The loss of Captain Sir Tom Moore to Covid-19 this week, sparked a remarkable celebration of the virtues he embodied. A life of selfless service and duty which ultimately culminated in his inspirational fundraising efforts, prompted a great outpouring of public gratitude. Sir Tom reminded us that even in our darkest hour, “tomorrow will be a better day”.
As we came together on our doorsteps to clap, the Town Halls, Pump Rooms and other public buildings were flooded in blue light in another act of support for the remarkable and tireless work of our treasured NHS. This week, as we prevail through the latest wave of this pandemic, infection rates have thankfully continued their fall from 240 to 158 cases per 100,000 residents. The improving situation has been hard fought for, so until many more of us are vaccinated, please continue to follow the guidance.
The vaccination rollout is going extremely well, with many of those who have received their jabs being positive about the experience. It was great to hear from our Chairman Cllr Martyn Ashford who is on the CEV list, commenting that, “Following my vaccination, I felt fine and after a very difficult year, it was a relief to be able to look forward to the possibility of meeting friends and family.” You can keep up to date with the local vaccination programme, here.
Just now, we’ve also keenly focused on providing vital business support. By the end of next week, we’ll have paid grants to all who have applied for Part C (Wet LED Pubs) and Part D (Non-rated Retail, Leisure & Hospitality) funding. Grant payments have also begun for the Closed Business Lockdown Retail, Hospitality & Leisure scheme. In addition, we’ve so far paid some £1.5m to over 960 businesses through Additional Resource Grants Scheme. You can keep up to date on our progress and on further schemes to be announced by visiting our website.
Building on the good progress made during the pandemic to provide increased accommodation and support for the homeless people in our community, we’ve been developing our ideas for these services. We’d appreciate your thoughts on how we can build on this success over the next few years. Please take a moment to share your views on our draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy for 2021-26.
We’ve two inspiring and free events this month: Interactive Futures, which showcases the best from our thriving Games Sector and the Spark Ignite symposium, that builds on the success of our vibrant creative sector. Both events will promote a better understanding of these fascinating areas and highlight emerging opportunities.
Despite the pandemic, we’re fortunate to live in an area that’s continuing to attract inbound investment and new job opportunities, albeit from surprising directions. In addition to local jobs related to HS2, our new Leamington MegaLab and the forthcoming Census all offer employment for those seeking a fresh start. We’re highlighting what’s on offer at our website.
This week Councillors will meet to consider a range of far reaching proposals, including the provision of two new leisure facilities in Kenilworth; the creation of a major County park; as well as agreeing a Covid balanced budget and a programme that would ultimately lead to an historic merger to create South Warwickshire Council. We’ll report back on our progress next Friday, but in the meantime, you can tune-in and follow the action on our YouTube channel, here.