'GET in touch with the district council if you are struggling'.

That is the message from James Mills, leader of West Oxfordshire District Council.

He said: “It’s a time when a lot of people are going to be anxious for a variety of reasons.

“With so many people staying at home, they might not be aware of what’s going on.”

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Mr Mills said that the public can access food resources, get help with medical supplies and mental health support through the Community Resilience Hub.

Mr Mills also reiterated that the council’s household waste service was operating as normal.

He said that the council had concentrated on essentials, such as collecting people’s rubbish, and urged people not to flytip.

“It’s against the law at the best of times, to do it now beggars belief,” he said.

“The law still applies, so if we can, we will prosecute.

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“People are responding well though, we’ve seen community and support groups pop up across the district.

“Lots of district councillors have been busy in their communities.”

The council leader, whose ward is Bampton and Clanfield, issued a 'thank you' to all council staff who he said were working really hard and had stepped up during the coronavirus outbreak.

“They’re not necessarily doing their normal job but they’re doing what they can to help,” he said.

For example, additional staff have been drafted in from other areas of the council to help get money ‘out the door as quickly as possible’ with regards to support for local businesses.

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“Everybody has their part to play by being a good neighbour and checking everyone is being looked after,” he added.

Mr Mills also stressed how important it was to adhere to government guidelines and staying indoors, adding that he himself was following the advice.

The council cabinet has been having regular informal meetings, and councillors have been given regular updates and briefings.

Mr Mills added there has been a positive response from the council’s partners across Oxfordshire, including Oxford city, district and county councils.

Mr Mills also praised the work being done by town and parish councils in his district.