Emergency response to coronavirus outbreak

Last Updated:

Last Updated: 20 Mar 2020 10:02am

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council this week launched a raft of emergency measures to help combat the spread of coronavirus and support communities and businesses across the borough.

Chief Executive, Julie Beilby, and senior managers are implementing crisis response plans with daily planning meetings to track the impact of the virus, co-ordinate steps to support communities and ensure the continued delivery of key services.

Council offices remain open but the public are being urged not to visit in person unless it’s essential and to use online services instead. All external meetings, including committee meetings have been cancelled until further notice and special guidance on disposal of material such as tissues potentially contaminated with coronavirus has been published. It has also been agreed to temporarily relax planning restrictions on overnight deliveries to supermarkets to help keep shelves stocked.

The council currently has approximately 20 workers in self-isolation. Most services, including waste collections are being maintained with the majority of office-based staff working from home. Advice on changes to council services, guidance for businesses and a community hub are being provided through dedicated pages on the council’s website and promoted via social media.

Nicolas Heslop, leader of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council said: “This is a period of unprecedented challenge for our country and calls for an exceptional response from all our public services.

“I am in regular contact with the chief executive as we review our response to what is a very fast moving situation. We are also working closely with the county council in areas such as adult social care. While some changes to how we deliver services may change in the coming weeks, we will be doing everything possible to continue to support the people of Tonbridge and Malling and playing our part in ensuring that the help the Government has promised reaches those who need it.

“Communities also have a huge role to play and I’d like to publicly express my appreciation for the tremendous local effort of the many voluntary groups, parish councils, friends and neighbours who are looking out for the most vulnerable people in our borough.

“The government has made a number of announcements about support for businesses and we are working hard to establish specific details about how and when it will become available.

“The prime minister has also said that the Government will do ‘what it takes’ to support families, the vulnerable, local communities and businesses large and small. I am committed to working with local council leaders and our members of parliament to ensure this help reaches the people who need it.”

Links to TMBC coronavirus web pages:

Overview of changes to council services

Business hub

Community hub