THE Environment Committee held its first virtual meeting on Thursday, June 4 where it considered the Neighbourhood Development Plans from Horsley and Cam.

A huge amount of work has been done by those parish councils with input from local residents and it is good to see ‘normal’ business starting to resume as best we can.

The first online Development Control Committee is to be held on June 16, and councillors are about to experience their first ‘virtual’ site visit.

We are likely to see some restrictions easing over the coming weeks, with the opening of non-essential shops mid-June, and hospitality at the start of July, as long as the rate of infections are still going down.

Keeping people and communities safe as they return to our high streets will be our priority, working with county and town and parish councils, and local businesses.

We’ve just been allocated some EU funding to support reopening high streets safely so we can make sure there is good information for people to safely visit our busiest streets, as well as putting in temporary changes in public spaces so people can visit shops and other facilities.

It has been good to see more people cycling while the streets have been quieter.

We’ve all been inspired this week by a lovely story about three Ubico staff from the Stroud depot who helped a local resident who had fallen and broken her hip. ‘Do the Right Thing’ is one of Ubico’s values and we can all usefully hold onto that as a way to conduct ourselves in these difficult times.

It is National Volunteering week this week, a chance to thank all our volunteers.

If you’d like to nominate an individual or group for this year Gloucestershire Voluntary and Community Awards visit by July 31.