Council’s political leaders unified in fight against coronavirus

The leaders of the Council’s Green, SNP, Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups have come together to issue a joint letter thanking the people of Edinburgh for their part in the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The letter, signed by Green Group co-convenor, Cllr Melanie Main, recognises the crucial work of NHS staff and essential workers, as well as the efforts of individuals, businesses and other organisations.

It also looks forward to a ‘brighter future’ and shares information on support on offer for all those struggling to deal with the effects of the crisis.

Joint letter to the people of Edinburgh

We face the biggest challenge in living memory, and it’s only by working together as a council and as a city that we’ll be able to overcome it – today we stand together as we thank the city for playing its part in tackling these dark days and look toward to a brighter future together.

Over recent weeks, Edinburgh’s community spirit has proved itself, as people have come together to support one another, to applaud the hard work of the thousands of key workers going the extra mile to serve the Capital and to play their part in limiting the spread of the virus.

We are indebted to the doctors, nurses and NHS staff and frontline carers, as well as the cleaners, teaching staff, refuse collectors and supermarket staff who are working to keep all of us safe and our city functioning. They are all doing vital work to keep our city running during this time of national crisis.

Thousands of residents have signed up through readyscotland.org and volunteeredinburgh.org.uk to help make and deliver food or pick up prescriptions for those who can’t access them themselves. Thank you to all those who are putting their community first – you make Edinburgh the place it is.

We’re equally grateful to all those who have followed national guidance and stayed at home over recent weeks to help limit the spread of coronavirus. Our parks, green spaces and iconic streets were sparsely covered over the weekend, demonstrating that people are following expert advice – please keep going with this.

Thanks goes to the businesses who have closed to help this effort, those who have facilitated homeworking for employees and those carrying out essential work. This is not easy, and small businesses will no doubt bear the brunt of these changes. We would encourage them to take advantage of support on offer from the Scottish Government while the UK Government’s guarantee to pay 80% of staff salaries while they are not needed to work will help more businesses stay afloat – find out more about support on the Council website and more about safety guidelines on the Scottish Government website.

We’ve been working collaboratively with the Scottish and UK Governments, third sector and the NHS to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community are cared for during this challenging time. There is a range of support on offer for families who are struggling, including that from the All of Us partnership, while the Council is working with partners to protect people facing homelessness.

We must look after ourselves too, and it is crucial that anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus visits the NHS Inform website and follows the guidance there.

From north to south, green to maroon, Edinburgh has always been greater than the sum of its parts. We have seen the best of Edinburgh through this crisis and if we continue to follow guidelines and look out for one another, then we have no doubt that not only will we get through this together, we will emerge stronger as a city and a nation.

Further information on the Council’s response to the coronavirus, and changes to services, are available online.