North Ayrshire Council’s coronavirus pandemic response effort was laid out before councillors last week.

Members of the authority’s cabinet heard an update on services provided to help residents during the Covid outbreak.

They heard that staff at community hubs made 94,465 food deliveries last year and helped field 33,152 calls.

Shopping vouchers worth £1.7 million were also handed out to hard-hit families where children were eligible for free school meals, alongside the distribution of 3,194 items of IT equipment, including Chrome books, wifi routers and SIM cards to allow pupils to access on-line learning provision.

More than four million pieces of PPE kit were distributed during the year, including one million masks.

An average of 1,002 children were looked after at childcare hubs during January and February.

Businesses have also received support, with more than £14 million in grants being handed out to help support businesses since last September.

A total of £24.16 million in business grants and £312,000 of hardship funds cash to support the newly self-employed were administered by the authority during the first six months of the pandemic.

Staff also carried out an average of 240 environmental health and trading standards interventions per month.

Meanwhile, councillors were told of progress on the 2019-24 North Ayrshire Council Plan, which sets out the authority’s vision and priorities over the five-year stretch.

Councillors were told yesterday that “despite all the challenges due to the pandemic”, 78 per cent of indicators contained with the document are graded as ‘on target’ or ‘only slightly adrift’ – down from 80.7 per cent in 2019/20, while 95.1 per cent of actions are on or slightly adrift of target.

But 21.9 per cent of performance indicators were found to be ‘significantly adrift’ of target.

Progress on the council plan has seen the ratification of the £251 million Ayrshire Growth Deal – a partnership between the Scottish Government and pan-Ayrshire councils aimed at transforming economic prosperity.

The launch of the Community Wealth Building Anchor Charter – committing to a long-term collaboration between Ayrshire’s councils and public bodies, including Scottish Enterprise and Ayrshire College to promote the rebuilding of the

economy – was also secured, alongside the approval of a £500,000 Green Jobs Fund.

Amongst young people’s initiatives completed in the past six months was the £188,546 contribution from the Community Investment Fund to boost the Young People’s Mental Health Project run by Arran Youth Foundation and Arran High School Parent Council, as well as the implementation of a Young People’s Suicide Support Pathway to promote early intervention.

The start of the multi-million Irvine Harbour housing development was also highlighted – where 24 homes will be created, including eight wheelchair suitable houses, 11 amenity bungalows and a 28 unit sheltered housing complex. Flood protection schemes in the area are also progressing.

The regeneration of 48 flats in the Garnock Valley will also be a priority.

Council leader Joe Cullinane said he was “pretty happy” with the fact that four out of five of the indicators contained in the report were on target or slightly adrift, and added: “I think given the year and a half that we’ve had that is to be commended, so well done to everybody involved.”

Labour Councillor Alex Gallagher added: “I’ve got every admiration for the work the officers have done over the last – well, forever – but particularly over the last year and a half and the list of stuff that we have achieved is very impressive.”