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

Changes are coming to the lockdown restrictions this coming week, and I know from my own town of Dursley preparations are underway by local cafes and pubs to open again to customers.

It is so important to support our towns, but we are still in the midst of this pandemic, and if you read the government guidelines you will see there are still many restrictions in place.

Failing to observe these could see new local outbreaks of the virus – our actions can put others at risk. From 4 July, people who are not in the same household, or not in a social ‘bubble’ with another household, should still wherever possible stay 2m apart.

The new ‘1m plus’ – which is one metre plus mitigations, will depend on the workplace or setting, where 2m is not possible, such as public transport and where people are advised to wear a face covering.

You can find more details here:

We have seen great community support throughout this crisis, but as the weather has been great and more of us head out to enjoy it, there’s concern about growing amounts of litter.

We’ve got more than 1000 council litter bins in the district so please do use them, or even better, take your litter home.

Similarly, we’ve all been having a good spring clean and clear out, but it’s not fair on the shop workers, and dumping items is fly tipping, fly tippers will be fined if caught, and items will be cleared away and not recycled.

Please give them to a charity shop that IS open or keep hold of them until charity shops re-open.

Finally, a very happy birthday to the NHS, 72 years old this Sunday. If you missed the weekly clap, you’ll have another chance to say thank you at 8pm this coming Sunday.