Council Leader Susan Brown message to City Council front line staff

Published: Monday, 27th April 2020

While most of us are staying at home, many City Council staff are still travelling to work to keep Oxford’s essential services going and deliver urgent support for those struggling with the lockdown.

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the City Council, visited frontline staff at Rose Hill locality response hub yesterday (26/4) to find out how staff are adapting to social distancing work and to express thanks on behalf of the city.

The locality response hubs have been set up specifically to deliver community support during this crisis, delivering emergency support to residents.

As well as providing urgently needed food and household supplies for those struggling to get by, staff are checking in on vulnerable residents to make sure they have the support they need, from mental health services to help with housing and financial difficulties.

Hub staff travel to work every day to be there to pack and send out food parcels, make doorstep visits to check on vulnerable residents, and delivery drivers make sure supplies get to where they are needed.

Councillor Brown has been visiting frontline staff at other locality response hubs and ODS services, which provides essential services such as refuse and recycling, highways maintenance and social housing renovation and repairs.

This work means ODS staff must travel around Oxford, so they have had to change to new ways of working that protect their health through social distancing and using PPE when needed.

“It has been a pleasure and privilege to visit the city’s locality hubs and our ODS staff this week, meeting the teams helping to look after our city and in particular it’s most vulnerable citizens.

“The commitment I’ve seen on these visits is outstanding. Staff in the response teams know how important it is that they leave home and come to work each day, making sure that emergency help gets to those most in need. They are not only solving immediate problems but also working with residents to make sure they have other support they might need. The Council is also supporting residents with issues such as secure housing, mental health issues and financial problems.

“The City Council’s ODS teams are essential to keeping the city going, collecting our rubbish every week, mending highways so emergency vehicles can get through, and keeping social housing safe and working for residents. They have responded fantastically to the challenge, changing ways of working and managing with fewer staff so they can safely deliver services we rely on.

“I want to thank all the teams for their work, and let them know that we all appreciate the commitment they are showing at this time.”

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the City Council

“ODS is proud to support the maintaining of key services in the city. Our dedicated staff are supporting the fantastic work in the hubs, in addition to maintaining core services such as refuse and recycling, emergency repairs to the Council’s housing stock, highway maintenance, fleet maintenance, street cleaning, grass cutting in parks and many other services.”

Shaun Hatton, Director of Operations at ODS