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Councillors have been criticised for "taking credit and failing to learn lessons"

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Councillors have been criticised for taking credit for Norfolk’s low rate of coronavirus infections and failing to learn lessons from the pandemic.

A report on the issues faced during the crisis so far is set to be presented to Norfolk County Council’s cabinet meeting on Monday.

But opposition groups condemned the Conservative leadership for “back-slapping” and deflecting key questions about the emergency response to the disease.

The council has been criticised (39803313)
The council has been criticised (39803313)

Labour group leader Steve Morphew said: “The is all about management and nothing about leadership of the county. We’ve seen little sign of their involvement, responsibility or accountability.

“Instead, we’ve seen back-slapping and taking credit for the work of others. We keep asking questions that are deflected rather than answered.”

He added: “This may be an early debrief but it shows there was no learning as events unfolded, no recognition of the areas we were not properly prepared for and no assessment of the consequences.

“Norfolk deserves better. The families of those we lost, those who made sacrifices and the heroes of the pandemic really deserve better even at this stage.”

Liberal Democrat group leader Steffan Aquarone said: “In the past week, Conservative back-slapping extended to claims it was their actions that led to Norfolk having one of the lowest rates of infection and deaths.

“The reality is the virus arrived later than elsewhere. Norfolk people were very responsible about the pandemic. Rather than congratulate themselves, they should thank the public.”

In response, council leader Andrew Proctor said he was pleased the opposition leaders “recognised the excellent work of the council and partners” but said: “It’s a shame they want to make cheap political points at a time when my sole focus is on supporting our county.”

He added: “Mr Aquarone’s comment that politicians are trying to claim credit shows he has not read the report properly. I made a point of thanking everyone for what they have done.”

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