Following the Government's announcement on the national lockdown, I wanted to write to give you an update on how our services are continuing to operate and how our staff are supporting our communities.

Our Council Services

Our Core Services - Adult Social Care and Children's Services - are operating as usual, but in slightly different ways. 

Our Day Centres are open, but for priority groups only and visits for priority clients. Staff will continue to make visits – but will wear PPE and have the necessary safeguards in place.

Support Services are also still available for victims of Domestic Abuse.

As I'm sure you've seen in the news, all Primary and Secondary Schools in the County have closed to all pupils except children of keyworkers and vulnerable children. These groups will still be entitled to Free School Meals. 

School Transport will still be running this week although it's safer in terms of reducing the spread of the virus, if parents could arrange their own transport, if possible. After this week, if transport to school is essential, then this can be booked through our website.

Those children no longer at school will move to remote learning until at least the middle of February. Any children who can't access laptops or tablets for online learning should contact their school who will ensure they are provided. 

In the Community, our fire crews are ready and standing by to respond to incidents and support other services in the County where needed. We will continue to do 'safe and well' checks for our most vulnerable residents, and will make safety visits to commercial premises which we think are necessary. 

Our Household Waste Recycling Centres are open as usual – just remember you have to book a timeslot via our website. If you have a van or a larger trailer, we are also continuing to process permit applications.

Our 15 core libraries across the County will be open for click and collect services only and online provision, and our mobile services will provide that much needed lifeline of books and magazines to our shielding residents, to reassure those who have current loans – these will be extended until February. 

Lincoln Castle will still remain open for local residents to enjoy exercise in a green space. Please check the website for opening hours.

Just as during the previous lockdowns, our highways crews will still be out maintaining and improving our roads as normal, including gritting roads and repairing potholes. 

And, where it is safe to do so, work will continue on our major development project and road building schemes around the County.

Our Work with Partners

Last night's announcement saw the return of shielding for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), so our Public Health and Emergency Planning Teams are continuing to work with Partners at the Resilience Forum to help get residents the support they need. 

Over the next few days, a shielding letter will be sent out to those residents in the CEV category. I would urge all who receive one to follow the instructions and register their information on the National Shielding Support System so they can access priority shopping slots and other help available. 

If residents need support doing this, please remember our Covid-19 Helpline: 01522 782189, which is available 7 days a week. 

Unpaid carers providing vital support for a family member can also access support and details are available on our website or on the above number.

Our staff are also working hard supporting the delivery of the Covid-19 Vaccine, and the roll out of further testing in our area.

We know with another Lockdown, many residents' businesses will have been affected, so if you could share the details of Business Lincolnshire that would be really helpful. They can help support businesses' to operate within government guidance or to access financial support or grants if needed.

Finally, our Business Centres remain open for our tenants including the Reception, Phone and Postal Support Services within the buildings.

We all want to get back to the things we love – our families, our friends and our freedom, so please help us to share the Government's advice – Stay Home, Save Lives, Protect the NHS.

With Warm Regards

Cllr Martin Hill

Leader of the Council