WINCHESTER City Council is ready for the second lockdown, according to chiefs.

Since the announcement on November 1 staff have been prepping to support the community.

At a cabinet meeting, the leader and the chief executive gave a run-down of the support in place.

Leader Cllr Lucille Thompson said: "The council will be working very hard to ensure our key services stay running.

"We know that we will have to support the community even more this time around, as this lockdown is in very different circumstances.

"There will be long dark nights and the weather will be less inviting. We must do all we can.

"For the business, also – we had just been doing our best to help open up the High Street and get them prepped for Christmas. It must be devastating."

Officers have been in contact with parish councils and community groups to make sure they are ready to offer support.

Chief executive Laura Taylor said that all frontline services will be maintained.

"We will support the individuals and groups that are identified as being most at risk," she added.

"We will also support those businesses that have been asked to close."

The council has made sure enough services to deliver food, medicine and other essentials have been set up for vulnerable people.

Key workers will be able to park for free across the district and the park and ride service will continue to run.

Ms Taylor said: "We have ensure our teams are ready. They have swiftly set up payments for people in need.

"The council is ready, and we are in this as a community."

Both council-run leisure centres – River Park in Winchester and Meadowside in Whitely – will now remain closed until the end of lockdown.