County council leader praises sacrifice made by residents during lockdown

David Williams, the leader of Hertfordshire County Council. Photo: Pete Stevens.

David Williams, the leader of Hertfordshire County Council. Photo: Pete Stevens. - Credit: Photo: Pete Stevens - CreativeEm

Residents have been praised for their diligence and the sacrifices they have made during the current coronavirus lockdown.

Addressing a cabinet meeting, Herts County Council leader Cllr David Williams praised residents' response, and also spoke of his huge pride in the work being done to secure the vaccination of residents.

He said: "Driven by the Kent variant, the Herts coronavirus incident rate peaked at 910 cases per 100,000 population per seven days on January 4.

"As of the seven days to February 16, this rate has fallen to 100.5, so this represents an enormous amount of diligence and sacrifices on the part of Hertfordshire's residents, employers and the public sector and the voluntary and community services.

"I really must express my thanks to everybody who has contributed to this effort to bring down the incidence rate and the sacrifices that everybody has made over this period.

Cllr Williams also highlighted the "phenomenal response" to contain any incidence of the South African variant of COVID-19 ,which was found in the EN10 area.

Speaking of the progress being made on vaccinations in the county, Cllr Williams said: “This has been an absolutely huge effort in which the public sector across Hertfordshire has been very much involved."

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A report to the cabinet stated that £61m of non-conditional funding to support the pandemic response has been allocated. The authority is also expecting to receive £8m of compensation for lost income for the year.

This creates a COVID-19 funding pot of £69m for 2020/21. A finance update was provided by Cllr Ralph Sangster, chairman of the resources and performance cabinet panel, who said: “The financial deficit between costs and receipts is now just around £4.5m with costs around £74m.

"The COVID costs for 2022, the proposal is to be covered by the government’s announcement of a £1.5b grant for local government of which Herts County Council will be receiving some £21m.

“We’re proposing to carry that forward into next year to establish a £30m fund in support of COVID-related costs in the 2021/22 period. So we are well placed to respond to the costs which are going to be reasonably significant into the next year.”

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