The ongoing coronavirus outbreak will “significantly impact services” in Harrow and will force the council to rethink its operations, according to its leader.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said plans are in place to ensure that essential services continue but described the situation as “difficult and challenging”.

He explained that it is looking at its priorities and urged residents to follow advice relayed by the Government and Public Health England.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the council to cancel several public meetings and events, while a number of cultural sites have temporarily closed.

Yesterday (March 18), education minister Gavin Williamson announced that schools in England are set to close from tomorrow (March 20).

The council confirmed it is in the process of reviewing how this will affect the borough’s ‘key workers’, including carers and emergency services staff.

Cllr Henson said: “As a council we are taking every possible step to prepare for what will be a difficult and challenging time ahead.

“The outbreak will significantly impact services, and we will have to re-prioritise the way we operate to ensure essential services continue.

“Our priority is to ensure that the council targets the resources it has to help those most at risk in our communities and to continue delivering vital frontline services in the coming weeks – and months.”

He explained that the council is working with its partners to support those most in need and would update residents on any financial support handed out by the Government.

“During this difficult time, I urge everyone to remain calm and follow the self-isolating and social distancing advice that is being given by NHS and Public Health England,” he added.

“It’s also important that we look out for our friends and neighbours – please give a helping hand where it’s needed. Please stay safe and take all necessary precautions to do so.”

Visit for further information.