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Keep up the good work people, says Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown.
The mayor met with councillors and senior Ashburton District Council staff today online via zoon and said the Mid Canterbury community as a whole was obeying alert level 4 restrictions.

Councillors were also told council staff had joined front-line helpers.

Police were reporting a few flouting the rules, but they would soon find that would be met with a tougher response, he said.
Councillor and pharmacist Carolyn Cameron were among essential workers he praised for their work during lockdown keeping the community going.

“The economy now in our district is reasonably stressed and we as council need to help, and keep the economy going, as all people do. We need to get through it, we have to, to survive.”

Deputy mayor Liz McMillan said she had been sent messages about people using council playgrounds, despite these being shut during the lockdown.
“Some people think it is okay to go out there and use these facilities.”

CEO Hamish Riach said council staff were involved across the community, doing a great job helping different groups of people.
Library staff had been ringing the over 70s on their membership database and asking if they were okay or needed help. Welfare assistance was also available through its civil defence team on 0800 24 24 11.

Four staff were helping at the community-based assessment centre, which screened and tested people for Covid-19. One staff member was involved in admin duties at the centre and the others helped sanitise consulting rooms after each patient.
More staff would be needed to assist at the centre as testing ramped up, and with welfare duties as the lockdown progressed.
Other council staff are helping deliver essential items and prescriptions to vulnerable people in the community, and delivering Meals on Wheels.

The economic development team has been in touch with 114 businesses in the district by email or phone.

Cr Stuart Wilson said two elderly people had already contacted him to express their gratitude for council staff getting in touch to see how they were coping.
Mr Brown said it was important to keep the district going and council was already looking at “shovel-ready” projects that might qualify for Government funding. Industry leaders have been asked to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal and smaller projects that benefit the regions will be considered.

Group manager strategy and compliance Jane Donaldson said council staff were still processing building consents and resource consents received electronically, though no site visits were being conducted. Some staff had been redeployed to other helping jobs.
Now was a good time to submit plans for those ready to go, she said.

Cr John Falloon said he had never seen so many people out walking.