COVID-19 Response

Cllr Elise Wilson Radio Interview

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April 14, 2020

Leader of the Council Elise Wilson speaks with Trevor Thomas on Imagine FM.

Recorded 09/04/2020.

Presenter: Now, last week, we mentioned the suspension of the green bin rounds because of staffing levels in the wake of the coronavirus crisis there's some good news this week, in that there'll be a one-off collection coming up, I believe, isn't there?

Cllr Wilson: Yes that's right, so it's a big thanks to the amazing staff that work, collecting the bins, but, we have been able to put a one-off collection so over the next three weeks, we'll come round and pick up the green bin one last time.

Now, all the details of when that is for where you live is on the Council website

Presenter: We touched on, last week, the number of elderly people there are around the borough, and the number of people in the at-risk cateogry in Stockport particularly.

Cllr Wilson: It was - we've done - well since then, Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, and myself, are calling on the government and the chief executives of the big telecom providers to look at capping their phone bills, so, BT have been a bit ahead of the curve on this. We think that other providers should seek to do the same, so we've written to government, we've written to the providers, and we've said, just like with the free TV licence, all the over-75s should be getting a capped phone bill, so that they can keep connected.

The only way we're keeping in touch with each other now, is either through phone calls or through the internet, the same with the data,  so, if you have mobile data, or your data allowance on your bill,  you might worry about the cost of that, and so, I've been asking the providers look to give free data allowance to families whose children are eligible for free school meals. Surprisingly, there isn't a standard definition of vulnerable across the telecoms sector, so we're calling on a standard definition of vulnerable, so that, actually, those companies can make sure that they're offering suitable plans in place for them.

Presenter: How many businesses have come forward to take advantage of the government's round of grants?

Cllr Wilson: Yeah we've had absolutely loads, we've been inundated, which is great, and that's what we wanted,  because we wanted to get this money out. Since last Wednesday, when the government gave us the money, we have, as of today, paid out £23.5 million to Stockport businesses, around 1,900 businesses in Stockport, so far.

Presenter: Is there anything else you'd like to add, Elise?

Cllr Wilson: I'd like to talk about the Easter weekend normally, when you've got two bank holidays over a weekend like this, it's a time you want to spend with your friends or your family maybe, or you want to go visit somewhere special, or a beauty spot, or a special place to you, and unfortunately, if we're going to beat COVID-19, it means that we all have to stay home. This weekend is my birthday, and normally, my birthday involves, like, maybe, an evening out with my husband, a meal out somewhere maybe, seeing family, my parents,  but what I am planning on doing, and I would recommend to the people of Stockport, is Sacha Lord has organised a big Haçienda weekend party and it's all online, right in your own home, and it's being streamed through Stream GM, and it's United We Stream so I think that's what I'm going to tune into for my birthday celebrations, at home, and not go out, and I would urge all the people of Stockport to do exactly the same. So stay home, and save lives.

Presenter: Yeah, if you can't get to the party, it's a way of getting the party to you, isn't it?

Cllr Wilson: Exactly, exactly.

Presenter: That's brilliant, Elise, thank you very much for your time, and have a lovely birthday, won't you?

Cllr Wilson: Yeah, I will, thank you very much!