City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby gives update on Leicester’s response amid Coronavirus outbreak

By Samuel Gill

City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby gave an update on the current state of the Coronavirus in terms of Leicester’s current planning at tonight’s Council Meeting.

During his opening statement, Mayor Soulsby moved quickly to give Leicester’s position and also an overall message to the people of Leicester, with there being now five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city.

Mayor Soulsby said: “We are coming to grips with a pandemic unprecedented in our lifetime. I understand that many are fearful and anxious.

I want to offer some reassurance to the people of Leicester that it’s council is doing all it can to help keep people safe and to keep our city running.”

“This morning we were informed that there have been five confirmed tests for Coronavirus in Leicester however of course a note of caution it’s widely accepted that those figures don’t represent the true extent of the spread,” he continued.

“Our duty is now clear, a duty to protect loved ones, to protect neighbours, friends, key workers and to protect our fellow citizens. As a council we had plans ready drafted up from people across the organisation so as a result of that forward planning, we’re not having to waste time on creating plans but implementing them.”

While for the city’s venues such as De Montfort Hall, they will close indefinitely, with Curve Theatre and Y Theatre also in a similar position, libraries and museums are among the public spaces ran by the Council that will not be closed for the time being.

Soulsby also revealed there will be no pursuit of council tax arrears and no council house evictions for those who are deeply affected by this.

As well as that, the council will move to utilise the uncapped hardship fund – including emergency living grants – with an increase from £27m if necessary as the city prepares for more cases likely in the coming weeks.

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