BURY Council has said that it will continue to deliver its essential services as it meets challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis, as it provided an update on its affairs.

Most buildings will remain closed and large numbers of staff will continue to work from home, in accordance with national advice.

Current arrangements were reviewed following government advice on social distancing in the workplace last week.

Council buildings such as Bury Town Hall - currently closed to the majority of staff and with limited public access - will remain so for up to six months, although this will remain under constant review.

The council, meanwhile, is readying its ‘Building Back Better’ recovery plan. Services that have been paused due to the necessity of dealing with the immediate crisis will be reviewed and bought back on-stream as soon as practicable in the light of further directives and advice.

Cllr David Jones, Leader of Bury Council, said: “Throughout the initial crisis we have continued to deliver services to keep the borough running, redeploying staff by agreement to where the need has been and by adopting different working practices.

“While our physical buildings may be closed in the main, and could be for some while, we want to be clear that the vast majority of our services will continue to run as they have been, with more added as soon as guidance allows.”

“While we continue to deal with the immediate crisis, we as a Council, and as a wider borough, are planning how we take the new ways of working developed and play those into a new better business as usual model.”

Leadership and governance systems at the Council will also return to a more normal pattern, albeit with many meetings and committees still to be held virtually.

Cllr Jones added: “While we hope that the situation will improve and we can get things back to normal we are being realistic about the challenge in front of us.

"We have adapted to balance service delivery with the safety of our staff, and remain mindful we will be ‘living with COVID’ for many months yet.”