Redbridge Council slams ‘failures at national level’

Redbridge Council says it has not received food and personal protective equipment (PPE) promised by the government.

The council has so far been sent just “one small food package” and only received personal protective equipment (PPE) after a “substantial delay”, its leader claims.

This means the council has had to source tests and other necessary items locally, a significant spend that could put more strain on already stretched finances.

In a tweet on April 15, council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said that “failures at national level” were being “picked up and fixed locally”.

Asked for more details about the Government’s lack of support, he said: “Like many other councils, we’ve had a mixed experience so far.

“There was a substantial delay in the delivery of PPE equipment from the Government. To protect our staff we immediately sourced and ordered equipment from local suppliers.

“I’m pleased to report that we’re now getting a regular supply of PPE, which is being distributed to frontline council staff. The NHS is also offering slots for testing our social care staff who meet the criteria.”

He added that despite having “only received one small food package” from the Government to support vulnerable residents, the Well-Being service had sent out more than 200 food parcels.

He said: “This has been helped by local people and businesses who’ve donated food and essential items – their support is greatly appreciated.

“Although there have been difficulties sourcing essential PPE and food from the Government, in Redbridge we are determined to do whatever it takes to keep local people and frontline staff safe and well.”

The Dept of Housing, Communities and Local Government had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter