A Greater Manchester Living with Covid Resilience Plan has been published following a special Combined Authority that took place today [2 Sept 2020].

The one-year Plan recognises that the pandemic is still ongoing in Greater Manchester and is likely to be so for some time. However Greater Manchester has been clear that the building back better phase of responding to Covid needs to start now. The plan therefore begins to outline how Greater Manchester will respond to the disproportionate impact Covid has had on people’s lives and businesses, how to recover and build resilience and what support vulnerable communities will still need.

It also recognises the innovations which are supporting Greater Manchester’s response to the pandemic including digital solutions to support people to work and access services differently, strengthened partnership working across agencies, locally devolved resources has enabled timely and targeted support with multiagency networks set up, for example to source and distribute PPE.

The Living with Covid Plan provides a bridge between the existing Greater Manchester Strategy and the refresh now due to take place next year. The Plan is the start of the city-region’s journey in building back better - an action-led short term plan rather than a long term strategy. It will be delivered by local government, health, transport, police, the voluntary community and social enterprise sector and the private sector.

Key action points include:

  • Targeted support to sectors facing lasting impacts from Covid, and growing sectors with investment where they can exploit new opportunities. This includes urgent support for sectors such as hospitality and retail.
  • Significantly expand the GM Good Employment Charter to drive more secure work, higher pay and better employment standards.
  • Continue the SafeGM campaign to provide reassurance about getting back to work
  • Swiftly progress investment opportunities as part of economic stimulus and push for wider government funding for councils and locally controlled devolved resources
  • Deliver the Cycling and Walking Plan, and build on positive shift in travel behaviour
  • Progress more integrated public transport system with support from DfT
  • Progress GM Clean Air Plan
  • Sustain support to care homes and extend Living Well at Home to strengthen the resilience of adult social care provision
  • Ensure the provision of comprehensive mental health and wellbeing support accounting for growth in demand and severity across all ages
  • Supporting successful return to school and college for all learners, with inclusion of catch up and wellbeing support if needed
  • Deliver housing and public building retrofit programme as part of greener economic recovery
  • Launch a targeted plan to tackle digital exclusion

 

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “In the space of a few months, the Covid pandemic has forced us to completely rethink the ways we live, work, and get around. There’s no doubt that it has had a major impact on our city-region, disrupting lives and exposing the stark inequalities that exist all across the country. Our focus remains on addressing those issues and building back in a way that’s better and fairer than before.

“It’s clear that we’re now moving into a new phase of living with this virus. That means being smarter about the way we target measures to protect our communities, and all of us being more disciplined in our approach to keeping ourselves and others safe. Today, our Living with Covid Plan sets out the clear actions that we need to take so that Greater Manchester can meet these challenges head on. This is a moment to learn the lessons of the pandemic and work towards positive change.”

Cllr Elise Wilson, Greater Manchester Economy Portfolio Lead, said: “Greater Manchester is facing one of the most difficult periods in our lifetime with Covid-19 creating significant and large scale challenges to our economy. The hospitality, leisure and tourism industries are facing particularly severe impacts and we know some businesses in other sectors are in a bad shape. We’ve already been working hard to help our businesses safely re-open and the Living with Covid Resilience Plan identifies further action that we need to take to support Greater Manchester move forward over the coming year whilst living with Covid.

“The new reality is that the virus will continue to be with us and we need to learn to live with it. We need to adapt our way of life to keep people safe, help our economy recover, create secure jobs that pay a fair wage and give our future generations something to hope for.”

Lou Cordwell, Co-Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “I’ve been speaking to businesses throughout the Covid crisis to find out what pressures they have been facing and what support they need to survive and retain jobs. The Plan published today includes actions designed to support businesses as they innovate and adapt to Covid. The plan also aims to expand the Good Employment Charter which in turn will drive more secure work and better employment standards across GM as we strive to build back better.”


Article Published: 02/09/2020 15:28 PM