Our critical key workers in Milton Keynes should be exempt from self-isolating, pleads council

The rules are putting a 'huge strain' on local services, says council leader

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:04 pm

The leader of MK Council has urged the government to allow local key workers to be exempt from self-isolating.

Instead they should be allowed to work providing they are double jabbed or are subject to strict Covid testing.

Cllr Pete Marland is asking for all those providing critical local services to be added to essential workers list.

MK Council leader Pete Marland

A string of local council services such as waste, adult day care and children’s centres have all been hit by rising levels of illness and requirements to self-isolate in recent days.

The government, which relaxed most prevention measures on Monday, is said to be drawing up a list of key workers who may not have to self-isolate in an emergency if they have been double-jabbed or are subject to stringent testing to ensure they do not have Covid-19.

Pete has today written to the Secretary of State for Local Government to ask that council staff be considered for the list.

He said: “The rising number of people with Covid-19 and those having to self-isolate is putting a huge strain on a number of services. Many of the services Milton Keynes Council provide are essential.

“We are doing everything we can to limit staff absences, but I believe that the government should acknowledge the critical role local councils play in delivering essential services.

"Other agencies such as police, fire and the NHS are rightly lauded for their efforts, but collecting waste, making sure vulnerable people are looked after, and being prepared for incidents such as flooding are essential services too. Local authority workers, and those who provide services for us, are key-workers too.”

Pete added: “It is not just Milton Keynes Council or local authorities. Many essential services are hanging by a thread. It was all predictable and the current situation is chaotic. I hope we can get through this without a catastrophic failure during an emergency.

"I don’t think I can impress enough just how much of a knife-edge things are on at the moment and that is not something I’d ever say lightly. The government must act and get a grip.”