Report of the Director of Public Health (Chief Officer for Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity) (PH/20/02) giving an update on the Local Outbreak Management Plan and the associated (non-statutory) governance arrangements, attached.
The Plan is also attached as an Appendix to the Report.
(Councillor Dewhirst declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a Director of a holiday park)
(Councillors Dewhirst, Greenslade, Hannaford and Whitton attended remotely in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Public Health (Chief Officer for Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity) (PH/20/02) giving an update on the Local Outbreak Management Plan and the associated (non-statutory) governance arrangements, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 on the outturn position for 2019/2020.
The Cabinet noted that on 22nd May 2020, Government announced new arrangements for Local Authorities to take a lead role in the management of COVID-19 as lockdown was released. This required Upper Tier Local Authority (County Councils and Unitary Authorities) to publish a Local Outbreak Management Plan by 30th June 2020.
As part of this process, upper tier Local Authorities had to establish COVID-19 Health Protection Boards, which were multi-agency strategic partnerships, non-statutory, working to detect, manage and contain outbreaks of COVID-19, working under the existing statutory duties of the Director of Public Health. This Board would be chaired by the Director of Public Health and its role was to oversee the Local Outbreak Management Plan and resource deployment via tactical and operational management, data and intelligence (with Joint Biosecurity Centre), leading the local Public Health response with Public Health England (and NHS Test and Trace) and assurance and reporting to other groups as required.
Councils were also required to establish Local Outbreak Engagement Boards which were also non-statutory and designed to provide political oversight of the local delivery of the Local Outbreak Management Plan and the local response as well as communicating and engaging with residents, businesses and communities. This Engagement Board would be chaired by the Leader of the Council.
It was noted that Local Outbreak Management Plans were dynamic and would be updated according to local need and any change in national requirements.
The Government had allocated £300 million to Upper Tier Local Authorities in the form of a ring-fenced Local Authority Test and Trace grant to support this work and the Council’s allocation was £2,618,508.
The Cabinet noted in the Report the increasing evidence of the differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain populations including older people, people from a black and minority ethnic background, and those with learning disability. The emergence of a greater inequality gap in vulnerable groups was of concern in the move into Recovery.
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability, carbon impact, risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the Chief Officer’s Report and/or referred to above having been considered:
it was MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor Croad, and
RESOLVED that the Local Outbreak Management Plan and the associated (non-statutory) governance arrangements be noted.