At the most recent full meeting of Bury Council, the Liberal Democrat team asked our maximum entitlement of questions as always. Here are some of the more interesting replies:
Councillor Michael Powell asked about PPE in schools:
Given new guidelines around the wearing of masks in Secondary schools, what is being done by the Council to ensure that schools have sufficient supples of PPE to provide for staff and students?
Answer: There is a reasonable expectation that pupils, being required to wear masks in shops and some other public spaces, will be in possession of masks that can then be used when in communal places in schools. It is however recognised that there will be instances where pupils do not have access to a mask and arrangements have been made through the Council’s Public Health Team, for all secondary schools o be provided with a supply of masks.
Councillor Steve Wright asked about the Prestwich Walk-in Centre:
What level of use is currently being made of the site of the Prestwich Walk-In Centre and when will the Walk-In Centre reopen?
The Prestwich Walk in Centre is currently the base for the Covid Management Service for the borough – an invaluable service during the pandemic in providing primary care services for COVID positive patients and making a contribution to reducing infection risk in other practices in the borough.
The COVID Management Service has been and continues to be a vital element of the Bury wide COVID strategy which includes the need to minimise open access points for patients in favour of a more managed triage and book service. The COVID management service has dealt with 2,504 referrals since the pandemic started. The service provides telephone triage and advice, face to face GP appointments and home visits where required.
Options on the continuation of the covid management service are currently in development and will take place in the context of the epidemiology of the pandemic.
While we are in the pandemic we are seeking to limit face to face contacts for healthcare services in favour of digitalised opportunities through, for example, Ask my GP, and in current circumstances of COVID 19 it is not intended the WIC will reopen soon.
Councillor Michael Powell asked about the regeneration of Prestwich Village:
Can the Leader provide an update on the progress made in recent months on the plans to regenerate Prestwich village centre?
Over the last 6 months the Council has made significant progress with regard to bringing forward the pre-development phase of the regeneration of Prestwich Village. Progress includes engagement with the development market. We have developed a set of key values and principles we see as important in delivering the Prestwich scheme.
Over the next 6 months the Council are seeking to source a long-term partner who shares our views on the potential of the site and wants to work with the community to deliver a new centre which is attractive to all residents.
We will also be designing a hub building that meets the requirements of the public sector bodies in Prestwich. The hub building will incorporate the NHS Trust’s functions combining two GP practices, the library, adult learning centre, indoor community room (to replace the Longfield Suite that could house indoor market, leisure uses), new cycling hub and a Job Centre.
It is anticipated at the November Cabinet a Paper will be presented outlining the way forward for the regeneration of Prestwich.