COUNCILLORS have approved a plan which sets out the recovery of their area from the Covid-19 pandemic.

At West Oxfordshire District Council’s (WODC) full meeting on Wednesday, the Draft Recovery Plan was agreed.

The plan outlines actions being taken against a set of themes, including: economy, community and climate.

£643,000 of funding has been made available for the blueprints, which state recovery from the impact of coronavirus will take time and be complex.

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Michele Mead, who was unveiled as the new leader of the council at the meeting, said: “The pandemic has had a profound impact on every aspect of council activity and it is vital that we plan our recovery so that we can emerge stronger than we were before.

“Despite its devastating effects on lives, Covid-19 has led to some positive outcomes such as our greater engagement with communities and the need to protect our environment even more than before.

“We know there is a still long way to go before we can say we are free of the effects of Covid-19 but this plan will help us along the road to recovery and adapt to the challenges along the way.”

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In terms of the economy, the council will support investment in market towns, offering business support, backing for training organisations and investment in tourism.

The overall aim is to see the economy recover to a position where it is ‘better than before’.

There will be an investment in areas with the greatest need, in order to help communities recover from the impact of coronavirus.

This investment will set out to reduce isolation, tackle homelessness, and develop ‘wellbeing hubs’ in partnership with other organisations.

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The plan also incorporates how the council operates, with home working initiatives to continue, as well as virtual council meetings, which were introduced in response to Covid-19.

WODC will also identify new investment proposals and focus on opportunities for accessing Government grant funding.

In terms of the environment, there will be continued investment to ensure ‘the highest environmental standards are met’ across all council activities.

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The council first moved to prepare a Local Recovery Plan in June.

The plan is not intended to be ‘a static document’, but one that is ‘further developed with appropriate partner inputs’ and further consultation with councillors.

However, the scope for advancing through the recovery stages will hinge on the extent to which a significant second wave of the pandemic occurs and the subsequent impact that may have on the district.