DCSDC teams up in joint approach to tackle virus spread
02 October 2020
An online briefing, hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council, and attended by Council elected members, MLAs from Foyle, West Tyrone and East Derry/Londonderry, An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council and senior officers from both Councils, was held today to discuss the increasing rise in COVID cases across the NW region.
At the meeting, members agreed to continue to work intently on a joint strategic approach to suppress the coronavirus, to reinforce the public health messages as well as work collectively to provide support to businesses and communities affected by the latest restrictions.
Updated statistics on the number of cases in both the Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council areas were discussed and analysed. The impact of the recently announced restrictions introduced in both jurisdictions, and how they are affecting the respective Council services, was also discussed in depth.
Those attending the meeting heard how ongoing engagement with various Government departments, neighbouring Councils, and key stakeholders and agencies will continue at all levels. They were also advised of the significant level of communication and messaging that will continue to be rolled out across all Council platforms to keep people informed and to assist in reinforcing the public health messaging.
Members at the meeting said it was absolutely imperative that additional funding packages are put in place by both Governments to assist those directly affected across the region. It was agreed that the recent restrictions in both regions were a hammer blow on local businesses and those working in the hospitality sector should receive every possible support mechanism that is available.
Businesses, who have already closed their premises ahead of the restrictions coming into place on Monday, were positively acknowledged for their prompt response, and elected members reaffirmed their commitment to lobby strongly for additional financial support for all affected businesses. Council said it will also continue to do all it can to work with businesses and other key statutory agencies and stakeholders to provide support and assistance over the coming days and weeks.
Members also highlighted the need to support workers at this difficult time and particularly those working in frontline services. It was agreed that Council makes available all information in relation to health and safety at work, encouraging staff to stay safe and know their rights at work.
Those attending the briefing agreed that both Councils will continue to work with NI Executive officials, the Irish Government, the PSNI and Gardai over the coming days in relation to enforcement measures and other issues arising from this evolving situation.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney thanked everyone for their participation and input to the meeting and said the collaborative approach was key in reducing the numbers of people affected by the coronavirus across the wider North West region.
An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Rena Donaghy also welcomed the cross border approach to dealing with the virus. She said by working together to get the message across to all communities in both Council regions we had the power to reverse the statistics and bring about positive change.