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VIDEO: LEADER OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT COUNCIL ISSUES CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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Councillor Dave Stewart, the Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, has issued an update on what the local authority are doing to support Islanders during this challenging time – unlike anything seen since World War II.

In a statement issued yesterday – just hours before Boris declared a stay-at-home lockdown of the country – Cllr Stewart said:

“I want to inform you about the main things the Isle of Wight Council will be doing this week to support our community and keep us all as safe as we can from coronavirus (Covid-19).

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“We know the worst may be yet to come, but we also know how we can protect ourselves — the question is: ‘are we all doing as much as we should to help keep our community safe?’

“So what is happening this week on the Island?

Helpline

Firstly, as you may be aware, we now have a public helpline number here on the Island which you can ring if you need help and support.

The number is 01983 823600 and each caller will be asked to explain their need and then this information will be passed on to arrange support required.

It links in with the organisation and co-ordination of various community groups now being set up across the Island and being overseen by Community Action Isle of Wight, Age UK and Citizens Advice.

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Funding – ‘WightAID’

To the wider public — you will shortly receive information about ‘WightAID’ which is an initiative providing an opportunity for those who wish to donate money directly into the community support being delivered across the Island — much of which is being undertaken by volunteers — then this will be your opportunity to do so and more information will follow shortly so please watch out for it.

Shielding the vulnerable

You will have also heard about the government’s ‘shielding programme’ for the most vulnerable in our community.

If you fall into this category you will shortly receive a letter from the NHS asking whether you need any help to self-isolate. Please follow the advice given and stay safe.

Between the council and the NHS, we will arrange for you to receive your medication and food parcels as part of this scheme. We are expecting more guidance from the government shortly and we will update you as soon as we have it.

Second-home owners

We are also dealing with concerns raised about second-home owners who are considering moving over to the Island to get away from places where they feel they are more at risk. We appreciate they own houses here and pay their taxes here.

So this is a message for you — and let me be clear — our preference would be that you follow the government guidance and do not travel here but stay at your primary place of residence during the crisis to ensure the NHS on the Island can cope and that the virus is not spread to more isolated parts of the country like the Isle of Wight. The government specifically says essential travel does not include to second homes.

However, if you are one of those people and have nevertheless travelled to the Island, I would appeal to you directly to recognise that you may have travelled from places that have many more cases of the virus than we have so far seen here on the Island.

You may be also carrying the virus without showing any symptoms.

So I would ask you to please respect the safety of our Island community and to self-isolate for at least seven days, but preferably for 14 days from your arrival.

Also, take time to appreciate how we are managing things here on the Island be that social-distancing in shops and other locations and maintaining the highest level of personal hygiene, by washing hands regularly with soap and water and not intruding on the personal space of others.

Ferry travel

On a more positive note, we are not aware of any planned or actual mainland coach travel either last week or in the next few weeks to the Island and I am grateful to the ferry operators for advising passengers to self-isolate for a minimum period when returning to the Island, after a long absence.

I am also grateful to the ferry companies for the efforts they are making to keep people safe during necessary ferry journeys — including Hover Travel.

It is true to say that ferry journeys by visitors have now reduced dramatically, which is just as well because in this period of crisis, visiting the Island just puts unnecessary added burden on our health services and so if travel is not essential please don’t come over at this time.

Behaviour

We also expect everyone on the Island to be sensible about their daily activities as well. We should all be shopping and social-distancing at the same time to avoid unnecessary risk to each other, and we ask our recent arrivals to recognise that many Islanders will be concerned about their recent arrival from the mainland and you need to respect and respond to these concerns appropriately and sensitively.

Remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety. Self-distancing will keep you and those you love safe — so take responsibility and do what you are being asked to do for everyone’s sake.

Business

Finally, as a council, we are working very hard to ensure our local businesses have all the information they need to take advantage of the range of financial support now being made available by government.

I am pleased to confirm that as a council we have received £5 million from the government to help us manage the additional financial burden associated with our commitments to health and social care caused by Covid-19. It will also help us to fund the community support initiatives now underway across the Island.

Big Message

But my big message to the Island this week is to remind everyone they must follow the advice and guidance being received from government around personal hygiene and social-distancing.

I would echo the words of the secretary of state, Robert Jenrick, when he said ‘this is not a game’ – it is real and important to everyone’s safety — so if you see people not complying then give them a polite reminder because your health and my health and safety may be in their hands.

Thank You”

 

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Golly
Golly
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Shut all construction down!!!!! We are all working so close together it’s not really a lockdown if we all still at work!!! It is not necessary for us too be at work! They island won’t fall apart in a few weeks if we don’t work! People are just not taking it seriously!!

Bill
Bill
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Your right! I work in a workshop and my boss hasn’t even supplied hand sanitiser, this is a joke, and the disease will continue to spread rapidly as long as we are all at work!

