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Local authority leader thanks employees for doing an 'incredible job' during pandemic

By Alan Hendry

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Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson has praised the efforts of local authority staff in responding to the Covid-19 emergency, saying: "I can’t thank them enough."

Workers from all council services have volunteered for new roles that include delivering food and essentials, processing business grants and welfare applications, taking calls to the council’s dedicated helplines and contacting vulnerable members of the community. Many are also volunteering in their own time to give support in the communities where they live.

Speaking on behalf of her fellow councillors and herself, Councillor Davidson said: “As we respond to Covid-19 it is so heartening to see the dedication and ingenuity of our staff. Many are delivering frontline services in difficult circumstances, excelling in completely new roles.

"This is a challenging time for all of us and I can’t thank all our staff enough.

“Since our helpline opened on March 25 we have handled nearly 4500 calls and I am proud of the council and Eden Court staff who have volunteered to operate the helpline each day who number over 50 strong.

“The helpline is providing support and information on a wide range of urgent issues during the Covid-19 situation, including support for businesses, education, helping key workers and those needing help with welfare benefits or free school meals vouchers. Most of all it is there to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

“I am really pleased with the speed at which we have refocused our efforts. The amount of work being undertaken day in, day out is immense. Our staff are doing an incredible job in very difficult circumstances.

"They are working tirelessly through complex and challenging situations. In doing so they have created new ways of working and gone above and beyond to ensure our vital services keep running and that residents and businesses receive the help and support they need.

“Every bin emptied, every emergency payment processed, every food parcel delivered makes a real difference and this level of work going on every day is inspiring.

“I am extremely proud of the resilience and dedication of our workforce.”

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