The Leader of Milton Keynes Council has asked the government to add those providing critical local service to a list of essential workers being drawn up by the government.
A string of council services such as waste, adult day care and children’s centres have been hit by rising levels of illness and requirements to self-isolate in recent days.
The Conservative government, who relaxed most prevention measures on Monday, are said to be drawing up a list of key workers who may not have to self-isolate in an emergency if they have been double-jabbed or are subject to stringent testing to ensure they do not have Covid-19.
Now Cllr Peter Marland, the Leader of Milton Keynes Council, as written to the Secretary of State for Local Government, to ask that council staff be considered for the list.
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “The rising number of people with Covid-19 and those having to self-isolate is putting a huge strain on a number of services. Many of the services Milton Keynes Council provide are essential.
He continued:“We are doing everything we can to limit staff absences, but I believe that the government should acknowledge the critical role local councils play in delivering essential services. Other agencies such as police, fire and the NHS are rightly lauded for their efforts, but collecting waste, making sure vulnerable people are looked after, and being prepared for incidents such as flooding are essential services too. Local authority workers, and those who provide services for us, are key-workers too.”
He continued:“It is not just Milton Keynes Council or local authorities. Many essential services are hanging by a thread. It was all predictable and the current situation is chaotic. I hope we can get through this without a catastrophic failure during an emergency. I don’t think I can impress enough just how much of a knife-edge things are on at the moment and that is not something I’d ever say lightly. The government must act and get a grip.”