COVID-19 Update: 15th May

In the last Cardiff Council COVID-19 update of the week: the Council Leader says a ‘one city' approach will help us defeat COVID; Cardiff Council's £29m COVID-lockdown bill; response to COVID-19 in numbers; and addressing digital deprivation.


‘One city' approach will help us defeat COVID says Cardiff Council leader

Cardiff's ‘one-city' approach to tackling the COVID-19 outbreak has been praised by the leader of Cardiff Council who says the city ‘must continue to work together' to ensure Wales' capital recovers from the effects of the pandemic.

Writing in advance of Full Council the city's leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, took the opportunity to thank key workers, public sector staff and residents for the important roles they have all played in helping to slow the spread of the virus.

Cllr Thomas said: "The latest ONS figures indicate 265 Covid-19 deaths in Cardiff up to May 1. We know that behind each of these numbers is a terrible personal tragedy, and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.

"The lockdown has had a major impact on all aspects of city life. We are living through a period of unprecedented change.  Throughout it all I have been struck by the remarkable adaptability, strength and courage of our city, its residents and its public sector.

"The Cabinet and I are immensely proud of the Council's response during what continues to be a difficult and painful time, and we are so grateful for the work that council staff have undertaken to support our communities and the many families affected by COVID.  It is clear to me that it is this ‘one city' approach which is helping us tackle the outbreak, and it's a ‘one-city' approach that will be needed to help us find our way back to normal life.

"Right now the city has been brought together and is working and fighting together to defeat this virus. This is what I mean by a ‘one city approach' - courageous public servants working together across the NHS, Council, Police and Fire services; the extraordinary generosity of Cardiff citizens volunteering to help neighbours, or contributing financially to restock Food Banks; the dedication of key workers in retail, transport and logistics keeping us supplied with our everyday needs. It's this spirit of togetherness which is seeing us through, and which we must draw on still in the coming weeks and months.

At Full Council next Thursday, May 21, Cllr Thomas will tell elected members that his Cabinet will adopt a Restart, Recover and Renew approach to leading Cardiff out of the Covid-19 crisis.

The three-stage process will involve:

  • Restart: Restarting & adapting a wide range of Council Services in the context of extended, stringent, social-distancing requirements
  • Recover:A strategic response to support the city to emerge from the crisis
  • Renew: Working closely with city partners, staff and citizens to set out the future we want for Cardiff post-crisis, and how together, we will make it happen.

You can read the full story here:


Cardiff Council's £29m COVID-lockdown bill

Responding to the Covid-19 outbreak could cost Cardiff Council £29m in additional spend and lost revenue in the first three months of the financial year a report has revealed.

A statement from Cabinet to Cardiff Council has laid bare the expense involved in dealing with the effects of the virus.

The authority estimates it will spend more than £18m responding to the crisis and a further £11m could be lost in income by the end of June, 2020, as a direct result of COVID-19.

The £18m COVID-related spend includes, but is not limited to:

        The procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support the ongoing delivery of Council services and the wider care sector

        The provision of emergency accommodation to support homeless people during the pandemic

        The continued provision of food / financial assistance to those entitled to free school meals, given  the closure of schools

        Support to domiciliary and residential care providers to reflect the additional costs of providing care during the pandemic

        Costs incurred to deliver widespread operational changes necessary to ensure the safe delivery of services, including waste disposal and the delivery of bereavement services

        The provision of supplier relief, paid in accordance with Government guidelines, in order to ensure service continuity both during and after the current Covid-19 outbreak.

Cabinet member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, Cllr Chris Weaver, said: "Cardiff Council has reacted quickly to the crisis, changing the way we work, putting clear focus on maintaining essential services which deliver for our most vulnerable residents.

"Over the past two months our services have had to respond and adapt to the crisis as events continued to unfold. We have set up food operations ensuring people across the city who are shielding or in financial difficulty because of the virus will not go without food. We have changed the way our waste services operate to ensure kerbside collections are maintained while keeping our staff and residents safe.

"We have procured millions of items of PPE to ensure our services and the care sector can continue to operate. We have also worked closely with the care sector to ensure it can continue to operate in these difficult times, delivering a vitally important and valued service. Our school hubs have opened for the children of key workers and we have provided meals and cash payments for thousands of disadvantaged children throughout lockdown.

"Of course all of this comes at a cost and we have spent more than £18m ensuring the city continues to run and the most vulnerable among us do not suffer unnecessarily. Our focus has always been on ensuring the resilience of services critical to our COVID-19 response, doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable citizens and our staff, and trying to halt the virus spreading."

The £18m additional expenditure is being kept under constant review, and is being updated regularly as further pressures emerge. These include assessing the financial impact of a significant increase in the number of applications for Council Tax Support and current work to establish effective ‘Contact Track and Trace' services locally as part of an all-Wales initiative.

You can read the full story here:


COVID-19 Infographic 4: Cardiff Council response in numbers

Over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been producing a series of infographics, capturing Cardiff Council's response in numbers. Here is the latest of these infographics.

It captures everything from the amount of PPE delivered, to the thousands of hours provided in domiciliary care each week; the hundreds of food parcels delivered; the millions distributed in business support; the thousands of child care hours provided every week in our schools; the thousands of tonnes of waste collected.

The list goes on, but you can see all the numbers for yourself here:


Cardiff addresses digital deprivation

Cardiff Council is providing thousands of digital devices and broadband dongles via Welsh Governments Education Technology Project Fund to support children in Cardiff that have been unable to access online learning during school closures caused by COVID-19.

The Council has worked closely with schools across the city to deliver the scheme, which will see over 5000 Chromebook or i-Pad devices be repurposed from existing schools or purchased, and 2500 broadband dongles have been ordered.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "Cardiff Council has developed a range of ways to address the issue of digital deprivation so that children and young people can continue to access online learning during school closures.

"We have been gathering information to determine exactly how many pupils require digital support and a dedicated project team has been established to deliver the new scheme with the help of our schools.

"Importantly, as well as ensuring children and young people can continue to learn and engage with education during the health crisis, we also intend for this to be part of a long term solution to support distance learning following the lockdown."