Good news! Covid-19 cases in our area and across the UK have continued to fall over the past seven days. This trend is thankfully also being reflected in a decreasing number of virus-related hospital admissions.
Vaccination provides the best form of protection, particularly for the most vulnerable in our community. The spring booster programme is now underway for the over 75’s and those with a weakened immune system. Children aged 5-11 with no other underlying health conditions are now also eligible for two paediatric (child) doses of the vaccine, with at least 12 weeks between jabs. Appointments can be made using the National Booking Service www.nhs.uk, by calling 119 or via a local booking service. There are walk-in clinics available, with details here.
Spring sunshine also brings encouraging news that our local High Streets are beginning to show the green shoots of recovery. Leamington estate agents are reporting that a flurry of new leases have been signed with both established and start-up independent shops and businesses. New arrivals include Henderson Hound a shop dedicated to our four-legged friends, Domino Style boutique and a new Scandinavian deli.
In addition, this week positive progress has been made with the:
- Net Zero Development Plan. This ground-breaking planning policy has been prepared as part of our Climate Emergency Action Plan, and if adopted will require high standards for the sustainability of all new buildings, so they can meet our net zero carbon target. The launch of the Regulation 19 consultation is seeking public views on the soundness and legality of this policy and marks the last significant step before implementation.
- Station Underpass Artwork. Planning permission is being sought for a striking piece of new public artwork, to be installed in the underpass of Leamington Spa railway station. The inspirational design comprises a series of colour palettes representing people, landmarks, events and activities synonymous with our beautiful town. If approved, it will be in place ready to welcome the thousands of visitors expected for the Commonwealth Games this summer.
- Council Tax Energy Repayments. Residents in Band A-D properties have begun receiving their £150 energy rebate payments. Thanks to the sterling efforts of our Revenue and Benefits team who have moved as quickly as possible to pay out over £1.3 million in rebates so far.
And finally… this Sunday (1 May) our biggest summer of local events and entertainment will kick-off with the return of the popular Warwick Food Festival, from 10am to 5pm in the Market Square. The day is guaranteed to be jam-packed with fun, with over 100 food and drink vendors and live entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. The festival is a great opportunity for residents and businesses to drop in at the 'Get Set' for the Commonwealth Games stall where staff will be on hand to answer questions on all things Games related.
Keep smiling and enjoy the holiday weekend. Happy Eid al-Fitr to those celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Monday.
Andrew Day Leader Chris Elliott Chief Executive