Column by the leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell.

I hope you all had a good weekend and did your best to resist the lovely weather! My life is now confined to a small area round my home, staying in except for daily exercise, and essential trips out for food and to deliver supplies to those in need of help.

This weekend was also a sobering one, day by day more people we know suffer losses of loved ones. I spent some time on Easter Sunday thinking of them: they can’t be allowed to be just statistics.

Nor can we allow anyone in our community to be left alone at this time without help. Officers from across the council services, who are experienced in helping members of the public, are making thousands of calls to check on local people who might need help at this time.

Local groups are so important and we’re now giving out small grants out to help support their work, the list is published online and regularly updated:

Another priority right now is getting support out to local businesses affected by the restrictions, mainly through the government grants which are available, and there is an online portal where businesses can find more information and register:

By last weekend over a thousand businesses had received payments and more will be getting their grants this week. This week I’ll again be having online calls with fellow council leaders from Gloucestershire and district leaders across the country, and with our district’s two MPs, Siobhan Baillie and Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown. The challenges are many and I can only speak for our small district council, but we are determined to do whatever we can to play our part.