COLCHESTER Labour Group is creating its own package of policies to help get the town through the coronavirus crisis - and councillors are looking for the public's input.

Councillors have drawn up more than 15 policy ideas already, but are looking for the public's help to complete the list.

Policies already include work around affordable childcare, a bespoke digital marketplace for business and additional support for the vulnerable and those at risk of homelessness.

A tourism discount card is one idea to help residents of the town make the most of what can be done in the area, with holidays unlikely for most in the near future.

A good neighbour scheme has also been suggested to build on the rise of community action seen during the crisis.

Leader of the Labour Group and Greenstead councillor Tina Bourne said: "We think the people in the best position to help us work through this crisis are those who are really struggling as well as those who’ve been able to find ways to adapt to it.

“Obviously we’ve been talking to as many people as we can but we can’t reach everyone, especially at this moment in time. That’s why we are asking businesses and residents to get in contact and tell us what we, as Labour in the council, can do for them.

“We’ve worked hard as a group to come up with a range of policies we think will help a vast range of businesses and families in the town but we’re always open to new ideas.”

Once drawn up, the ideas will be fed into conversations with the Colchester Council administration, of which Labour is part of the ruling coalition.

Mrs Bourne said: "We’ve already seen some of our Council-supported organisations rise to the challenge such as the Mercury Theatre’s impressive online programme of sing-a-longs with Les Miserable star Craig Mather and a song-writing competition endorsed by Matilda composer Tim Minchin.

“We’re looking to emulate this kind of outside of the box thinking using the resources the council has at its disposal.”

Suggest your ideas to