In recent weeks, as Leader of Derby City Council, the sense of pride I feel in the courage,

Cllr Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council

dedication, flexibility and skill of key workers across the city has grown every single day.

I’m proud of my DCC staff, I’m proud of our professional partners and I’m proud of the city’s residents and volunteers alike. Together our communities are stronger, and we will get the better of this vile disease.

There are tens of thousands of key workers across the UK, all of whom who are working tirelessly to keep our nation moving. They are keeping our shelves stocked, our mail delivered, our children educated, our law in order, our families healthy, our vulnerable cared for, our streets and buildings clean, and our communities together; each and every one of them working heroically and without protest during a time of global uncertainty.

I know our NHS has been the focus for thanks, and they deserve this praise for their excellent work, but there are of course a myriad of other people who are working during this time.

I write to you ALL now to say THANK YOU for selflessly continuing your day-to-day duties to support the people of Derby.

It has also been humbling to see how, alongside those key workers, the people of Derby have stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve seen communities come together in the support hub like never before; caring for our neighbours; supporting local businesses; volunteering to help our most vulnerable, and much, much more. It’s truly been inspiring to watch.

My Councillor colleagues from all parties, in all wards of the city have been equally inspirational in their support of the communities they know best. Coronavirus is bigger than party politics and I hope that we continue to work in close communication with cross-party leaders to get it right for the city, residents and businesses alike.

Whilst these people are all actively doing their bit to help, there are many people, like myself, who are having to follow Government lockdown advice, and are staying at home, working from home, and self-isolating. Frustratingly, we cannot physically be out there doing the key roles like giving care to patients, collecting bins, or policing our streets. I do want to emphasise though, how much we appreciate and back the work and dedication of all key workers, through the many and varied support roles in the fight against COVID-19.

The Government has now announced at least a further three weeks of lockdown to ensure the numbers of cases and deaths reduce. Lockdown is tough. We’re all struggling with not being able to see our loved ones, or go out, but we must remember why we’re doing this – we are saving lives.

At the same time, Derby City Council is working extremely hard on our Recovery Plan for Derby. It is essential that we ensure continuity of services and plan and prepare to ensure that the city hits the ground running as we bounce back and help residents and businesses to show the resilience and passion, I know we can deliver in recovery.

At times we have been forced to massively change the way we work, take some tough decisions and heavily prioritise the services we can deliver. It feels as though society as a whole has had to press a ‘reset’ button and in the end, we may well end up doing many things differently in the future.

One thing I do know is that we will get through this, but to do so we need to continue to work with and for each other, be patient and let the restrictions we are all enduring have the desired effect of stopping this disease.

Thank you, stay safe and keep up the tremendous work.

Chris Poulter 

Leader of Derby City Council