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Council staff continue to serve community during COVID-19

More than a thousand Bracknell Forest Council staff are working from home each day to keep the borough’s key services running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with a number of other staff out in the community to make sure the borough remains a safe, secure and pleasant place to live.

Over the past 3 weeks most council employees have been working from home, where possible, to make sure that critical services continue. Additionally, there have been a number of frontline employees serving the community, including social workers, domiciliary carers and occupational therapists, who have been out helping our most vulnerable residents during this uncertain time.

The council’s duty to  make sure that our most vulnerable are cared for has not changed. Indeed, it has been amplified throughout the pandemic, so a number of staff have been reassigned to new roles to make sure that can happen.

The council also has a duty to make sure the Bracknell Forest community can recover as quickly and effectively as possible after the pandemic and so work to keep the borough clean, tidy and safe has continued. As part of this work, a number of staff and council contractors have been undertaking their regular roles while still maintaining social distancing. This has included jobs such as waste collection, essential road maintenance, land management and grass cutting. In all cases they are briefed to maintain social distance

While there has been an overwhelming response to council staff and contractors working in care roles and other frontline services, a number of council staff and contractors undertaking other essential work have been subject to abuse over the past week while they are out working to keep our community clean and safe.

With this in mind the council is asking residents to choose kindness when speaking to all staff and contractors.

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

“The council’s staff and contractors have shown true resilience and determination while adapting to a new way of working, so that our most critical and essential services can continue during this uncertain time.

“Our staff and our contractors’ staff are committed to helping those in need, whether it’s providing essential social care services or emptying bins. However, we also have a wider duty to make sure that the borough remains a safe and pleasant place to live and so many of our staff are continuing to do essential day-to-day tasks like cutting the grass and maintaining roads, while observing social distancing rules.

“If this work ceased for weeks on end it would hinder the borough’s ability to recover properly from the restrictions imposed and would make the borough an unpleasant and potentially unsafe place for us all to live.

“With this in mind, I would urge our residents to choose to be kind to council staff and contractors, whatever job they are doing, so they can continue to work for us all to make sure our borough remains as safe as possible.”