In June 2020, we agreed a recovery framework which set out how we would begin to help our residents, businesses and communities recover and rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic. By June 2021 we had delivered many of the actions in our initial recovery plan including those highlighted below.
- Delivered over £44 million of Covid grants to help support more than 3,000 businesses during the pandemic, helping to ensure that many of them and the jobs they support will survive in the future.
- Approved a Town Centre Recovery Action Plan and appointed Town Centre Recovery Officers to promote our towns and support the safe opening of shops and restaurants.
- Produced regular business e-newsletters providing information on Covid-19, grants, business and training support initiatives to over 4,000 businesses across the district.
- Agreed a pre-eviction protocol, worked with housing partners to prevent escalation of actions towards eviction and held virtual sessions with partners to prepare for the end of furlough and lifting of the eviction ban.
- Worked with housing customers to help with money management to enable them to remain in their homes and avoid becoming homeless.
- Supported the community through the pandemic including regular communications, supporting the Here2Help scheme, compiling a directory of community resources and signposting community groups to help and support.
- Set aside £45,000 for councillors to use to respond to the pandemic in their communities and to support community recovery.
- Set up a £25,000 crowd fund which supported ten community projects bringing in £53,366 from 276 backers.
- Provided financial support to Wychavon Leisure and secured a £288,000 from the National Leisure Recovery Fund which enabled our leisure centres to reopen in April 2021
- Reviewed the impact of the pandemic on our promises and agreed extensions to the timescales of those most adversely impacted.
- Revised the timetable for the completion of the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review.
In November and December 2020, we participated in two LGA Recovery and Renewal Panels focusing on our response to the Covid-19 pandemic and our approach to the early phase of recovery. In response to the feedback from the panels, the Executive Board made a commitment to refresh our Covid-19 recovery plan taking into account the feedback from the panels and with an increased focus on supporting individuals, communities and businesses most severely impacted by the pandemic.
In June 2023, we agreed a new recovery plan centred around five key themes: economic, social, community, environmental and organisational recovery.
This new recovery plan is about our role in leading and supporting our communities and economy as we emerge from lockdown and an easing of restrictions to look ahead to aspirations for our district as a new form of normality is increasingly restored. We want to use the opportunities created by the pandemic, however unwanted, to reopen and rebuild our communities and economy in a way that improves people’s lives, the places they live and society as a whole, rather than simply trying to restore everything that previously existed.
The actions in the plan were shaped by the findings and recommendations from the LGA Renewal and Recovery Panels and the recommendations from the Covid-19 Review Group set up by Overview and Scrutiny Committee to look at our role in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and lessons learnt. We will keep the plan under regularly review and from time to time we may need to update or adapt it in light of issues that emerge.