Liberal Democrats set up Coronavirus Community Taskforce

A press release from the party brings the news of how the party is stepping up its efforts to help local communities through the coronavirus crisis:

Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey has set up a Coronavirus Community Taskforce to coordinate Liberal Democrat councillors’, members’, activists’ and supporters’ response to the coronavirus crisis in their 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”.

The taskforce will be chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington, the former Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and will see local Liberal Democrats helping the most vulnerable in their areas during the crisis. The taskforce looks set to advise and guide thousands of Liberal Democrats right across the UK who want to ensure all those self-isolating, especially the vulnerable and elderly, get the support they need.

As well as helping people with basic supplies, the network of volunteers will help share best practice and the best ideas and ensure those in their communities are able to follow the guidance being put forward.

Following the announcement, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

The coronavirus crisis is leaving the most vulnerable in our communities at risk. People across the country are rightly worried about their loved ones, with many more keen to do something to help.

That is why today I am announcing the Coronavirus Community Taskforce. This will coordinate our network of thousands of Liberal Democrats who want to help those most in need in their communities during the crisis.

We are in an unprecedented situation and we believe that the Liberal Democrats, with our strong and historic links to local activism and community politics, have a wealth of knowledge and unique ability to go into our communities and offer support. This will be scaling up of what Liberal Democrats do – day in, day out – helping the most vulnerable in our communities.

I’m delighted Sir Stuart has agreed to chair this new taskforce for our party. He brings huge knowledge, experience and expertise to help guide our work.

We must do everything we can to support our communities during the crisis. Each and every one us needs to do what we can during this difficult time and I am proud to say that the Liberal Democrats will step up and take that role very seriously.

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.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and vice-chair of the Coronavirus Community Taskforce, Dick Newby, said:

We are going to need unprecedented levels of community volunteering to support people required to stay at home because of Covid-19.

I am delighted that Sir Stuart has agreed to chair this task force to ensure that Liberal Democrat members play their full part in this vital national effort.

Please do share with me any great examples of local community support from your area; I know many local councillors and activists are looking out for the very best of ideas to emulate in their own patches.

4 responses to “Liberal Democrats set up Coronavirus Community Taskforce”

  1. In my part of London local residents have got together and set up WhatsApp groups for the local roads and have put leaflets signposting where they can contact a local neighbour if they are unable to get out and need supplies or medication collected etc.
    It is really good to see that amongst all this gloom and worry people are prepared to put themselves out for others.

  2. Hi Mark,

    I’m administrating a local support group here in Edinburgh. There’s now a network across the city of local groups, centrally linked, and all run by community volunteers. In our case, we’re supporting an area which encompasses one half of two different council wards, and are benefitting greatly from having the support of our own Neil Ross, as well as Green Councillor Gavin Corbett from the second ward. Our Councillors have been a hugely important link between those who want to help and those who need it, thanks to their local knowledge and connections within the community. I believe the best impact that our party can make at the most local level is to continue working across party lines and beyond political boundaries.

    With best wishes to you and yours, and in appreciation of your hard work,


  3. Hi Mark,
    I am part of a local group in Alcester doing community work. I will be glad of learning from best practice.

  4. Hi Mark – in my village, Sherston in Wiltshire, I’m setting up a neighbourhood network using both WhatsApp groups and putting leaflets through doors so that everybody has a volunteer contact for support as and when they need it. I have a 100 people in the network; the response has been fantastic!

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