Rotherham Council Coronavirus response

Councillor Chris Read
Councillor Chris Read

In response to the Coronavirus crisis, Rotherham Council has announced measures being taken to help keep the public safe and to protect vital services for its residents.

We will be doing our utmost to prioritise the most critical services, especially those relied upon by the most vulnerable people in our community.

To protect the public we are closing several public-facing council services

The Council has taken the difficult decision to temporarily close or suspend some services until further notice to minimise the potential spread of Coronavirus.

These are with the safety of service users and Council employees in mind and are in-line with Government guidance on social distancing.

hese include:

  •  All Children's Centres
  •  Crowden Outdoor Education Centre
  •  Rotherham Civic Theatre
  •  Herringthorpe Stadium
  •  The caravan park and soft play at Thrybergh Country Park 

In addition, some parts of Clifton Park Museum will be closed from this weekend, but wedding ceremonies will be honoured at present.

Next Wednesday’s planned Council meeting has also been cancelled by the Mayor. Other meetings will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Making sure vulnerable residents get the support that they need

The Council will be prioritising the needs of residents who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus. We are working with our partners in the Health Service to help to identify those most likely to be in need.

For those facing personal financial difficulties, we will be continuing to provide welfare advice and support as part of Rotherham’s Single Advice Model. Please click here to find out more information.

We are aware that many residents will want to help by supporting their neighbours or others who may be in self-isolation, and that there will be residents in need of help with some tasks who will not be sure who they can turn to. We are working together with Voluntary Action Rotherham to help support and coordinate this activity and more information will be available soon.

We will be working through the business support from Government

The government has announced a number of measures to support businesses through what is likely to be challenging period. We are working our way through these announcements, and the government guidance when it becomes available, and will make more information available in due course.

Latest advice for businesses is available here.

We are reassessing our staff work practices during the crisis

For Council staff, we are moving to home working where it is appropriate and practical, or in other cases rotating the time they are spending in our buildings. Rockingham Professional Development Centre has been closed and staff normally located there will be working from home or from other Council buildings. Staff who need to self-isolate will be able to do so at no detriment to themselves, and we will continue to do all that we can to maintain services relied upon by the public.

We encourage residents to use our online services or to contact us by telephone rather than coming to our buildings wherever possible.

Leader of the Council,  Councillor Chris Read said:

“These are unprecedented times and no one should doubt the seriousness of the situation. The coronavirus pandemic will define the way of life for everyone, individually and as a society – locally, nationally, globally – for the immediate and foreseeable future. The Council’s priority, alongside our partners, is the protection of life and we will all have an individual role to play in that.

“We will be guided by the latest national and international advice coming from our leading scientists and public health specialists, but underpinning our response will be the resilience, kindness and community spirit for which Rotherham is renowned.

“I want to pay tribute to the public servants who are once again rising to the occasion. It is in the most difficult of circumstances that we see the invaluable role that our public services play in maintaining our way of life. But the public should be in no doubt that our public servants are also local residents, they fall ill like the rest of us, and prioritising their efforts at a time of enormous pressure on services will mean that we cannot simply operate business as usual.

“I would urge residents to follow the latest guidance from the government, to act responsibly, and I thank them for their patience and endurance over the coming weeks and months.”

Published: 19th March 2020