Here Labour’s Jackie Griffiths takes up an important health and safety issue in a road in White Oak. She has approached the authorities about problems with the external electric and gas boxes on the outside of the maisonettes and flats.

Leadership in a Crisis

One of the most important lessons learnt from 1918 Influenza Pandemic was the need for good leadership. When one considers this it is obvious. The way to combat corona virus is by avoiding the virus, which is done by social distancing.  Hand washing prevents cross infection. Good leadership then is vital to enable these measures to be carried out.

Good leadership ensures that decisions are made promptly and information disseminated down to everyone. A structured chain of command makes certain that everyone knows to whom they are answerable and to whom they can go if there is a problem. A leader may have to think outside of the box in order to protect those dependent upon them for their safety. Clarity is important for plans to be enacted; and suggestions and orders should be unambiguous, so that everyone is clear about what is expected of them.

As we move into collective responsibility and away from individualistic and liberalist ideals. Good leadership is vital at all levels, incorporating both national and local levels to protect vulnerable and anxious citizens. The leadership should be visible within the community and it should promote figureheads for those in distress. Good planning and efficient enactment of these plans and procedures will save lives and mitigate distress.

Time is of the essence – days and even hours can make a difference. Rapid responses need to be made to current situations as they unfold. Leadership at all levels needs to adapt speedily to ever changing situations and to communicate these changes to those affected by them. Communication must be clear, concise and easy to understand. This way confidence and trust can be built up within the community so that they can pull together to overcome this hidden enemy.

There seems to have been a lot of ambivalence surrounding the use of face masks. There is a shortage of them so it is not possible for everyone. One argument the government initially put forward against the use of masks was that they did not afford the wearer protection against catching the virus  although there was evidence that if the wearer had symptoms then a mask would stop the spread to other people. Why is that an argument against mass use of face masks. If everyone wore a mask we would all be stopping the spread to others.

By Jacqueline Griffiths
Labour Party
Town & District Councillor for St Mary’s Ward, Swanley

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