I AM writing in response to the recent meeting of the Craven District Council Select committee working group, at which members received a presentation from officers outlining the district council’s response to the current pandemic and, going forward, proposals for future actions.

The pandemic has had a far reaching effect on the broad range of services the council delivers, easily overlooked but all too apparent as senior staff went through an extensive list.

From asset management to waste collection, the majority of council services have continued to be delivered throughout the pandemic, including lock-downs.

As we discussed at the presentation, it was clear all councillors were hugely impressed by not only the level of support provided to our community, but the incredible dedication and flexibility of staff right across the organisation. For example, staff from Craven Leisure redeployed to help with waste collections or the herculean effort made by the revenues and benefits team who delivered the initial tranche of funding to help support businesses across Craven, in such a short time.

While it was clear some have not yet benefited from the various financial support schemes provided by Westminster, the council has administered business grant funding to 2,062 businesses. Through the further discretionary CDC grant scheme a further 272 businesses were supported, and counting. This totals £25.3m in grant funding and over £10m in rates relief.

Overall, the work done by the council in the prompt distribution of these funds will have doubtless helped to save jobs and allow businesses to survive and be trading beyond the pandemic. As we continue to experience ongoing degrees of restriction on our everyday lives and the effects that is having on the local economy, we were given further details on how the council will continue to deliver support packages on behalf of central Government, but also look at ways in which the authority can distribute further discretionary funding to help those who continue to face challenges.

The broad picture was every bit as challenging as you might expect. But the financial outlook for CDC, while impacted, is meeting the challenge through a combination of continually evolving Government funding initiatives and the sound financial foundations of CDC laid down in preceding years.

Members present were left feeling positive about Craven District Council’s abilities to deliver for residents during these dark days and immensely proud of the people who make it possible, and wished to express their personal thanks to all Craven District Council staff for their outstanding commitment and flexibility they have provided to help those communities we all serve.

Before sending this letter it was distributed around my fellow members for their endorsement as a fair reflection of our view, because it is important that our residents understand the opinions I have expressed are shared across the council chamber.

Cllr David Staveley

Select Committee Chairman

Craven District Council

Cllr. Richard Foster - Leader of the Council

Cllr. Simon Myers - Deputy Leader of the Council

Cllr. Chris Rose

Cllr. Eric Jaquin

Cllr. Carl Lis

Cllr. Andy Brown – Leader of the Green Group

Cllr. Andy Solloway – Leader of the Independent Group

Cllr. Chris Moorby

Cllr. Mark Wheeler

Cllr. Brian Shuttleworth

Cllr. Wendy Hull