MORE than a year after Powys County Council invoked its Business Continuity Plan in response to the Coronavirus pandemic the Council has announced a partial return to business as usual.
The County Council triggered its Business Continuity Plan on the March 18 last year, allowing services to focus on COVID-19 activities and step-down areas that were not business critical.
From Monday, May 3, with Wales reducing its alert level status, the Council will revoke the plan for most areas apart from Social Services and Public Protection, allowing a return to business-as-usual activities, although services will still have to be delivered in line with COVID-19 restrictions.
Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Turner said: “Revoking the Business Continuity Plan for most services is an important step for the Council and shows how much progress has been made in the fight against Coronavirus. We intend to keep the plan in place for Social Services because of the continued impact of the virus on social care.
“The lifting of the plan is good news but does not mean we will be returning to the pre-covid way of working. Office-based staff will still be required to work from home where possible, the focus and location of their work may change but operating procedures will not. In addition, those staff who have been redeployed to support social services in delivering mission critical activities will remain in those roles so that there is business continuity for our residents who require care and support.”
“A great deal has changed since we declared our Business Continuity Plan and a return to the way we operated is not possible. Our buildings must be adapted, we must make sure they are COVID-19 safe and that is not an easy or quick process.
“We are exploring new ways of working, learning the lessons of the past year, capturing good practices and efficiencies. We are making good progress and hope to see changes in the summer when the new ways of working become the way of working.
“Whilst we are now well into Recovery, we must also be mindful that Covid has not gone away. We will remain vigilant and stand ready to address any new outbreaks, whether in specific settings or within the community.
“Stepping down the Business Continuity Plan is an important milestone, but we won’t be returning to the pre-covid way of working. The future will be very different,” she added.