HAMPSHIRE County Council’s leader said it is focused on delivering critical services over what he predicted would be a “long and difficult” period of the coronavirus outbreak.
The authority provides key functions including adult social care, highways maintenance, waste disposal and education.
But as the number of people infected by the virus grows, there will be pressure to maintain services, which also include libraries and a range of other functions.
HCC leader Cllr Keith Mans, who represents Brockenhurst, said: “We have been working on our business continuity plans for some weeks now, alongside our partners, to help prepare us for what we know will be a long and difficult period.
“Therefore, our focus must be on how we can deliver frontline services, on behalf of the residents of Hampshire, especially to those who need us most – over a sustained period.
“Our planning considers how we will ensure sufficient levels of staffing to keep things running and to maximise all available resource to meet demand.”
He went on: “I understand that many people are concerned about how best to protect themselves and their families – we continue to promote the government’s important and updated messages on social distancing and hygiene.
“We recognise that the volunteering community will play an increasingly important role as more people self-isolate. We’re working closely with our voluntary and community sector partners to help co-ordinate and mobilise those efforts, together with Hampshire district, parish and town councils.
“I would also like to reassure residents that, as the public health authority for Hampshire, we are working closely with Public Health England, and all of our partners to ensure we remain in a good position to respond rapidly to changing advice from government.
“Whatever happens, our focus is to ensure critical local services to Hampshire residents are maintained.”
For more information, go to www.hants.gov.uk/coronavirus.