North Devon Council has suspended charges in all of its car parks as part of a number of service changes made in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The council said the move has been made in order to reduce the risk to its wardens.

The suspension to parking is one of a series of changes to the council’s service, which includes the closing of all its public toilets for public health and safety.

Its customer service base at Lynton House is now closed to the public, with a video phone installed outside for emergencies.

A phone service is still available but with reduced staff numbers.

Waste and recycling crews are being reduced from three people to two for their protection.

Residents are asked to speed up recycling rounds by separating glass from the rest of their recycling and put it in a separate container.

The council has set up a community support page on its website and is looking for individuals, groups and businesses to come forward as it looks to co-ordinate the support effort for vulnerable people.

It has also donated £6,000 to Northern Devon Foodbank to help it support its most vulnerable customers.

Speaking on Friday (March 20), NDC chief executive Ken Miles said: “There is some fantastic work starting to be undertaken by individuals, groups and businesses in an effort to support our communities.

“I see the council’s role as being to try to co-ordinate some of that effort and to direct people in need to the appropriate group and vice versa.

“We are starting to speak with community groups and are starting to gather information together showing which groups are active in the area.

“We are asking for any such groups to come forward and make themselves known to the council.

“This is a period of great worry for everyone but the council stands ready to support our communities as best we can.”

Groups are asked to get in touch with North Devon Council by contacting its corporate and community services team at communities@northdevon.gov.uk or by calling 01271 388253.