What has been the impact of the pandemic on our way of life and plans for the future?
Understanding the full impact of the pandemic while it still remains a threat to our way of life is a difficult challenge. The effect of lockdown measures being introduced in terms of limiting economic activity and people movement were obvious and affected everyone. However, the impacts on distinct groups and the hidden impacts in the effects on mental wellbeing, people’s everyday livelihoods and relationships are still being felt. Keeping an up to date picture on economic, social and environmental impacts will be a key feature of planning and implementing recovery.
Understanding the different levels of impact on specific groups is also vital in order that recovery actions can be adapted and targeted to address these disproportionate impacts and the Equality Impact Assessment that will accompany this plan will help inform the necessary response.
In June 2020 the Institute of Fiscal Studies published an analysis of “The Geography of Covid-19”. The report identified the Isle of Wight, along with Torbay, as the areas with the greatest potential risk of negative impact of the pandemic due to our older population profile, the proportion of our economy reliant on tourism and the areas of deprivation that exist on the Island. Accessing resources to help recovery taking account of this data forms a key part of the recovery plan.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic the Council was progressing a range of plans around regeneration, housing, health improvement, social care, digital development all focused on making the Isle of Wight “an inspirational place to live, work and visit”. This vision remains – some of the plans need to be adapted to take account of Covid-19 and need to be accelerated to help address recovery. The key point to note is that improving social and economic prospects for everyone has been the objective pre -pandemic and remains so in recovering from it.
The recovery plan highlights where existing actions need to be adapted and accelerated and where an additional response is required these are clearly set out with agreed actions by partner organisations and the Council.