OBVIOUSLY the main news this week is that the government has published its plan on steps to take us out of lockdown, and there are some changes to the guidance. However, we are still in an emergency situation and many of the restrictions remain the same, please do check the gov.uk website for information if you have questions.

We’ll be updating our own website too for those aspects which the district council is responsible for at stroud.gov.uk/coronavirus so please do take a look there first, for example we have a lot of information on bonfires and smoke which is causing many people concerns at this time: stroud.gov.uk/environment/environmental-health/pollution-and-nuisance/bonfires-and-smoke-smoke-control

Please note although the household waste and recycling centres at Hempsted and Wingmoor Farm have now been opened by Gloucestershire County Council it has not opened Pyke Quarry at Horsley yet.

My apologies for saying last week there was to be an online council meeting on 14 May, this has been delayed until 19 May and the papers are now on the website. You can tune in live to watch it on Stroud District Council’s YouTube channel.

We held a Q&A session last week for all councillors as a bit of a trial run, which went very well. We spent some time considering the finances of the council, as like everywhere we have seen increased costs and lost income.

The extra help from government has helped, but like all councils we will need some long term planning from central government as to how across the country’s vital services can continue to be provided, if as predictions show, we are likely to see the economy take a downturn due to the impact of the pandemic.

Supporting our most vulnerable residents and the local economy have got to be key priorities for us all.