AS chairman of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, I would like residents to know that the district council is still working and contact with the office will continue.
We are here to support and help you whenever we can.
We have made some temporary changes, details of which will be on our website.
Understandably, the speed with which this virus has spread from Wuhan is very unsettling and particularly for those of us who have friends or relatives classified as “vulnerable people”.
The district council is working with Warwickshire County Council to support the parish council and community-led groups which are emerging in response to Covid-19.
These groups are providing invaluable local support and we’re keen to engage and communicate with you and would be grateful if you could contact the district council through the link on our website.
We are all facing very troubling times, both in this district and in the wider world, and the challenges we are facing are not helped by reports of empty shelves and lengthy delays in online shopping deliveries, despite there being no shortages of food or provisions in the UK.
We may have a health crisis: we do not have a food crisis.
It is a time, nationally and locally, for calm and rational heads and allowing the people with experience and knowledge to get on with doing their jobs helping the residents in this district.
Locally, our contact centre is busy from about 7am to 7pm.
Please remember that the people dealing with this at the sharp end are under tremendous pressure.
Everyone is trying to do their best. This is not the time to criticise those efforts.
The legal regulations under which the district council operates have not yet been changed to reflect the current issues and we have not yet been able to implement any of the expected changes.
Please understand we have to wait for those amended regulations to be introduced by the government, which we anticipate shortly.
However bleak things appear to be, remember that we are not facing a virus with the destructiveness of the plague, before modern medicines, or ebola virus in central Africa.
The vast majority of those infected recover and the huge spike in cases seen in China four weeks ago has now been reduced to a trickle.
We will come through this and, with the global scientific efforts being made, it will not last for ever.
I would like to thank all those working in the health services, councils, shops and the service industries who are operating “business as usual”.
Remember, in the circumstances, if they can’t provide a “normal service”, that is not their fault, but a thank-you or a smile would be most welcome.
Finally, please take care to minimise the risk of anyone needing to call the emergency services when they are so busy and consider that while social isolation is very boring, particularly for our children, it really is very important to limit the spread of the virus.