Published: Friday, 15th July 2022

Dear friends,

Summer temperatures are rising and so too is the excitement ahead of the launch of an amazing programme of events to celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

This weekend CultureFest kicks-off offering an eclectic array of entertainment from the appearance at various venues of colourful ‘free to play’ pianos to regular favourites, such as Art in the Park. There is something for everyone, so please check-out the programme and make your plan to join in the fun.

You will need to be up bright and early next Friday 22 July, to cheer on our local Batonbearers. The Queen’s Baton Relay will come to Kenilworth High Street at 8am then onwards to the Castle grounds before travelling to Whitnash at around 9am in time for a wonderful reception at the Civic Centre.

Games Festival Sites have also been created in Leamington’s Pump Room Gardens and Warwick’s market square. Open every day from 10am to 10pm, these free venues have been set-up for us all to come together to watch the Games action on the big screen.

We can also take part in a range of games, crafts and sports activities, enjoy refreshments and generally soak up the Games’ atmosphere. Make sure you don’t miss The Opening Ceremony on 28 July, from 5pm in the Pump Room Gardens.

All this before the main events with the Lawn and Para Lawn Bowls competitions starting on Friday 29 July in Victoria Park and Cycle Road Races taking place in Warwick on Sunday 7 August.

With all that is excitement, it is easy to forget that covid cases are still on the rise, with new strains of the Omicron variant driving this recent surge. As many of us plan to gather for the celebrations, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant and to play our part by staying at home if we are showing symptoms.

In other news:

  • Leamington Station – just in time to offer a warm welcome to visitors from around the world the entrance and public areas of the station have been given a major facelift with the addition of new seating, wayfinding, plus improved access for cyclists and pedestrians, taxis and buses.
  • Plans for Leamington’s Creative Quarter have also been boosted with a leading building conservation specialist contractor making good progress on site. The restoration of three derelict buildings in Spencer Yard is well underway, including the conversion of Grade II listed United Reformed Church and Crown Building into office space for creative and digital businesses. 
  • Green Home Grants. We’re giving the opportunity for low-income households to apply for funding to improve the energy efficiency of their home. Residents with a poor EPG rating can receive up to £10,000 of improvements which could include solar panels, air source heat pumps or insulation.
  • Improving our recycling capability - as we prepare to launch of the new 123+ Waste and Recycling Contract on 1 August, we are pleased to report positive progress being made by our joint-venture Sherbourne Recycling Ltd to open a new material recycling facility. Once fully operational, the facility will process recyclables from residential and commercial sources and use new technology to recycle a wider range of materials than previously including single-use plastics.

It may come as no surprise that the stunning Jephson Gardens has been nominated for the Fields in Trust's, ‘UK's Favourite Park’ – however to win this accolade it needs your vote!  If you think this jewel in the crown of Royal Leamington Spa should get this award, then simply head to the Trust’s website to cast your vote!   

And finally… as temperatures are set to soar on Monday and Tuesday, we are sharing the latest advice from the NHS on coping during hot weather. We would also like to spare a thought to all of our frontline workers including our waste and recycling operators, who will be making an early start (6am) with collections on both days.

Keep smiling and stay cool.

Cllr Andrew Day
Leader, Warwick District Council

Chris Elliott
Chief Executive, Warwick District Council

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