Our hard fought steps on the road to recovery demonstrate that our shared efforts are paying off.
This bank holiday is an opportunity for us all to get outdoors and appreciate some of the most beautiful countryside in England, with award winning parks and public spaces easily accessible to every town and village across the district. Our customary day-trips can wait, so please avoid travelling further afield to protect the progress we’ve made together. To move forward positively, let’s stay alert to the coronavirus, stay local and stay safe.
Getting to the ‘new normal’
This week further key steps in our Recovery Plan have been taken. Using common sense and a shared goodwill to address current challenges, we’re discovering new ways of operating.
If you are in Warwick this weekend, you’ll be able to visit a scaled down version of the weekly market on Saturday, from 9am – 2pm. Our market operators CJs Events, have worked hard to put in place measures to enable social distancing and safe shopping, and we hope that you will support them in their efforts to restart this much-loved service. The Kenilworth market follows the same format next Thursday 28 May.
There is some welcome news for those in our community who are looking for social housing, with the resumption of the HomeChoice service. This follows the lifting of Government restrictions on moving home and allows up to two people to view the Council and Housing Association properties advertised through the scheme. There are a number of properties available at the moment, so it is a good time to take a look at what is on offer. Further information on properties available and guidelines for viewing.
Following the launch of our Community Emergency Response Fund, we’ve received a number of applications from charities and other community organisations who urgently need support to continue to operate offering vital services across the district. For details on how to apply for a grant visit www.warwickdc.gov.uk/cerf or download the attached application pack.
Creating new opportunities
Despite operational constraints, we’re delighted to be able to launch our Apprenticeship programme again this year. At a time when the future might seem a little uncertain for those starting out in the world of employment, we’re especially keen to continue this successful programme. So far, it has supported the training of 12 Apprentices, some of whom are still studying, with most going on to secure employment. We know our communications team is looking for a Digital Marketing Apprentice and there will be other opportunities across our service areas which we will be advertising on our dedicated Apprenticeships page over the next few weeks.
Our Councillors have embraced remote working. We held our first Annual Council Meeting online this week, which saw our Chairman, Cllr George Illingworth virtually hand over his Chain of Office to the new Chairman, Cllr Martyn Ashford, watched by the public on our YouTube Channel. It had a few hiccups and halts, but overall, our councillors embraced the new way of working and thoroughly enjoyed being part of this historic ceremony! You can subscribe here to watch that meeting on our YouTube channel, or any of our future committee meetings.
Working at home, meeting online and finding new ways of serving our residents throughout this emergency are presenting valuable opportunities we want to carry forward. We’re discussing with our staff how they have been getting on during these last few weeks after lockdown. Of course we are especially proud of them – some have had to take on new responsibilities and tasks, others have had to find innovative ways to do their day job and most have had to quickly adapt to a different working environment– all have maintained their focus on delivering our high-quality services.
However, that only gives us one side of the story and now we’d also like to hear from you too. What have your post-lockdown experiences been like keeping community life together in Warwick District and interacting with this Council? Do you have any best practice or helpful case studies to share with us? Please email email@example.com and we’ll not only use this feedback in our #WDHeroes publicity, but be assured that the time you take in sharing your insights will help us shape how this Council works in the future.
Keep smiling and stay safe.
Cllr Andrew Day
Leader, Warwick District Council
Chief Executive, Warwick District Council