Nailsworth Town Council has set up a community helpline so that residents that need help can be put in touch with volunteers.

The helpline is designed to be a single point of contact for residents, and set up a database of volunteers.

At a meeting on March 17, the town council also voted to allow virtual meetings, and to form a special Emergency Committee.

This means that council decisions can be taken by the committee and if that is not possible, then by the clerk and the mayor and deputy mayor, and if that is not possible, by a clerk and two councillors.

The new measures are to so the council can continue to function during the coronavirus pandemic.

NTC also agreed a Scheme of Delegation, which allows decisions to be taken in the event of key people being incapacitated.

Although there is no current mechanism for local councils to hold meetings that are not in person, the council said it was critical that they were still able to debate and decide.

The Emergency Committee will meet and vote electronically and will be focussed on helping Nailsworth during this difficult time.

The council also agreed that their offices will be shut to the public.

Residents will be able to call the Helpline and leave a message, and council staff will process phone calls and assign them to volunteers.

The Helpline will not replace existing emergency and social services and NTC will be producing a flyer with helpline details to be delivered to all houses in the Parish.

The Town Information Centre will also be closed, as will the Town Archives.

Currently rooms and buildings are still open for pre-existing bookings, but this is being reviewed constantly and will take account of Government advice.

Nailsworth’s Mayor, Cllr Jonathan Duckworth said: “We had to take these decisions so that we can still function.

"It is such a difficult time for the country and there is no history or experience to fall back on.

"As a Council we have resources and powers that can help our town and we will concentrate on helping to the best of our abilities.”

The helpline number is 01453 367399 and is on 24 hours a day.

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