RECOVERING from the Covid-19 pandemic will be “lengthy and complicated” as a new normal is developed across Pembrokeshire and the rest of the country.

Pembrokeshire County Council held its first virtual cabinet meeting on Monday (May 18) with an update on the authority’s pandemic response.

A report from senior officers Darren Thomas and Richard Brown also outlined the initial plans for the recovery period as the country prepares to move out of lockdown in the coming weeks.

This includes the development of a hub for “contact and tracing” said Mr Thomas, following the development of community and provider supply hubs.

Mr Brown said there was not yet light at the end of the tunnel but progress was being made in “managing, not eliminating risk”, referring to First Minster Mark Drakeford’s statement last week which warned that “normal life will not be possible for many months, possibly years.”

Cabinet member for finance Cllr Bob Kilmister said that the recovery proves would be “very lengthy and very complicated” with a three to five year economic recovery plan referenced in the report to cabinet.

Currently the financial situation included “too many unknowns” but the council was under great pressure although there was good support from Welsh Government at the moment.

“Any body that thinks there’s going to be a quick fix to the end of this is living in a state of delusion,” said Cllr Kilmister, adding he had “grave concerns for all of us coming out of this.”

It will change the way the council and others work, how services are delivered as well as what people around the world are able to do, he said, although Cllr Kilmister is “optimistic that we can bounce back in some areas quickly, others it will take a lot longer.”

The Covid-19 response report outline the emergency decision making process and the steps taken by the authority’s ‘gold command’ to make strategic decisions, as well as how these have been implemented to support communities and allow the council to carry out its work delivering services.

It includes work to protect social services, education support and school hubs for key workers, safeguarding, free school meal provision, business support, agile working and much more.