Local infection levels are rising again, increasing from 205.6 to 267.1 per 100,000 people in the last seven days. This is particularly concerning because the increased infection rates are being experienced across all age groups, including those over 60.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best defence against the virus, not only reducing the likelihood of being infected, but also the severity of any symptoms, if we do. Although, it is reassuring to see the success of the vaccine roll-out across our district, with around 90% of adults in most wards having had at least one jab, there are some areas such as Brunswick, South Leamington where the take-up has been significantly less. We’re also noting that 71.2% of our 18-24s have now had their first dose, only 1% lower than the next cohort of those under 40 years old.
There clearly remains a reluctance amongst some, particularly our young, to take the vaccine which is due in large part to the myths that are circulating about its safety. In response, next week two ‘myth busting’ sessions will be offered at our local community hubs, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Public Health, from 12-3pm on:
- Wednesday 18 August, at the Gap Community Centre, Warwick
- Friday 20 August, at Brunswick Hub, Leamington
So, if you’ve any questions or concerns, please come along and get the answers you’re seeking to stay safe.
And what an amazing week it’s been for all our students receiving their A Level, BTEC and GCSE. The ‘Class of 2021’ have prevailed through a difficult and disruptive time, having only spent one full term out of the last six in school or college. For those heading off to Uni, be smart and get your vaccine before beginning these new adventures. And whilst you engage in all that University life has to offer, continue to take regular tests which remain available for free by home delivery, at a local test centre or by collection from a participating pharmacy.
We’ve also been busy with our recovery plans:
- Cabinet met last week to discuss the multi £million redevelopment of the Abbey Fields and Castle Farm leisure facilities in Kenilworth. Approval was given for applications to be submitted to the Planning Committee next month. If permission is granted, Kenilworth will join Leamington and Warwick in gaining some of the best sports facilities in the country. The plans also provide for a brand-new HQ for local Scouts and Guides.
- Yesterday (Thursday) we held our first public online meeting to discuss the future of the Riverside House site. This is one of a series of planned Q&A sessions we’re conducting with a range of stakeholders over the coming weeks, including the Town Council, Leamington Society, Chamber of Trade and the neighbours. Please visit our webpage for more details on the consultation and guidance on how you too can contribute your views.
- A developer succeeded in their Appeal gaining approval from the Planning Inspector for a residential development of up to 200 dwellings on land south of Chesterton Gardens, Whitnash. The decision not to object to this Appeal was a careful and considered judgement, based on clear legal advice about the limited chances of defending the grounds on which our Planning Committee’s decision had been taken. The Planning Inspector has settled the merits of the development application according to planning policy and law. We will continue to focus our resources and energies on addressing resident’s concerns about the provision of a safe, second access to the site.
- In further planning news, we’re pleased to confirm that a major application to construct a Gigafactory at Coventry Airport has been submitted and successfully validated by our development services team. If you’d like to find out more, or make a comment, further details are available on our website.
Also, a reminder to all those who are interested in volunteering at next year’s Commonwealth Games that applications to join the Commonwealth Collective programme will close this Tuesday 17 August. There’s also a fantastic opportunity for young dancers (aged 16-30) to be part of the Commonwealth Games cultural programme through the Critical Mass 2022 dance and movement collective. A number of summer camps across the region are being run, including one this Sunday 15 August at the Motionhouse studios at Spencer Yard. More details can be found at criticalmass22.org.uk.
Finally, as another reminder, our first face-to-face fundraiser will be held at 6pm on 7th September at Savage's House. This is your chance to quiz the respective leaders of the Warwick and Stratford district councils about the proposed combined super district.