Diary - coronavirus deaths down

At last, some good news tonight. We learnt that the UK's daily figure for coronavirus deaths has dropped to 170 - the lowest since the day after the lockdown began. The announcement comes a week after the first easing of restrictions in England and, while numbers are typically lower on Sundays, the figure is almost 100 fewer than the 268 reported a week ago. Abroad in Spain, the daily number of deaths dropped below 100 for the first time since its lock-down started. Not surprisingly, global health leaders are expected to call for an independent review into the international response to the Covid-19 pandemic at a meeting this week. Representatives from 194 of the World Health Organization's member states will meet virtually for the 73rd annual World Health Assembly. Back here in the UK, English councils have called on the government to provide a £5 billion "income guarantee" to prevent local authorities from having to cut services as the coronavirus hits finances. The County Councils' Network has warned councils could lose £2.4 billion as income from tax and business rates fall. The group said councils would have "no choice" but to suspend non-essential expenditure and cut services. This is something that we are all very aware of and naturally Dorset Council has raised this with MPs, who will do all we can to help.