COVID19 - parish councils and community support

GRCC and GAPTC (Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils) have both been contacted by communities, parish and town councils to discuss what they can do at a community level to support the most vulnerable in their parish.  The district councils are coordinating a response to the current COVID19 virus so any activities that parish councils plan to engage in should be cross referenced with the district councils in order to ensure appropriate public finance is being used in the best way.

However, we know that the parish councils are the closest to the community and are best placed to understand their neighbourhoods, the various networks that exist and the value of the community and voluntary sector.  Parish councils may want to act as a port of call to signpost and offer support - but it is worth considering what provision is available locally and whether the council can support existing activity.  Councils can use S137 (£8.12 per elector; £8.32 for 2020/21) to support local community groups.

Many Facebook pages have been set up, for example, to post offers of help from individuals but there is little coordination in place - these may be worth making contact with to help coordinate activities on a local level.

However, many of those that are most vulnerable are the most isolated rural communities who will not have access to and will not use social media.  It is worth, therefore, thinking of how these households can be supported and contact made with them which will not put them or any volunteers at risk.  For advice on this please visit the government website: 

Gloucestershire County Council has today launched an online Community Help Hub to match local people who need help, with others who can provide the help they need.  You can find it here: