Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Message from the Chief Executive 17th July 2020/Neges gan am Prif Weithredwr, 17 Gorffennaf 2020

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Bore da pawb, a chroeso i'r neges fideo yr wythnos hon. Good morning everyone and welcome

to this week's video message. I'm delighted again this week to be able to report a very

low incidence of confirmed Covid-19 cases across our region. This is very welcome news,

but will not give rise to any complacency, as we move with caution and optimism to relaxing

some of the lockdown arrangements confirmed by the First Minister last Friday. This week

marks the unlocking of pubs, cafes and restaurants for outdoor trading along with hairdressers,

barbers and mobile hairdressers, that are now allowed to re-open by appointment. The

measures will be phased in every Monday over the next review cycle and will see large parts

of Wales' visitor, hospitality, leisure and tourism industries re-open. The lifting of

restrictions is being implemented as part of a phased approach to unlocking, in line

with Covid-19 guidance. To mark the opening up of the visitor economy in Pembrokeshire

I would like to mention another significant development within our tourism offer. The

visitor welcome teams, starting their work in key locations across the County. They are

being provided at popular tourism locations in Pembrokeshire this summer as lockdown

restrictions continue to ease. Deployed by Pembrokeshire County Council they are on hand

to help tourists and locals alike with any enquiries that they may have and ensure that everyone

has an enjoyable and safe day out. They will provide advice on local attractions and work

with partner agencies. This new initiative has been set up thanks to partnership

working between the Council, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, The National

Trust, Planed and the tourism sector itself. In previous messages I have emphasised that

as an authority we continue to move forward, re-opening services in a phased an measured

manner, and most importantly ensure our actions do not adversely impact on increasing the risk

of Covid-19. Over the last weekend we witnessed a significant number of people arriving in

the County, and regrettably some examples of anti-social behaviour were apparent. We're

doing our best to clean up the aftermath of such situations, but I would appeal for due

consideration in this respect, so that our visitors and locals alike can enjoy their

new found freedom without any worries associated with inappropriate behaviour. Now this week

I'm joined by Richard Brown our Head of Environmental Services, Public Protection and Civil Contingencies

who is one of our leads on the Covid-19 operational response. Morning Richard, thanks very much

for giving up your time this morning, and welcome to this week's video message. I'm

very mindful that you and one or two others have been in the thick of our response as

one of our Gold Commanders. I thought it might be useful starting point if you just share

with us your experiences of the last four months. Well, It's certainly been a four months

like no other. We've never seen anything like this. I think unprecedent is the word they

use. We've established a command and control system, Bronze, Silver and Gold, which is

very traditional in emergency planning circles and we've had supporting that our incident

management centre, so they support the Gold. They get all the information that comes in

from all the different services, they make sure that we're well sited to key problems,

highlighting any particular concerns. They act as a clearing house shall we say for the

key things, and hopefully we just get to consider some of the big issues and have to make the

decisions on the tough shouts. What about keeping the day services going aswell at the

same time as managing that response? OK, so that's been a huge challenge aswell for us,

and I think that most people have recognised that we have kept quite a few services going,

refuse being one of those in particular. We've had to introduce lots of changes to make that

safe for the teams. We deployed lots of people in from different services, you know we got

something in the region of 350 people deployed from the organisation into different roles,

that they wouldn't normally do. That has helped keep those day services going. We've had the

ability to get alot of our staff working from home, so you know nearly 20% of our staff

have the ability to work from home, which has been really, really good and helped them

continue with their jobs and help keep the work flows coming through, keeping those services

for the public of Pembrokeshire. As I said earlier on in the message, we are moving into

a little bit of a different mode now, where we are considering re-opening up the say the

tourism economy. So how are things changing in the way that we are responding to those

new demands? OK, so as alot of the pressures have eased around potential deaths, health

concerns etc... the focus has very much shifted to how can we support Pembrokeshire's economy

re-opening as fully as possible, as quickly as possible, but also as safely as possible.

So, we are very keen that, you know, that tourism is the life blood of a big part of

the Pembrokeshire economy, we've got to make sure that, that happens as effectively and

as well delivered as possible, but it's got to be safe. It's got to be safe for the people

who come here, it's got to be safe for the people that work here and the people who live

here. So, safety has been a really big feature, making sure people comply with the social

distancing regulations and all the requirements about camping etc... has been a big issue.

So what we have done, we are treating it pretty much like an event like the Ironman or as

an incident like you would have with severe weather, where we bring a team together, so

we've repurposed the incident management centre or quite a few of the team to act as an operations

room, a control team 7 days a week starting at 8 in the morning working through to 10

at night. As a standard we can go 24 hours a day if we need to, but they are taking in

calls from alot of our teams on the ground, whether it's from the police, whether it's

National Trust, National Parks, Mid and West Fire. They are getting information from them

and alot of our own staff, whether they are toilet cleaners, whether their beach cleaners,

car park attendants, you made reference earlier on to the tourism welcome team that's

going round. Anybody who is seeing anything out on the ground can pass that information

back to us and we can deploy resources to address whatever the concern might be. We've

got licensing officers, we've got public protection officers but by and large we want to just

engage with people and get people coming along with us and adhering to those rules and regs

that are going to be with us for a while, as safely as possible, and that's what the

team is doing, co-ordinating all that. We started on Saturday, they already had quite

a busy first day, with the opening of self-contained accommodation, that includes some caravan

sites aswell not campers. It was a busy first couple of days. It's died off a bit now because

of the weather, but we've been easing ourselves gently into it in advance, hopefully of what's

going to be an amazing summer in Pembrokeshire, really good tourism season but hopefully we're

managing it as safely as possible with our partner agencies. We've talked about flexibility

of approach a few times and I'm very mindful watching the news around the Country that

there has unfortunately been some second spikes in some areas, how fleet of foot would we

be to revert back to the response mode that you talked about earlier on? Yes, I mean hopefully

the need won't arise but I mean what , we started in March with a particular response

arrangement, and that has developed, we've learnt alot from that over the past four months.

It's really been refined and I think Pembrokeshire's been regarded as having dealt with it very

well. We now have staff who know what their roles would be, we've got the IT kit in people's

houses, so they can work from home easier, we know how to manage the social distancing

better, we are better prepared with things like PPE etc... so, we could implement that

quite quickly, I say fingers crossed we don't have to and that there are other ways around

that, but yes we can bring it back quite quickly, and I say hopefully that certainly won't happen

during the summer period. You've talked a fair bit Richard there about what we can learn

from our response to the pandemic and for me one of the big issues has been how our

communities have responded. What are your views on how they might continue to respond

in future, hopefully when we get to a post pandemic stage? Pembrokeshire communities

have been absolutely amazing, I think we have something in the region of 94 voluntary community

groups out there now, done some amazing work with support from our social care team and

again a multi agency team, a multi disciplinary team from across the organisation, and a big

shout must also go to PAVS and Sue Leonard in particular, helping being things together

you know, what those community groups have done is absolutely second to none, you know

and it's shown Pembrokeshire at its very very best. They are supporting particularly those

who are shielding, who maybe can't go out themselves, in all sorts of ways, you know,

the benefits that thy have accrued over the last few months and the learning has been

amazing. We really need to capture how we can keep that, those groups energised, how

we can keep that momentum, their enthusiasm for working within their own communities and

how Pembrokeshire County Council can be the enabler for that as opposed to necessarily

delivering everything, you know that's been the real benefit. Communities have been amazing

they've supported each other absolutely fabulously and we can learn so much from that going forward.

It's a fabulous model to follow. Happily we are in a position now to welcome tourists

and visitors back in to the County, what message would you like to give those visitors as

they are considering coming back to Pembrokeshire? Well just emphasising Pembrokeshire is still

here, it's still as an amazing place as it ever has been, it's fantastic, please come

and visit us, but please do so safely, please abide by the rules that are here in Wales

if you come from England, there are different rules please make yourself aware of what those

rules are. We want you to behave in a way which you enjoy yourself but also respect

the communities that you are going to be in, you know please take your litter with you,

you know consider the communities that, these are people's homes and they are where they

live on a day to day basis, about how you know the behaviour people exhibit, and I only

emphasise that because we have had a couple of problems the past weekend. It's not a major

thing, we don't want to get hung up on that, we want people to come and enjoy themselves,

but we do want them to do so safely and enjoy themselves in a way which doesn't cause concern

for our local community and in a way which means that they are respecting the social

distancing, we don't want to be having to enforce anything, this is about us abiding

by the rules that are there for our own safety, but actually the reason people come to Pembrokeshire

is for its beauty, its tranquillity, its countryside, what it has to offer and I think that most

people who come to Pembrokeshire will respect that, the only thing you would suggest is

really if you do become ill it's picking up on a point, please follow the guidance, please

self-isolate as soon as you get any of the key symptoms and please seek testing if those

symptoms are present. Richard, thanks very much for giving up your time, I know its been

a frenetic four months for you and for the team around you aswell, so my thanks to you

and to them, thanks very much for everything you've done thus far, alas I think there is

a bit more to do, so good luck with whatever the future holds. That's OK. Thank you. Cheers.

Thanks very much for your time Richard and I'd like to thank everyone in your team and

the wider tourism sector for working, preparing to relax the lockdown restrictions. I'd also

like to highlight the Test, Trace and Protect, the TTP team set up at Pembrokeshire County

Council, 138 members of Council staff are being trained to enable them to be deployed

to the TTP team if required to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus across Wales. With

lockdown restrictions being further relaxed it is now even more important that anyone

showing any symptoms of Corona get themselves tested as soon as possible. We must be mindful

that Coronavirus has not gone away and it is more important than ever that we work together

to help stop the spread of the virus. That means self isolating and getting tested if

you have symptoms and self isolating if advised to do so by the Test, Trace, Protect Team.

These measures are in place to help keep you and your families, Pembrokeshire as a whole

and Wales safe. We're slowly coming out of the pandemic but there is still work to do,

and I want to thank colleagues, professional and political across the authority for working

tirelessly every day to ensure your well-being and safety. Diolch yn fawr, cadwch yn ddiogel,

thank you and stay safe.

The Description of Message from the Chief Executive 17th July 2020/Neges gan am Prif Weithredwr, 17 Gorffennaf 2020