COVID-19 Response

Cllr Elise Wilson Radio Interview

April 27, 2020
Cllr Elise Wilson speaks with Trevor Thomas from Imagine Radio.

Recorded 24/04/2020.


Presenter: Lots of Council teams, I noticed this week, Elise, taking on some new work during the pandemic, as well, to keep things moving along.

Cllr Wilson: Oh yeah, it's been a massive effort. Council staff have just been phenomenal in raising to the challenge so, obviously there's been areas wherewe've not been able to keep those services going, so quite early on things like libraries and museums have to be temporarily closed but those staff have really come forward and worked in different ways, taking on different jobs and responsibilities, to really make sure that we can work with the people of Stockport to help us get through this.

Presenter: I noticed the government announced they'd be providing digital devices for children from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds to help them continue with their studies as well.

Cllr Wilson: Yeah, I'm delighted about this, so, I wrote a lot to the Secretary of State, some time ago to ask about ensuring that we can keep connectivity going  throughout this crisis, so whilst we're all at home, and Andy Burnham and I wrote to the minister, to ensure we could get phone companies to - or our telecoms companies - to cap phone bills for people during this time, because, obviously, it's one of the key ways of people keeping in touch with each other, and also looking at how we can ensure that people have access to the internet through their data packages. One of the big issues was about how we keep our children and young people still learning when they're not in school. They're going to need access to the internet. So I'm absolutely delighted because we wanted to make sure that, obviously, not only do they have access to the internet, but also they have the technology that they can use to access the internet with as well. So this is really welcome from the government.

Presenter: Are there any updates on the bin collection rounds, at all?

Cllr Wilson: Yeah, so, this week saw the start of our ad hoc green bin collections. In fact, mine was collected today, I'm pleased to say, so, full details of when your bin collection is going to be is on our website, but those have started, so we're doing an ad hoc, additional, one-off sweep of the green bins to collect those for the time being. Obviously this is constantly under review, we know that we've made some changes to bin collections but we will continue to review that as things change. We had a meeting recently in looking at how we can best make available the tips and recycling, but, also bearing in mind, that people shouldn't be leaving their homes unless it's for essential reasons or for their daily exercise...

Presenter: Yeah.

Cllr Wilson: ... and we want to make sure

everybody's safe and well, and we adhere to physical distancing.

Presenter: And I noticed the iconic Stockport Town Hall lit up blue and green for Clap for Carers, last night!

Cllr Wilson: It was, yeah! I'm absolutely delighted about this, I mean, obviously, nobody's going to see it, because we're all at home!


But we know that those that are going to work that are going past the Town Hall,  are the very people that we want to be able to celebrate. So those that are going up and down,  maybe to the hospital,  care homes,  or doing those other key roles that we've got, our postmen, our shop workers, our lorry drivers, and logistics and stuff, they're still going to work, and it's so that they can see that we are here as a town, as a borough, behind them and we support them,  and we celebrate them and we thank them.

Presenter: Yeah, and for the rest of us, there's always social media. That's where I saw it.


Cllr Wilson: Yes, and for the rest of us, there is always social media, exactly.

Presenter: Anything else you'd like to touch on, Elise?

Cllr Wilson: Just to, basically, also, talk about the PPE and testing. So in terms of PPE, so the protective equipment, in Greater Manchester, so Stockport's been working as part of the whole of Greater Manchester to really make sure that we try and run a backup system to the national PPE delivery system. It's absolutely crucial that those who do have to go to work, those very carers that we want to celebrate and thank have the equipment they need to be able to do their job safely. And obviously with the testing, it's going to be a game changer to how we come out of this and how we recover. I think it's a crucial part of our recovery plan,  and therefore we've got to make sure that the people in Stockport have real access to the testing that we need, and make sure that we've got a comprehensive network, and I'm really trying to drive that forward at the minute.