Published: Tuesday, 17th Mar 2020

Leaders across Bolton Council have put their political differences aside to agree a joint response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In line with official Government guidance, the local authority has robust business continuity plans in place to ensure staff and resources are available for the highest priority services.

This sensible and proportionate response will allow elected members and council staff to prioritise their workloads.

In a joint statement by the leaders of all the main parties, the decision was also made to cancel Wednesday’s planned meeting of full council.

The statement, by Cllr David Greenhalgh (Cons), Cllr Linda Thomas (Lab), Cllr Roger Hayes (Lib Dem), Cllr Paul Sanders (FKF), Cllr Sean Hornby (UKIP) and Cllr Marie Brady (HBF) reads:

“We believe residents would expect politicians to pull together in the common interest of fighting this crisis.

“Our priorities have to be the wellbeing of residents and supporting staff to ensure the strongest possible response to this outbreak. We will work together across party, and with our partners, to deliver the best possible outcome.

“Given the situation we face, we have agreed that key decisions on the community meals service and town centre parking should be deferred to a more suitable date in the future.

“We know that at difficult times like these, the Bolton Family will pull together to support each other. We urge everyone to stay calm, avoid panic buying and look out for vulnerable neighbours.

“This is a developing situation and we will be reviewing these plans regularly at weekly cross-party meetings.”

Bolton Council has taken a number of steps to mitigate the impact of the virus:

  • Continuing to stress the importance of hand hygiene. Regular hand washing for a minimum of 20 seconds remains vitally important
  • Working closely with our partners in the voluntary sector to ensure a joined-up response
  • Putting contingency plans in place to support the most vulnerable residents
  • Urging residents to remain calm and avoid panic buying