The city must ‘use the strength and spirit shown throughout the coronavirus pandemic to build an even better York’.
That’s the message underlining City of York Council’s plans to help the city bounce back.
The council is developing a one year Recovery and Renewal Strategy.
It is based around three themes:
- Communities: The recovery will “prioritise the health of residents and build on the incredible community response to the pandemic, including extending the successful community hub model and promoting more local self-support”. It will support schools, charities and the voluntary sector to work differently to incorporate social distancing.
- Building an inclusive economy: The council is helping businesses to access grants, while exploring ways to provide “safe travel, working and leisure for residents to accelerate the city’s economic recovery”. With partners it will also support businesses to recruit additional staff when needed, while helping residents to adapt their skills and quickly return to work if their job has changed or been lost.
- Funding and council services: The council will restore “council services as and when it is safe to do so”, changing the way they work if needed and supporting staff to adapt. It will “ensure it provides access to democracy and decision-making through remote meetings”, and continue to make the case for York in light of the ongoing impact and needs of the city due to coronavirus.
As part of this strategy, the council will continue to work with city partners, local government and national bodies to lobby for funding, testing and tracing to ensure the local authority “is in the best possible place to deliver these plans”.
The recovery strategy will be considered at a remote meeting of the executive meeting on 25 June.
Residents will be encouraged to take part in a city-wide consultation on the recovery, called Our Big Conversation.
Council leader Keith Aspden said: “This pandemic has affected every aspect of life in York. Yet York’s strengths and spirit have been clear to see in the city has risen to the challenge to support each other.
“I’d like to thank everyone once again for their commitment, generosity and community-minded actions.
“This plan will harness these strengths and places them at the heart of our recovery. There will undoubtedly be more uncertainty, more flexibility and trade-offs required as we look to reopen the city and services while protecting the health of everyone in York.
“By continuing to work together and focus on what the city does well, we can adapt and take opportunities to build an even better York; a greener, cleaner, and thriving city for all its citizens.”
Life in York will be different
Deputy leader of the council Andy D’Agorne added: “We have to acknowledge that life in York will inevitably feel different. The way we shop, move around, learn and work will all have to change to help us live our lives, earn a living and keep each other safe and healthy.
“We know the future is uncertain so we’re making sure we have a flexible plan which allows us to learn, adapt and stay focussed on the health of residents.
“The recovery plan also reinforces our ambitions for a more inclusive, healthier and cleaner city for all our residents.”
How to get help
Residents can access information on everything from financial hardship support to protecting your mental health on the council website.
If you are struggling and have no one to support you, call the helpline on 01904 551550.
To help residents and businesses stay in touch with the latest developments, the council has developed regular newsletters. You can sign up here.