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Over 2,000 council staff working from home

Created on 29/07/2020 @ 07:41
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

More than 2,000 Powys County Council staff are working from home, and no return date has been give yet for them to return to their offices.

At tomorrow’s full council meeting, Councillor Sandra Davies will be asking the Council Leader, Rosemarie Harris, to clarify the issue.

She said: “A lot of planning and preparation is currently underway to enable schools to open for young people to return in September.

“What date will this authority resume its routine business and when will the Council office be open to members of the public?”

Cllr Harris, said: “Whilst we are preparing our buildings to enable staff to return to our offices, this must be planned carefully in accordance to Guidance prepared by Welsh Government and the Health and Safety Executive.

“This currently requires strict social distancing, hygiene, a risk assessment for each work-space, as well as arrangements to record attendance, in case Contact Tracing may be necessary.

“We are not therefore in a position to publish a date when council offices will be open to members of the public.”

Cllr Harris added that over 3,350 council staff are front-line workers, providing services in schools, care settings, or work from depots such highways or refuse collection workers.

These work places have already had a risk assessment, and appropriate measures put in place.

Cllr Harris added: “Routine business has gradually been re-established remotely and further developments will take place from September.

“However, this will remain subject to the progress of Covid-19 as officers from across the Council continue to respond to the virus, which remains active within the County.

“At this stage, and in the absence of a vaccine, it is not known how long these arrangements will need to be maintained.”

Under the meeting rules, Cllr Davies will be allowed to respond to the answer with an extra question.

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