We’ve done really well at working together to squarely address the coronavirus emergency. Thanks to your willingness to follow the guidance, which has been changing as the circumstances have evolved, we’ve so far been able to make good progress through this unprecedented storm.
The prospect of a ‘second wave’ is real, so let’s keep our discipline, looking out for each other, to give ourselves, our families and our community the very best chance of continuing the steady course we’ve been on these past few months. Simple precautions make a big difference, so please remember to wash your hands, keep a social distance and wear a face covering when you’re out and about. And if you haven’t done so for a while, you might find it helpful to keep up to date on the latest Government guidance.
Welcome back to the town centres
It’s great to see our town centres buzzing with visitors enjoying eating out, shopping and getting some time away from home. Practical and effective safety measures are helping us all feel more comfortable venturing back to town, supporting local businesses at a time when they need our support most.
In August, why not take advantage of the “Eat out to help out” scheme, enjoying a 50% discount as many times as you like, on food or non-alcoholic drinks at registered local pubs, restaurants and cafés (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner) every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Check to see if your favourite places are in the scheme.
Many of us have welcomed the phased reopening of the Warwick and Kenilworth weekly outdoor markets, which provide a selection of excellent stalls, safely set-out for us to enjoy. The welcome you receive is genuinely touching and we’re delighted that our market operators CJs Events, have increased the number and variety of stalls, as well as extended the opening hours from 9am-3pm. So, if you’ve not been to these brilliant markets yet, why not plan your visit.
If you are visiting the town centre markets, shops or enjoying a meal out, then please don’t forget that charges will restart tomorrow in Warwick District Council’s off-street car parks to assist with a greater turnover of visitors. Drivers of electric vehicles will continue to enjoy free parking by applying for a permit. For those of us looking for a little extra exercise, we can use the “Park and Stride” car parks at a much lower charge.
Our Recovery Plan
We’ve made further positive progress with the Recovery Plan this week. The Newbold Comyn, Castle Farm and St. Nicholas Park’s leisure centres were all successfully re-opened. Keen to get back to our fitness regimes, over 350 of us joined gym sessions and classes on the first day!
Tomorrow, our Newbold Comyn and St Nicholas Park swimming pools reopen too, with the Abbey Fields indoor pool scheduled to also reopen on 8 August, once the necessary testing is completed. Find out how to book onto your favourite classes and learn more about the specific safety measures that have been put in place at each of our sites.
Plans are now in place for William Wallsgrove House, the Council’s direct access hostel for the homeless in Leamington Spa, to extend its provision of round the clock accommodation, and support to the most vulnerable in our society. In the past eighteen months, over 200 rough sleepers have been helped by this vital service to find permanent accommodation, reconnected with friends and family or have undergone rehabilitation programmes.
In a boost for local jobs, US-based Martin Sprocket & Gear, a leading manufacturer and supplier of power transmission products, material handling components and systems has opened its first European operations, signing a 10-year lease for a warehouse and offices at Spa Park.
Help is at hand for local businesses that have not yet benefitted from the Government’s Discretionary Grant Scheme. We’ve simplified the criteria, so more can benefit from a grant and we urge business owners, sole traders and the self-employed from all sectors to apply. This final round for applications will be open until mid-day on Friday 14 August, so check the eligibility criteria and apply today.
Finally, good progress is also being made in our partnership with Stratford District. A vacancy has arisen for a Head of ICT at both councils, which is enabling the creation of a shared role. Over the coming weeks we’re also looking at other senior appointments that can be made on a shared basis. These pragmatic and important steps will enable us to enhance the quality of our local government service for the benefit of all the residents of South Warwickshire.
Keep smiling and stay safe.
Cllr Andrew Day
Leader, Warwick District Council
Chief Executive, Warwick District Council