I have received several emails from constituents regarding the implications for people with disabilities of the Coronavirus Bill.
The legislation exists to ensure that local authorities can continue to deliver the best possible care services during the peak of the pandemic and to protect the lives of the most vulnerable members of society. It will ensure that sufficient staff are available and deployed where they are most needed, as well as to support members of the public, containing and slowing the virus. The powers in the legislation would only be used in extremis, in the event of severe demand pressures or workforce illness during the pandemic.
It is important to state that local authorities will still be expected to do as much as they possibly can to comply with their statutory duties to meet the needs of vulnerable residents during this period, and the legislation does not remove the duty of care towards an individual at risk of serious neglect or harm.
Please be assured that all the measures in the Coronavirus Bill are temporary and proportionate to the threat we face. I understand that they will only be used when strictly necessary and will only be in place for as long as required to respond to this pandemic.
I will, of course, continue to monitor this situation and regularly receive updates from Buckinghamshire Council on all aspects of the crisis.