Dorset Council staff praised for coronavirus response

Dorset Council staff praised for coronavirus response

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 19th April 2020.

Council leaders have praise both their staff, councillors and the Dorset public for pulling together during the coronavirus outbreak.

Council chief executive Matt Prosser and council leader Cllr Spencer Flower have spoken of how staff have risen to the challenge with many working long hours, including weekends, to help the community through the crisis.

Many staff have also stepped forward to do jobs they would not normally do – with librarians answering public queries on the phone and council drivers switching from collecting and delivering people at day centres to delivering medicines and other needed items.

Lots of Council staff are still hard at work throughout the pandemic.

There has also been praise for Dorset residents who have, mostly, kept to the restrictions and stepped forward to help each other out.

“I am almost at the point where we have more volunteers than there are jobs to be done…the response has been fantastic,” said Mr Prosser.

He asked people who may not have heard back about their offers to help to be patient as staff deal with the overwhelming response.

Council staff have been praised by the council leader, Spencer Flower:

“I have been immensely impressed with how the staff have coped, given that we have gone through a period of change anyway, a restructuring. I think the staff have been incredibly flexible in willing to roll their sleeves up and get involved in supporting areas they wouldn’t normally have been involved in,” he said.

Said Chief executive Matt Prosser:

"It’s an amazing time to be working in local government and hearing the stories of people going above and beyond. In the first few weeks of this we, literally, had people working 14 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week and have continued to throughout this period … the staff have been absolutely amazing and I’m so, so proud of them and all that they have achieved and continue to achieve.”

Cllr Spencer says that typical of that effort is a team working throughout the Easter weekend to ensure that local businesses get the financial support they are entitled as quickly as applications can be processed. 

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter