The Government’s Winter Covid Plan has been announced and will help us take steps to deal locally with the potential risks of rising infection and hospitalisation rates over the coming months:
- Plan A: where infection rates remain stable, will involve the introduction of booster vaccinations for the over 50s and vaccination of those between the ages of 12-15.
- Plan B: to come into force if the NHS comes under unsustainable pressure, would involve the mandating of face masks in some public places, as well as testing and vaccine certification for certain events.
Local infection levels continued to rise from 313.3 to 323.7 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, demonstrating that Covid remains a serious public health threat across the district.
We each have a very important role to play in the Winter Covid Plan; to get fully vaccinated and to continue the safety precautions of wearing a face covering, washing our hands frequently and taking regular lateral flow tests.
- A ‘walk-in’ Covid clinic is operating this Monday, 20 September, offering Pfizer jabs from 8am to 8pm at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association on Adelaide Road Riverside, Leamington Spa. No appointment is necessary. Details of other local Covid vaccination clinics can be found, here.
- Getting tested couldn’t be easier, with kits available from a local test centre or by collection from a participating pharmacy. Remember, if we have Covid symptoms let’s get a PCR test and self-isolate. Test & Trace support payments remain available.
The next step in our Recovery Plan was achieved this week, with permission granted for two, multi-million-pound upgrades to our Kenilworth leisure Centres. At Abbey Fields the new swimming facilities will include a second indoor pool with an adjoining sun terrace, as well as a new ‘National Trust style’ café directly accessible by park users. At Castle Farm the current recreation centre will be replaced with a state-of-the art dry sports facility, featuring a sports hall, 80 station gym and fitness studios as well as a new Scouts and Guides Centre.
This is great news for the people of Kenilworth, but also residents from across the district, especially those requiring special facilities. Subject to the Castle Farm project receiving final approval from the Secretary of State, demolition work is scheduled to begin in January with plans for these new facilities to open from early 2023.
The Recovery Plan rolls on. The consultation on the future development of the Riverside House site continues until 1 October, with the last of the online public Q&A sessions next week. Please visit our website for further information, to complete the survey and share your views.
We’d also welcome your thoughts on the proposals to merge with Stratford on Avon Council. Visit www.southwarwickshire.org.uk for more detailed information on what our local government might look like in the future and please have your say on what’s important to you.
We’re delighted with news this week from the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards, which recognise the very best in local government frontline services. The award for the ‘Best Collaborative Working Initiative’ for the support given to local businesses during the pandemic was won by the County Council, the five Borough and District Councils and the Police. This national recognition is fitting testament in particular to the Warwick District Council Environmental Health, Community Safety and Housing officers who worked diligently in multi-agency teams to provide real help to our local businesses when it was needed most. Congratulations!
And finally, tomorrow (Saturday 18th at 11am) the new 2nd Warwick Sea Scout HQ in St Nicholas Park will be officially opened by adventurer Sal Montgomery. The team of dedicated volunteers behind this fantastic new facility have done an outstanding job raising over £1m; recovering after a fire onsite; and cracking on with the building programme during the pandemic, to create a world class facility that will benefit our young for generations to come. We’re incredibly proud of you all and so pleased to have played our part to help make it happen. A fun day of opening celebrations and events is planned, so do come along, and join the smiles, we’re all welcome.