Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey has set up a Coronavirus Community Taskforce, chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington, the former Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, to coordinate the party’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
Lib Dems are known, perhaps not always favourably, for being able to get out and deliver a huge number of leaflets. The party is now turning the power of that considerable grassroots organisation to helping in local communities.
Setting up the network of Liberal Democrats across the country, Ed Davey said: “We must do everything we can to support our communities during the crisis”.
Chair of the Coronavirus Community Taskforce, Sir Stuart Etherington, said: “It is critical that vulnerable people in our communities receive the support they need. It will be communities themselves that have to respond to take the pressure off our excellent but hard-pressed statutory services.
“It’s time for the altruistic instincts of volunteers to play their part and I’m pleased to assist this welcome Liberal Democrat initiative.”
The Lib Dems have directed their members to:
- Lead community efforts to identify and support vulnerable people.
- Enable people to volunteer to help others
- Publicise appropriate advice and resources
- Keep people informed about how they can help their community.
It has also directed its elected representatives to use their roles to help ensure relevant public bodies are making adequate preparations to support their communities.
In Canterbury, Lib Dems are leading initiatives to keep the public informed and working with other volunteer groups to make sure the most vulnerable are protected during the crisis.
Activists have been warned to take sensible precautions while helping others in particular following NHS advice and emulate best practice, such as from online supermarket delivery services.
Advice on leafletting is that it’s ok, as set out in the Royal Mail’s statement on their continuing to deliver the post.
Anyone out an about during this crisis should follow hygiene advice to wash hands for 20 seconds and social distancing, not shaking hands and keeping two meters apart.
One thing is certain, that all political parties put huge efforts in to the election just a few short months ago, and that sort of energy will be vital in the fight against corvid-19.