available to us in the city”.
St Jude Cllr Judith Smyth asked for updates on support for our city’s theatres and venues, seeking assurances on what measures are being put in place to support these venues across the city. Judith also raised: “I’ve had a couple of residents ask about clarity and guidance from the council on swimming in the sea and what the position is. Currently the council classes this as exercise and there’s no scientific risk of transmission through open water”.
Cllr Smyth added: “However it’s important residents understand the risk this could put on to already stretched emergency services if they were to get into trouble and continue to practise social distancing”.
If you’ve got questions you liked answered or want our team to raise something on the next call you get in touch with them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find lots of answers to common questions on Stephen Morgan MP’s website by clicking here: http://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/covid-19-frequently-asked-question/