City Council Leader Cllr David Mellen outlines the latest on:

Staying at home

The importance of social distancing when out

Closing playgrounds

Relaxing parking charges

Benefits advice

Last night, the Government instructed everyone to stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives. The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades and although these measures impose significant restrictions on our daily lives, it is vitally important that we listen and follow them carefully.

Last week I stressed the importance of all of us looking out for each other and these measures are a vital part of how you do that. If we all agree together, however difficult it may be, to restrict our own lives for a period, then many fewer of us will be affected by this virus. Yesterday, we took the decision to close all play areas and outdoor gyms, but we have kept our parks open so that people are able to carry out one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk or cycle alone, or with a member of your household. It’s important to maintain social distancing once out of your house.

We know that it is extremely difficult for families and children across the city but we want to make sure people are safe while taking on board clear Government guidelines around social distancing and to control the spread of infection. I hope that everyone will understand that complying with these rules is in everyone’s interest.

From today, we will no longer charge for on-street parking in our city centre, so that key workers are not only able to park close to their workplaces, but people are able to get essential supplies.

I know that people across the city will have concerns about finding work or claiming benefits, soI’m pleased that the Department for Work and Pensions is currently focussed on ensuring that anyone who finds themselves out of work as a result of the coronavirus outbreak is able to claim benefits easily and quickly. Please visit the Council’s website for more information: