Last Friday’s welcome return of Warwick’s Victorian Evening and light switch-on is a welcome sign that Christmas is just around the corner.
Due to the prevailing weather conditions, regrettably the other events organised for this evening have been cancelled. Thankfully, the lights will be shining bright regardless, so please do come in and visit the towns over the weekend to enjoy the festive atmosphere and support our sparkling local businesses.
Kenilworth’s Christmas markets on 11 Decembers will be given an extra sprinkling of excitement, with festive attractions and entertainments for all the family. Details on these plans will be released in the next few days.
To help stop COVID from spoiling our festive plans, let’s make sure we’re fully vaccinated. Thanks to the great work of our local health service providers and volunteers, several walk-in clinics have been set-up. We staged a ‘grab a jab’ last weekend at:
• Warwick - Northgate House
Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 November
• Kenilworth - Former Ramada Hotel
Sunday 28 November
The clinics are offering first and second doses of the vaccine, plus boosters (if it has been six months since your second jab). Or if you would prefer to pre-book for a date and time convenient for you, you can do this via the NHS website.
With all the effort being taken to strengthen our local protection, let’s also play our part by wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces and taking regular tests. By doing this, we’re protecting ourselves and helping those who have been shielding or are vulnerable, to feel safe and more comfortable to enjoy socialising once again, at this special time of year.
Predictably, in the last seven days local infection levels have risen from 319.5 to 384.4 cases per 100,000 people, including those aged over 60. Preventing this upward trend and reducing the burden on the NHS and other healthcare providers, must remain a priority for us all.
This week the focus of our recovery plans has been:
• Ensuring that everything is in place so we can manage the extra recycling and waste generated over the festive season. We have the good news that our teams will be working through both bank holidays, so there will be no interruption to refuse and recycling collections over the holiday period so we can put our bins, boxes, and bags out on the same day as usual, not forgetting to don our festive jumper or onesie! Remember to, that to maintain this service we will be temporarily suspending the green bin collections.
• We’ve also been lending support to our wonderful independent shops and businesses for next week’s Small Business Saturday on 4 December and hope you will too, by purchasing your Christmas gifts locally. To help shoppers there will be free parking all day in Warwick on 1 & 4 December, Leamington 4 December and for the Christmas Market in Kenilworth on 11 December.
• Oh yes, it is! The Royal Spa Centre panto is back with performances of Aladdin starting next Saturday 4 December, running through until 2 January. This year sees the return of the fabulous JP McCue as Dame Dolly and the hilarious Sean Dodds as Aladdin. The panto is not only a long-held tradition, but also supports local charities with this year’s proceeds going to Side-by-Side theatre group.
And finally… if you are busily writing Christmas cards and sending parcels to friends and family in a Commonwealth country, we’d like to hear from you. Ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games we're trying to find local connections to all 54 Commonwealth countries. If you have a link or an interesting story to tell, or video or photo you can share, please visit the Commonwealth Connections page on our website and help us reach our target.
Keep smiling and stay safe.