Last night my colleagues and I had the first ever virtual meeting of the Liberal Democrat Group in Liverpool. I can report back that my colleagues are doing a great job in getting things done within our communities and helping a wide variety of individuals and organisations. In particular we talked about the responses that we had received from the more than 1,000 calls we had made throughout the communities that we represent. We were pleased that few of them had immediate problems because family, friend and churches etc had rallied round in the short term. There were greater fears about what would happen if the lock down continues for more than the next 2 or 3 weeks. Those people that have financial reserves were rapidly going through them. Many now had no reserves at all.We left our contact details with all of them so that they knew how to get in touch if things got worse. There were a series of common questions that I have collated and sent to the NHS and the Council. Ideally, we would like to have asked these questions in the semi-public forums that we are now allowed to adopt using social media as a way of spreading wider knowledge and discussions. As the Council has still to decide how to use the new style of meetings that the Government has allowed, we are asking the questions via email but will let people know the responses from the NHS and Council through our email systems, Twitter etc. These are the questions: Volunteer Programmes. A considerable have volunteered for both the Council and NHS volunteer programmes. None of those that we have spoken to have yet to be deployed. Hopefully this is because the response from the community to look after neighbours and family but it could because the organisations are failing to deploy them effectively. So how many have volunteered and how many have been used for both schemes? How many requests for help have come into these organisations? There is some question about the efficiency of the Council’s scheme. Councillors have on two occasions been promised action by volunteers and action has been promised but then 5 days later had to chase for the promised action.
Care Homes: Have all Liverpool Residential Care Homes now got PPE? Do we have an accurate number locally for those who have dies in the care homes both residents and staff? Are GPs and nurses actually going into care homes? Is there any specific DNR policy being used in Liverpool or will each case be considered on its merits?
Community Care: Have all visiting care workers been issued with PPE? Are doctors visiting or otherwise supporting people known to be supported by carers paid or volunteers within the Community?
Do not resuscitate advice: We came across a number of people who have absolutely manageable complaints such as asthma for which they would expect a long life but who are reluctant to talk to the medical profession because they are concerned that they would not be supported if they got Covid-19. How are GPs dealing with people with low-level problems and what advice can we get out to such people?
Hospitals: We know that our hospital staff of all types are doing a great job but how close are they to capacity? Liverpool has not got a Nightingale Hospital so what will happen here if capacity is breeched?
Grants to businesses: Please supply information on how quickly the council were getting through to get in touch with local businesses who qualify for the local grant scheme if they don’t pay rates? Planning Committee Meetings: Given that we have held a ‘none executive’ planning committee but now have the power to have a fully voting virtual committee would you please let us know what schedule of meetings you intend to bring forward in a virtual form to allow full scrutiny of planning applications within the legal timescale which has not been relaxed.