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Letter: How the Council is Handling Lockdown and the Covid Jabs

Published on: 19 Feb, 2021
Updated on: 19 Feb, 2021

From: Joss Bigmore

Leader of Guildford Borough Council and R4GV ward councillor for Christchurch

In response to: An Incredible Waste of Time, Energy and Money

I am sorry Pat Scott doesn’t value Guildford Borough Council’s communications strategy concerning the lockdown and the vaccination programme.

Fortunately, the council has received many other messages thanking the council for the incredible role they have played in supporting the community as we battle this pandemic.

Unfortunately, ill-judged political slights on my administration reflect badly on the council officers who have led our response impeccably. This initiative cost £8,728 which we funded from a grant that is ring-fenced for pandemic-related expense.

We sent a draft to all councillors (including the ward councillors in the Ash area) on January 22 to which there were no objections raised. We sent 30,800 physical postcards (covering roughly half the borough), contacting the remaining households by email at a total cost of less than 15p each.

We took the decision to do this because of the high local infection rates during this phase of the pandemic. During previous waves infection rates in Guildford were relatively low.

With the risk of new mutations we felt a more targeted personal approach to residents was necessary to both “warn and inform”, in line with central government guidance.

Please stay safe everybody, the vaccination programme is making excellent progress but there is still risk. The recent outbreaks of the South African variant in Woking show we must remain vigilant and exercise caution.

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