The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS): We need collaboration, clear goals and robust procedures.
There has been an enormous restructuring within the various city councils these past two weeks. Health and emergency sectors have been strengthened, as have emergency procedures. In addition, the municipalities are ready to boost economic activity to curb any recession.
Together with the hospitals, the municipalities are focusing on the crucial needs in the health care sector due to the Corona virus. Establishment of a separate emergency room with medical specialists in airway obstruction, hospital wards and the discharging of patients are some of the tasks the municipalities have to manage. Staffing will also be a challenge and will have to be solved in some way.
– A solid foundation in the health care sector, where collaboration and finding good solutions is a priority will contribute to keeping our citizens safe, says Odd Stangeland, Leader of KS Rogaland.
It´s also important to clarify what has been done and which municipality needs to be financially compensated once it becomes apparent what financial losses have occurred and what added costs they have had during the crisis. Staff numbers have increased in the health and care sector, immediate measures put in place, while at the same time there are massive reductions in tax revenue as companies are struggling and closing. For the municipalities to have financial security definite guarantees have to be in place.
– The municipalities have been quick to adapt. Employees have made an impressive effort and worked hard to resolve issues. All the immediate measures put in place have had a huge cost and must be covered by the government, Stangeland says.
He reiterates that it is a challenging time for all municipalities, and that the county council also expects clarification from the government.
Creating a positive business cycle
A lot of the municipalities had large investment plans for 2020 and 2021. With state guaranties the municipalities will still be able to implement these plans and keep the ball rolling. In a demanding time for business and industry this will contribute to a positive business cycle and job security.
The municipalities are ready to strengthen the employment market with more projects whenever the government is ready to give financial guarantees.
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