COVID-19 Response

Cllr Wilson Radio Interview

April 14, 2020
Leader of the Council Elise Wilson speaks with Paul Taylor from Strawberry Radio.

Recorded 09/04/2020.


Cllr Wilson: Suffice it to say, we have put a helpline number together, so that people can phone up if they feel  if they're vulnerable or they need help, and that is available Monday to Saturday, and there is of information on our website. 

So that'd be the first thing I'd say.

We've also stepped up and started a whole rollout of support behind that, so that when people call and, maybe, they need food packages, or, help with medicines, or other help and support, 

then we can deploy all that, from the phone call so, all of that has been created so that we're ready to go, and we're getting a lot of support by people in Stockport really stepping up and being part of a volunteer army of people; they're ready to help out.

We've also, recently, opened Bramhall Manor, a care facility in Bramhall,  it's a 71-bed care facility. We've done that with the Stockport CCG and the hospital, and it is a facility that is going to help people when they are really ready to leave hospital, but not quite ready to go home yet, and it's going to give them that little bit of extra support so that we can get them home, because, let's face facts, most people just want to go home, don't they? If you've been poorly, you just want to get home, in the end.

Presenter: Brilliant. I know there's a lot of work being done on the business side, business support, at the moment,  if you could just give us a quick overview of how that's working?

Cllr Wilson: Yeah, so, quite understandably, it's been a really tough time for businesses, as well. The government made a flurry of announcements, sometime towards the beginning of when we went into lockdown, but it was actually, how we were going to get the delivery of all that, some of the jobs tasked to the Council to do was around reissuing the business rate bills, because, one of the announcements was that hospitality sectors, for example, are going to be taken out of having to buy that under a certain limit.

All of that's been done, so those bills have been reissued which should help and reassure some of those businesses that they've not got to pay that.

We were also tasked with a grant to businesses, there was a £10,000 or £25,000 grant, which was to be given to businesses, again, under certain thresholds, who pay - that usually pay business rates, or would not pay business rates, would be eligible for business rate relief, so, since we've had the money, which was only last Wednesday, we have managed - so the government gave the Council the money, since we've had the money, £23.5 million has already been passed on to businesses and that's just about 1,900 businesses in Stockport, now have received that money and we're working through to get the money out to businesses as quickly as we can.

Presenter: Great stuff, and I believe, there's also a recovery strategy also being talked about, you've got a group together for that, at the moment.

Cllr Wilson: Yeah, what's been really - like with most things in Stockport, it's the way the community comes together, and the business community is no different, they've, kind of, all come up and said: "Right, well, how are we going to do that?" and they've rolled their sleeves up and really wanted to work in partnership with each other and with the Council to really make sure that we're in the best place possible when we - in the recovery of this, and how we get out of that.

There is a lot of work coming together about really understanding what the current situation is, what we think the blockages to resolving that situation is, and how we can feed that into the wider Greater Manchester story, so that we can get it right, so that we can - once this lockdown starts being lifted, we can really move and support our businesses, and that's been a really amazing piece of work.

They've helped as well with not just shaping how we do things but also, comunicating what's going on within their networks, and that's just been really great.

Presenter: That's great stuff. It's good to know all the work the Council are doing, and yourself, as well, so, thank you very much for that, Elise.

Cllr Wilson: No, thank you!