A TOP politician and leading decision-maker behind public services across the county has hinted at a shake-up within the council after England was put into another lockdown.

Buckinghamshire Council leader Cllr Martin Tett spoke of possible ‘closures’ of public services provided by the authority during a Cabinet meeting this morning, and he also said council staff may have to be “deployed” following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s January 4 announcement.

The leader said council chiefs would convene to “digest the full implications of the new lockdown”, before issuing a public statement today or tomorrow morning.

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While Cllr Tett did not name individual services or departments he is thinking of, he did say there are “a lot of questions that need to be addressed following the announcement yesterday”.

The latest lockdown and its measures, introduced by the PM on January 4, will be reviewed for England on February 15.

Schools have shut to most students in England, and cabinet office minister Michael Gove said GCSE and A-Level exams are being cancelled this year.

The latest lockdown rules are:

  • People cannot leave their homes other than for essential needs, such as food, medicine and exercise, also work for those who cannot do it from home
  • Colleges and schools will close for most pupils from Tuesday (January 5), with remote tuition until half term, in February
  • Nurseries will remain open, as will outdoor playgrounds
  • Restaurants can offer food deliveries
  • Outdoor sports venues must close
  • Amateur team sports are prohibited, but elite sports such as Premier League football are permitted

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“Obviously, we’ve got to digest the full implications of the new lockdown,” said Cllr Tett.

“There will be a meeting of this cabinet informally just to understand exactly what those implications are for us as an organisation.

“What of our services actually remain open, which will have to close; what it means in terms of staffing where they will be deployed potentially to support vulnerable residents; and the implications in terms of our country parks.

“There’s a lot of questions that need to be addressed following the announcement yesterday. We will make sure we understand the answers to that, and I will be communicating hopefully most of those to residents later today or early tomorrow morning in another of my residents’ updates on Covid.

“That’s the plan ahead and obviously there’s a lot we are going to have to do to continue to keep Buckinghamshire safe going forward.”

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