Coronavirus is spreading rapidly and we must now anticipate new government restrictions on the way that we live and work. Once again, we’ll come together to protect our most vulnerable, while doing all that we can to support our local economy. Without the spring sunshine however, our collective goodwill and shared sense of purpose will be vital to helping us all through the choppy waters ahead.
Playing our part
The measures we have already taken to protect our frontline services are in place and well-tested. Extra steps are being taken by your council, but the most important Covid defence that we have is you, so please play your part by:
- Downloading and using the NHS Covid-19 App. You’ll notice that certain venues and hospitality businesses are displaying their QR codes to support the test and trace process. On arrival you’ll be asked to scan the code, so an alert can be sent to you if there is a risk that you’ve been exposed to the virus. The more of us that use NHS Covid-19 App, the greater the protection for our whole community.
- Keep up with the discipline of regularly washing your hands, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing. Please regularly check the Government updates for the latest guidance.
- Let’s also rely on our common sense by avoiding unnecessary contact with others, especially in situations where we come into close proximity with people from other households, even if they’re family or dearest friends. We won’t be doing our loved ones or those they care about any favours by sharing the Covid gift this festive season!
Providing financial help
While the Coronavirus is very much part of our daily life now, rest assured that we’re getting better at living with it and one day we’ll be through the worst of this emergency:
- The new £500 Test and Trace Support Payment has been launched for people on a low income who must self-isolate for 14 days and cannot work from home during this period. Check if you’re eligible.
- Grants being made from the Community Economic Recovery Fund are making a real difference, helping our vital community organisations help others. For example, a grant this week enabled a chilled foodbank for the most vulnerable to meet core costs and continue this essential support. Check out the grant criteria to find out whether your organisation would benefit.
Preparing for a brighter future
Work has begun on improvements to York Walk, which links the Railway Station to Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa. The scheme includes ornate fencing, benches, tree management and footpath repairs to provide an improved arrival to the town not only for 2022 Commonwealth Games visitors, but us all to enjoy for years to come.
Proposals were approved this week to introduce ‘wetland scrapes’ inside St Mary’s Lands in Warwick. The creation of four shallow pools to seasonally hold water to attract wildlife as well as a variety of declining species, will improve biodiversity and be an attractive landscape feature.
Digital infrastructure company Telent based in Warwick, has been selected as the services partner for the installation and support of Fixed Vehicle Devices to the Emergency Services. The contract to provide the Home Office with a mission critical communication system for the Police, Fire and Ambulance services is a boost to local employment. Telent made it to number 16 in the Sunday Times’ Top Track 250 league table, so the future is looking bright for this important local business.
Rest assured too that our Christmas preparations are already well underway. This year we’re being invited to switch on our Christmas lights at home in tandem with the town centres, in what will be the first ever district-wide virtual switch-on event. With restrictions on public events and large gatherings, we’ve agreed with the relevant Town Councils to create this virtual event.
On Friday 27 November at 5.45pm we’ll all be encouraged to join in and stream the town centre lights being switched on via social media, whilst lighting up our own home Christmas lights. Various competitions and stay-at-home party games are being organised by the Elves at Riverside House, so mark your calendar and plan to join us all for what promises to be a fun celebration for us all to enjoy.
Keep smiling and stay safe.
Cllr Andrew Day
Leader, Warwick District Council
Chief Executive, Warwick District Council