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Aberdeenshire's reaction praised by Council leader

By Rachael Glennie

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The Leader of Aberdeenshire Council has today praised staff and the people of the area for the way they have navigated the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Council leader praises Aberdeenshire's reaction to the coronavirus
Council leader praises Aberdeenshire's reaction to the coronavirus

Speaking in an open letter, councillor Jim Gifford said he sympathised with both the overwhelming feelings of fear and frustration felt by everyone and was humbled by the efforts of Council staff to keep things moving.

He spoke as the region embarked on week three of lockdown and used the opportunity to acknowledged the difficult adjustments taking place.

Commenting Mr Gifford said: “Every day I remain amazed by the way that Aberdeenshire as a whole has reacted to this coronavirus pandemic.

"The community spirit, the work, the dedication.

"To the residents and businesses of the area, please know that we, as a Council, are here for you.

"The way we deliver services might have changed in some places, but we are continuing to deliver services.

"It is encouraging to see services doing things in new ways, always recognising our important role in your lives.

"If in doubt, ask, whether online, through our Contact Centre or via our social media channels, we will put you in touch with the right person to help you get the service you need."

He continued: “To our staff, I take my hat off.

"You are out every day in incredibly challenging and often unknown situations, protecting people and providing a front-line service.

"This pandemic has shown the true heroes of our communities to be the often-unsung ones, such as the Council teams out every day collecting waste, the housing teams making sure emergency repairs can carry on, home carers, social workers, your roles continue daily and I could not be more grateful for that.

“The daily business goes on, and many committee meetings have taken place on Skype.

"My fellow councillors and I continue to be involved with the important decisions we need to take and are doing that right across the area.

"We are fortunate that the Council had invested the time and effort to develop a flexible working policy previously which has allowed us to maintain business continuity and resilience while many of our employees work from home where they can.

“It is also heartening to receive such overwhelming support from the public - both in person and via social media - praising frontline staff for their dedication and hard work during this outbreak. "

He concluded the letter by asking everyone to go to the Grampian Assistance Hub website or phone line which was launched last week, providing people all across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus as well as a place to reach out and directly ask for help.

Support can be accessed via the website at www.GCAH.org.uk or by calling 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm, seven days a week).

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