Column by Doina Cornell, leader of Stroud District Council.

IT’S strange to think of those councillors who should have been in full election mode this week with the district council election vote which was due to be held on Thursday, May 7.

And many of us would have been preparing for street parties and celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe.

Today the world faces our own huge challenge, and we are seeing people in our communities show the same incredible sacrifice and bravery as we saw all those years ago. This crisis doesn’t need fighting from us, however, but cooperation and collaboration, and so for the months ahead, however hard they may be, let us work together as we start to think what the recovery of our communities might look like.

Last Saturday I walked down Dursley high street to post a letter and it was very quiet. Cafes and pubs are closed, and people go about their necessary shopping as quickly as they can. It pains me to think how hard it will be for my town in the months ahead.

I don’t yet know what the recovery will look like, but a phrase that other councils and organisations are starting to use is ‘build back better’ and I look forward to a district-wide conversation how we make this happen.

Although we stood down most non-essential business during the first phase of the emergency, we are now starting to re-engage with councillors and get online meetings again for urgent matters that need a public debate.

On May 14 we’ll hold our first online full council meeting, the papers will be published on the council website.