2020 was not the year we were expecting, but certainly one that we’ll never forget! With thousands of Covid deaths, the degradation of our economy and billions racked up in debt, it would be easy to miss that this year has also brought many blessings.
Not in generations has our community worked together in such a powerful manner. In selfless and courageous ways our charities, businesses and community organisations have all risen to the challenge. Together we’ve supported the most vulnerable and positively dealt with the local impact of the pandemic to help reduce the inevitable damage to lives and livelihoods.
We’ve taken local action:
Yet, just when we had hoped the new year would bring fresh beginnings, infection rates are climbing as we come to terms with the new coronavirus strain. Our Covid infections have increased to 216 cases per 100,000 residents, with Coventry at 241 cases and an average of 374 across England. The Tier 4 decision will be reviewed again in mid-January, while the focus is now on safely returning pupils to primary schools on Monday. Secondary schools will re-open in phases by 18 January, with university students scheduled to return during February.
In the midst of the second wave, it is perhaps worth recalling that it is always darkest before the dawn. 2021 does offer new hope. With our local testing centres up and running, whilst preparations for mass vaccination are well underway. Work too on our Recovery Plan is progressing with:
Preparations for the Commonwealth ‘friendly’ Games are ongoing, when in just 18 months we’ll be hosting not only the Lawn Bowls, but also the Cycling Road Race, hopefully welcoming thousands of visitors over the two weeks of competition.
In 2021, we can also expect to see:
For us, the brighter new year really began on Boxing Day. We were delighted that our bid to the government’s Future High Street Fund had succeeded - winning a £10m grant as part of an investment package worth over £20m for the regeneration of Leamington Town Centre. May we wish you every happiness in the exciting year ahead.
Cllr Andrew Day
Leader, Warwick District Council
Chief Executive, Warwick District Council