On Monday, when Government restrictions are lifted, each of us will then take responsibility for the choices we make to stay safe. These choices will not only have a direct effect on our own health but will also have a big impact on the health of our nearest and dearest. As the Government steps back from telling us what to do, it is vital that we personally step forward to challenge the spread of this virus.
Thankfully, local case numbers have levelled-off this week dropping from 431.3 to 411.1 infections per 100,000 people, but these figures continue to register amongst the highest levels in the country. Not only are our younger people being admitted to hospital, but thousands across all age groups are self-isolating, disrupting many organisations.
At this critical juncture, we want to support the clear advice being given by our public health and health service colleagues. Despite it no longer being compulsory, let’s continue to take precautions, wearing a face covering on public transport, in shops and other indoor public spaces, especially medical centres and hospitals. It’s vital too, that we maintain good hygiene practices such as hand washing, using sanitiser and opening windows for good ventilation.
Vaccination and regular testing remain the best way forward. Local walk-in clinics are open again this weekend, including at Kenilworth’s Ramada Hotel where Pfizer jabs are being offered on Saturday from 8:30am to 12noon and 1:30pm to 5pm. Free testing options also are available, by home delivery, at a local test centre or collection from a participating pharmacy. Remember too that Test & Trace support payments continue for those required to self-isolate.
Its been a big week for the local recovery plan too. Despite the disappointment of the football, there has been much cause for celebration with the announcement of two major national investment projects bringing thousands of skilled jobs and training opportunities to our district, as well as supply chain opportunities for local companies.
Rosalind Franklin Diagnostic Testing Laboratory and UK Battery Industrialisation Centre were successfully opened thanks in no small part to the enabling work our Council. Dedicated and ambitious efforts over many years are behind the success in gaining this level of step-change inward investment. To have just one national centre of excellence locating to the district would be a good result, but two is an outstanding achievement and we would like to pay tribute to the high-quality service given by our staff, and the collaborative cross-party leadership of Councillors who have worked together to make this happen.
In addition, this week has also seen the submission of a planning application for the West Midlands Battery Giga Factory, again demonstrating how well-placed we now are to take advantage of opportunities for further large-scale investment in growing sectors of the UK economy.
Looking to 2022, this we were excited to see that the ticket ballot for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is now open giving local residents the first opportunity to bid before the main ballot goes live in September. More details, here.
And finally, while we can take great pride in the way the England men’s Football team have played throughout the European Championships, and share in the delight of their success in reaching the finals, it is also wholly appropriate that your Council has made this statement to publicly condemn the racist behaviour that followed:
“There is no place for discrimination of any kind and sadly the actions of the few have undermined what had been an exceptional tournament; bringing us all together in celebration as Britain moves towards the next milestone in fighting the pandemic. We collectively condemn unacceptable racist behaviour and look to the support from our communities in making the same commitment.”
Keep smiling and stay safe.