Statement on coronavirus

The outbreak of the coronavirus is affecting all sections of society and we are working with colleagues in the NHS, Public Health England, the Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) and our community partners to do everything we can to delay its spread and ensure the people of the district are protected.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and follow healthcare and government advice. Following the Prime Minister’s latest update advising that non-essential social contact should be avoided, an urgent meeting has been convened for Tuesday (March 17) to discuss the detailed implications for individual council services.

For several weeks now we have been planning for this position and the LRF pandemic plan was thoroughly reviewed in 2018. Our priorities over the next few months will be to continue to deliver our most vital services, to work with our businesses to ensure they can easily access government support through this difficult period , and to work with partners and communities to support our most vulnerable residents.

The advice from government about stopping non-essential contact means we are today making very difficult decisions to cease operating services such as events venues and cafes. 

Furthermore we have to plan for the number of our staff and their families who will unfortunately be affected by this and the impact that will have on services, and this will result in further reductions in services as we go forward. The unprecedented scale of this challenge means we know that our residents will understand the need for this.

Councillor Dr Erica Lewis, Leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “What we are most concerned about though is the impact on our most vulnerable residents. Already we have had lots of offers of help from individuals, voluntary groups and other organisations. As this rapidly moving situation develops we will work to develop a coordinated response, in such a way that follows the government advice.

“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented responses. There is a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm that exists in our communities and we would very much welcome your ideas and offers of help. To this end we have set up a dedicated email you can contact us on civilcontingencies@lancaster.gov.uk.

"Regular updates on the council’s actions will be provided on Facebook and Twitter. A page has also been created on the council’s website which will be regularly updated with information  Lancaster.gov.uk/coronavirus, or people can telephone us on 01524 582000.”

More details about which services will be specifically affected will be released later on Tuesday (March 17) and also placed on the council's website.

Last updated: 17 March 2020