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Borough Council Offices Close But Council Remains Open for ‘Business as Usual’

Published on: 20 Mar, 2020
Updated on: 20 Mar, 2020

Guildford Borough Council’s offices at Millmead have closed to the public.

Guildford Borough Council’s offices at Millmead have been closed to protect residents and staff but council services will continue to be provided.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Surrey has climbed to 45 (as at 9am March 19) but the rate of infection is increasing faster in London boroughs and London is now the national epicentre of the pandemic.

The government expects the number of confirmed and actual cases, estimated to be much higher, to increase greatly over the coming weeks and months but hopes that social distancing and other measures will suppress the infection rate, allowing time to martial NHS resources and spread more evenly the level of demand placed on them.

Cllr Caroline Reeves

Announcing the council offices closure Council Leader Caroline Reeves said: “As these uncertain times become more challenging by the day, I want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to ensure we continue to deliver essential services, and support to our communities as best we can.

“We have closed our Millmead offices to the public to protect both you and our staff, but we are very much open for business as usual and will remain so as long as possible. Please call us on 01483 505050 or visit us online to find updates to our services and how they will affect you.”

Cllr Reeves (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas) continued: “The government has already announced financial relief for some businesses, and please see our website for further detail.

“To ensure that we are able to deliver these critical services to our borough, we may need to refocus our other work to prioritise these. We thank you in advance for your patience, and we will keep you updated as much as we can via our website.

“There is so much information out there at the moment, so please make sure you are using only trusted sources such as the NHS website.

“Keep washing your hands, plan ahead and prepare yourself and your families for the coming weeks, but please think of others when buying food – we are all in this together and we must think of those less able and more vulnerable than ourselves first.

“The changes to our day-to-day lives will impact our physical and mental health so please do look after both.

“Your community spirit has been heart-warming. I’ve been overjoyed to see how you are already pulling together and offering help. Please do this in a safe and coordinated way without putting yourself or others at risk. Voluntary Action South West Surrey is dedicated to putting those who need help in touch with those who can give it.

“You – our residents and businesses – remain our top priority. We are here to provide many of your public services as your local authority and I am confident we will get through this by working together.”

Earlier, Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson tweeted to thank Cllr Reeves for meeting with her to discuss the situation.

Angela Richardson’s Tweet regarding meeting with Council Leader Reeves


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Responses to Borough Council Offices Close But Council Remains Open for ‘Business as Usual’

  1. Stephen Mansbridge Reply

    March 20, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    Excellent! I would be interested to know how councilors are leading in their communities.

    Why has the market been licenced to continue to operate? Are the Town Rangers helping people in retail to distance from each other. In Greggs and Poundland people queue cheek by jowel. I see no leadership whatsoever.

    • Jan Todd Reply

      March 21, 2020 at 1:57 pm

      Thankfully our local ward councillor, Cllr Caroline Reeves, is doing an absolutely magnificent job for our community and I cannot praise her enough for her hard work and unstinting devotion to duty. The one stall on the market which has been licensed to continue to operate will be a godsend since our local supermarkets have been unable to keep up with the demand for fresh produce and I for one am extremely grateful for this.

      It seems to me that Mr Mansbridge is simply making mischief here; I don’t see why it should be up to the Town Rangers to help people keep a distance from each other, we are all adults and have been advised enough times by central government on this subject. Unlike Stephen Mansbridge, I haven’t been into Poundland or Greggs but I noticed this morning that some coffee shops are open but are only operating on a takeaway basis and there were no queues.

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