I am so proud of our staff, who have literally been working weekends and evenings to make sure that these grants are issued as quickly as possible, because they realise how vital they are to our local businesses at this time. It was also lovely to see the reaction of local residents when they saw the briefing - many of whom said that it made them feel proud to live here - and to hear the kind comments we have had from our local businesses. What is important is not the recognition, but the fact that we are all pulling together to support one another at this time.

This week, the Government has revealed its recovery strategy. The Government has said that we must stay at home as much as possible; work from home if we can; limit our contact with other people; keep our distance from other people when we go out (two metres apart where possible) and to continue to wash our hands regularly. It's also vital that if anyone in your household has symptoms that you all self-isolate. We will be following developments closely this week and examining the new guidance closely. Our priority, as always, is to keep our residents safe. Please continue to refer to our web pages at www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus or the government web pages at www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest updates.

As you may be aware, we are now holding virtual council meetings to make sure that council business and local democracy can continue. An audio recording is added to our website after every council meeting and we hope that from next week, people will be able to live stream the meetings from our website. If you would like to speak at a planning committee meeting, please register online at www.chichester.gov.uk/speakerform by 5pm the day before the meeting is due to take place. You will be asked whether you would like to provide a statement to be read out or whether you would prefer to address the committee virtually. If you choose the second option we will email you with details and a link to join the meeting. If you wish to speak at any other public meeting please contact democraticservices@chichester.gov.uk with your name, address and contact telephone number at least two working days before the meeting. You can find the dates and papers for all our council meetings at https://chichester.moderngov.co.uk/ieDocHome.aspx?Categories=

Finally, we have produced a video explaining how we are supporting you during this crisis and thanking you, the NHS, public sector partners and carers for all of your support. You can view it on our social media channels, on the Observer website and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoK3M0jn9_8&t=10s

Best wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District