Council rounds on 'uninformed' coronavirus marshal critics

Covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth have been visiting busiinesses and reminding people of the rules a

Coronavirus marshals in Great Yarmouth have reportedly been the subject of negative comments online, but Great Yarmouth Borough Council has stated that overall feedback had been overwhelmingly positive. - Credit: Archant

A council has hit back at "uninformed" social media users who have criticised the role of coronavirus marshals working to promote community safety.

Following reports some have been facing resistance and abuse online, Great Yarmouth Borough Council has moved to reassure the public about their role and to dispel any ill-feeling.

A fleet of marshals wearing high-vis have been employed by the council to carry out a range of roles to do with keeping the public safe and limiting the spread of coronavirus as infection rates remain "dangerously high".

Carl Smith, the council leader, said: “While unfortunately there have been some uninformed comments on social media about the role of the marshals, the vast majority of feedback received directly has been high praise for their important work to support community safety as part of the coronavirus response.

“The marshals are a dedicated team drawn from our own community, and I know from joining them on several occasions that they do really great work, seven days a week, helping with the vaccination programme roll-out, contact tracing and testing, in addition to providing that high visibility advice and guidance in the streets.

"We do get positive feedback from grateful residents and businesses they’ve helped.

“My clear message is the marshals are there to help you, to support the safety of everyone, and they’re needed more than ever as infection rates are still so dangerously high.

"But this is a national cause and we as one community all have a part to play by following the public health rules and heeding the national call to Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.”

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Some 17 full and part time marshals, who work seven days a week, were taken on just before Christmas.

Their duties include patrolling high footfall areas in Gorleston High Street and Yarmouth town centre, as well as the two seafronts.

They are also being used to control queues at vaccination centres and as pharmacy runners.

The council is in the process of employing a pool of casual marshals it can dip into at times of high demand, paying £10.75 an hour.