Observer column: 25 June 2021
So far in June we seem to have had weather from all four seasons: the hottest days of the year followed by the second wettest June day on record! The RNLI lifeguards on our beaches at Pelham, the Pier and Marina are working hard to keep us safe and have already rescued some people from the sea. We are very grateful to them for all they are doing.
As we move into the summer season our businesses who rely heavily on the tourist economy are hoping for some good times ahead to help their recovery from the pandemic. The sunshine always helps, and we can help by supporting our local businesses all year round.
We are working through the applications we have for the Additional Restrictions Grant for businesses and the Government has extended the deadline until the end of July as we are remaining in step 3 of the roadmap until July 19. Our website has the details of how to apply and our social media has all the updates on this funding. Please pass the message on and remember those who work in the creative industries may be eligible for this grant. We need to make sure the money gets to the businesses in our town.
The number of cases of COVID-19 is rising and the Delta variant is a real threat. If you have any symptoms, please book a test. We need to keep thinking about social distancing and minimising close contact with others. If you haven't had your COVID-19 vaccinations yet we have more pop-up clinics coming and anyone over 18 can turn up without an appointment and have a first jab.
The clinics are at Warrior Square Surgery on Saturday June 26 between 10.30am and 3.30pm, St Leonard's Medical Centre (bottom of Filsham Road) on Saturday July 3 from 10.30am to 3.30pm and St Matthew's Church, London Road, on Sunday 4 July from 12.30pm to 4.30pm.
You can still book your vaccine online or by calling the booking line on 119. Calls to this number are free. Transport is available for people who can't get to the vaccine centres. You should book an appointment first and then call the travel coordinator line on 07871 603235 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm).
Please protect yourself and others and have your vaccinations. Let's all encourage our family and friends who haven't had their first jabs to go to a pop-up clinic or make an appointment.
Vaccines are an important part of how we will get life back to normal and another way of helping to keep everyone safe is through regular lateral flow tests. We can collect these free kits from pharmacies or order them online to be delivered to our home.
The tests are easy to do and you get the results in around half an hour. With around a third of people who have COVID-19 not showing any symptoms, a lateral flow test could prevent us transmitting to friends or family who have not been vaccinated.
Now we are all able to be out and about a bit more if you're looking for something interesting to do then a visit to our wonderful museum is highly recommended. The current Ingenious Contraptions exhibition introduces amazing automata from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre's collection, and it is entertaining and engaging for families and art enthusiasts alike.
Visit www.hmag.org to find out more and to book your slot. On Sunday afternoons the museum is very quiet as fewer tickets are issued so you can have a more peaceful time.
Please stay safe and enjoy all that our town has to offer and the sunshine when it appears!
Council Leader's column