Hertfordshire County Council leader David Williams has warned that councils and local businesses will need further funding and support during the latest Covid-19 lockdown.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of lockdown measures which came into force on Wednesday – including the closure of schools, the cancellation of summer exams and a requirement to work from home.

In a statement issued to coincide with the televised address earlier this week, county council leader Cllr David Williams acknowledged that the "extreme measures" were needed to keep everyone safe.

He said: "We recognise this will have a marked impact on residents and businesses, but appreciate these extreme measures are deemed necessary to keep everyone in our community safe.

"I would like to issue my reassurance that Hertfordshire County Council will continue to work closely with its partners to deliver vital services across the county, as well as supporting the education sector, and businesses in the region through our work with Hertfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)."

But in a further statement issued by the County Council Network, which he chairs, Conservative Cllr Williams also stressed the need for further support for councils and local businesses.

He said: "Everyone must continue to play their part if we are once again to bring case numbers down and councils will continue to support communities and the most vulnerable through this latest lockdown.

"It is imperative that local areas are given further targeted support for local businesses, with many still reeling from having to close for months last year.

"It is also important that the government recognises that further funding for councils will be required, particularly in delivering additional support to care homes and providers."

Hertfordshire continues to record some of the highest infection rates in the whole of England.

Government figures show 9,816 new cases of Covid reported in the county in the seven days to January 3 - up from 8,318 the previous week.

Any Hertfordshire families in need of support or advice can visit Herts Help at https://www.hertshelp.net/hertshelp.aspx