COUNCIL staff have been hailed for going ‘above and beyond’ during the pandemic by leader Cllr Russ Bowden.

The Labour politician was pressed on whether the past year has been the most challenging of his political career.

“It’s been challenging in different ways,” he said.

"It’s been challenging in terms of some of the decisions made and the speed at which we’ve had to make them.

"We’re in a different political space because a lot of the stuff has been about operational delivery and a lot of the kind of normal, if you like, activities of the council and councillors have sort of taken a bit of a back seat because the priority has been around the impact of Covid in Warrington and keeping services on the road.”

As well as hailing council staff, Cllr Bowden also praised fellow councillors for their efforts.

He said: “I have been really well supported by other members – by cabinet and members of all parties.

“Ultimately, it comes to down to, I think, what any of us are there for which is to do the best for our residents and Warrington as a whole.

“We’ve had a really strong effort across the whole of the workforce, people have gone above and beyond.

“We’ve demonstrated, really, what the council is about. That comes down to good management and fantastic staff.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Bowden highlighted the global economic and health and wellbeing impact of Covid-19.

He added: “We’ve got businesses that may never open their doors again, we’ve got people that may never go back to their places of employment.

“There’s been a massive toll financially and economically, there’s been a massive toll on people’s health and wellbeing, particularly their mental health, and that applies to people of all ages, particularly young people.”