We’ve learnt a lot during the Coronavirus emergency. We’ve discovered behind the scenes heroes on our team of Council officers who day-in, day-out keep us safe; providing vital services and making extraordinary efforts to serve our district, even in the most challenging of circumstances.
We’ve been touched too by the generosity of our local businesses, community organisations and private individuals who have selflessly given so much. And we’ve learnt above all, that good, local government needs to be local, firmly rooted in the community and driven by the needs of local people.
These vital lessons will be at the centre of our response to the Government’s request for proposals to re-organise your County and District Councils. We promise to look at all the options, seeking your input and the contributions of many other key partners on what will work best for South Warwickshire.
Consideration will be given to the relative merits of not just a single Warwickshire Unitary Council serving nearly 600,000 residents (which would be the fourth largest outside London if created today), but all other more local options as well. We promise to take the valuable lessons we’ve learnt and examine alternatives to ensure that our new Council will continue to be local, offering modern, joined-up services that reliably meet your needs in this fast-changing world.
Looking to the future too, we’d like to congratulate our GCSE and A-Level students on their exam results, achieved in such difficult circumstances. In these uncertain times, we wish our young people every success with their future plans. We’re also mindful that many of us are preparing for the safe return to work, school, college or university in the coming weeks.
Rest assured that we’ve been working closely with our local Universities and Colleges to prepare for the thousands of students who will be moving back into the area for the beginning of the new academic year. We’re not only putting in place measures to keep us all safe, but also preparing for other contingencies including the possibility of a lockdown. We’re confident that if we build on what we know works, we can safely implement reporting and testing programmes to effectively contain any potential local outbreaks.
Although Riverside House remains closed to the public, it is very much business as usual with most of our staff continuing to work remotely. Thankfully, safety measures will be put in place so those members of our team who are unable to work from home can now return to the office.
It’s great to see our leisure centres busy at St Nicholas Park, Newbold Comyn, Castle Farm and Abbey Fields with so many offering positive feedback about the cleanliness, safety, organisation and warmth of welcome they’re experiencing.
Finally, some helpful reminders:
- The deadline has been extended for applications to the main business grants scheme, which will definitely close on Tuesday 25 August.
- Buy in 2 Warwick, have produced this brilliant film, which we hope you’ll enjoy and share https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njP68dpY8-s.
- The Warwickshire Pride Festival returns tomorrow Saturday 22 August, broadcast live on their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels with talks, performances, entertainment, education and much, much more. Why not drop-in and enjoy this brilliant celebration of life?
Keep smiling and stay safe…