Golly
Golly
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That’s right bill! We should all stay home unless it’s REALLY necessary to do so!!

John
John
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Yes, and for the self employed, support should also be given.

Golly
Golly
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Too right John help everyone out best they can.

Jon
Jon
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I’m a drainage engineer on the island and self employed, if we have emergencies we have to attend, or people will be living in sewage,

Carol tozet
Carol tozet
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Not construction but just as annoying, would you believe that liz Earle in both ryde and cowes are still open.Staff were told that they are classed as an essential service , yeah right! Cosmetics., greed at its worst. Staff also told they can go home but wont get paid and that their jobs cannot be guaranteed. Yet this lot belong to boots, hardly a small company.

Joe Soap
Joe Soap
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This message is a good step for everyone on the island with useful information and useful advice (next time you make a video though, can you make sure the recording volume is turned up to an audible level so everyone can easily hear it – thanks)

Seay
Seay
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Councils should tell central Government to fund all council tax for this year. People have more than enough expense, and whilst rents and mortgages will be helped, council tax is a huge drain, and something that central Government could easily fund, as unlike rents, which are easily swindled by crooked landlords and tenants (often the same family with certain types) a one off payment to Councils from central Gov would be securing welfare for all.

Otherwise can see many not paying it at all, adding to our burden at this impossible time.

Mick
Mick
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I rent 3 properties .I am also a self employed builder. 2 of my tenants are struggling to pay .I can’t work due to the lock down . I’m really struggling to make ends meet. The one thing that would help me enormously is a council tax breather . .there is no help for people like me .

Joe bloggs
Joe bloggs
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What about factories on the island? Boris didn’t mention manufacturing despite most on the island is non essential and they are happy to continue to risk employees health to line the fat cats pockets

Liz
Liz
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This information is out of date.

Golly
Golly
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What’s the new info then Liz? This was on 2 hours ago?

GuestBert
GuestBert
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Yes well out of date

Golly
Golly
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Well come on the guestbert and Liz….. what’s the new info!?!

John
John
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I have seen a neighbour go to work. I know he works at a factory. I hope it’s just today that he has gone in to shut the place down. But some factories can not be left unattended. Really difficult.

John
John
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A family of four just walked past my window and very close past the local pub with people going in and out moving boxes of stuff onto a trailer. They all came into close contact. #corvidiots

Joe Soap
Joe Soap
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If I were to go for a 20 minute drive in my car with the windows up and don’t get out at all, then drive straight home again, this won’t be a risk of spreading or catching the virus will it – in theory 100% safe – what do people think?

Bill
Bill
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Unless someone sneezed on your exterior door handle before you get in the car and scratch your nose you should be fine x

Golly
Golly
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Or you hit a granny at 30mph and she rolls over ya bonnet on to your windscreen and Over the roof.. and then you touch it but part from that you should be 1 million % safe! Well shouldn’t be out anyway should they!

Opinions Matter
Opinions Matter
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100 % safe Joe, but you might, just might get stopped by the police and asked why you are out and where are you going and where have you been! The police were apparently out in wootton v early this morning. Enjoy ur drive

John
John
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Wash your hands before you go out, wash your hands when you get in. Once you have gone out, do not touch your face.

Ann
Ann
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It would be a huge gesture from the iow council to revoke the recent hike in council tax, as many people are going to have financial difficulties due to job losses etc.

Bill
Bill
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Are the councils going to STOP council tax ???. And are the self employed going to get the same deal as employees do??

Ally Reed
Ally Reed
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How about suspending Council Tax for the time being Dave? That would help. Or would that his your pocket too hard?

John
John
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Two people sat in a ‘national windscreens’ van just drove past. They can not be 2 meters apart. Should they not be at home?

Crabbie
Crabbie
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Vestas wtf

Sue
Sue
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Surely work should be postponed on the St Mary’s carriageway improvements. I appreciate that with reduction in traffic this is an ideal time for work to continue but the men there are certainly not working 2 metres apart.

Lesley
Lesley
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I really do hope that these unwelcome people who have not stayed in their own homes back on the mainland self isolate as they obviously haven’t thought about their fellow people at all . We should be safer being on an island let’s hope we are. As a member of a family with one just finishing chemo and 2 elderly parents with many aliments I say please listen and stay at home . Stay safe save lives .

Charlie
Charlie
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If you have time to make a video no this PLEASE DO.
Please make sure you click on the official website. Google (Folding at home) What they are doing and how you can help in simple terms. They need your pc power wen you are not using it, so they can help fight this
COVID-19

Lisa Scovell
Lisa Scovell
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What I would like to know, how is it at amey the refuse collectors, the drivers have to go in the office to get paper work and keys and there is no respect about social distance! Maybe if I call the police early in the morning about this amey and the council might listen ! This is serious and the blokes are getting worried, but hey oh we are only the low life!

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