TOWN hall bosses have hailed the 'tireless' work of a borough's staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

With the country in week three of the Covid-19 lockdown Blackburn with Darwen Council's political leader Cllr Mohammed Khan and its chief executive Denise Park have highlighted the work of its employees.

They said priority services like public health, refuse collections, housing needs, registrars, bereavement services, communications, community safety, emergency highways, trading standards and licensing were being carefully managed to ensure they are affected as little as possible.

Cllr Khan and Ms Park also emphasised the council's particular focus on protecting the most vulnerable children and adults.

They singled out the new Blackburn with Darwen 'Help Hub' in helping residents with no support networks of family and friends to access food and household essentials as an example of how services had been modified to meet the needs of the lockdown.

Ms Park said: “All local government staff are classed as essential, key workers.

"They are working throughout this pandemic with many involved directly in the emergency response helping to carry out the governments instructions.

"Wherever they can, they are doing this from home. For those who need to leave the house, they have official ID badges and are helped to follow all the latest safety guidance.”

Cllr Khan said: "Our staff are working tirelessly to ensure essential services for residents continue to be provided during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are immensely proud of the way they are pulling out all the stops and being so flexible to make sure we can keep as many services as possible going during this difficult time.

"They are absolutely rising to every challenge put in their way. More and more will be moved into new roles as we work through this emergency response together.”

The council's adult social care teams are helping people leave hospital and providing personal care, ensuring residents have appropriate personal and residential care, and looking after people with learning difficulties and mental health problems.

Borough schools are providing free meals to eligible pupils with some remaining open while council children's centres are providing nursery care for parents who are key workers.

Ms Park said the council's Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS) is providing a single point of contact for professionals and the public who want to seek support or raise concerns about a child and speak to an experienced social worker.

The Council’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities team is helping families get the advice and support.

Cllr Khan said: "Thanks to the fantastic efforts of our bin crews, our collections have so far managed to continue as normal right across the borough. Our pest control teams are offering expert advice over the phone and undertaking extra preventative measures including sewer baiting."

He also highlighted the on-line resourcesavailable on the Re:fresh website to support residents to stay active, stay connected and keep well whilst staying at home.