Following the Government advice over the weekend that more needs to be done to follow social distancing advice, Oxford City Council yesterday advised all community centres in the city to close.
Community centres were asked to close to the public as quickly as practicable, and not to open from today (24 March), although essential services such as food banks and community larders will continue to operate.
The City Council are looking at what financial support may be available, including central government support, to ensure that the centres are able to cover essential costs and staff overheads while they are closed.
To ensure that the needs of the City’s most vulnerable communities are still met, the Council and the Oxford Hub are working together to create new Locality Resource Hubs in Oxford to tackle the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak.
“It is clear that we need to do all we can to support people to stay at home and prevent the spread of this virus. We are working remotely with community associations to see how they can be involved in our city-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have had a fantastic response from our community centres and community groups offering their support to vulnerable residents, and I’d like to thank them for their swift reaction. We’re working with Oxford Hub to co-ordinate support and volunteers, and we’ll be directing all the organisations that have come forward to the Locality Resource Hubs so that we make best use of their offers of help.
“By drawing together Council and voluntary resources we can make sure we’re not duplicating work and that we have covered all the essentials. The Locality Resource Hubs will begin operating this week.”
Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities