Leader's weekly update -19/03/21
Hi, Kim here, I hope you've had a good week.
We have started our journey on the 'roadmap' out of full lockdown with our children and young people returning to schools and colleges and with us being allowed to meet up socially with one other person outside. If all goes to plan the next easing of the restrictions will take place on Monday 29th March when we will be allowed to meet outside, including in our gardens, with up to six people or people from two households.
The number of people with the virus in our town has decreased which is good news but there are daily fluctuations and the virus is still with us. Many of us have had our vaccinations now and it is important to get a jab when it is your turn but remember you may still pass the virus on to others who have not had theirs. We want to keep the infection rate as low as possible so please remember the mantra of space, face, hands as this will help to keep us all safe.
Many of us were disappointed to see that a large group of people broke the guidelines in Alexandra Park last Sunday and appeared not to have any consideration for the safety of others. We have come together in our town to look out for and look after each other and the kindness and consideration that people have shown towards each other has been amazing. Please keep following the guidelines and stop the spread of the virus.
This has been a difficult year for many of our businesses and 'non-essential' shops must remain closed until at least the 12th April, meaning that it will be a very quiet Easter on the high street. Details of all the support grants available to businesses and the eligibility criteria are on our website at www.hastings.gov.uk/covid19-funding Many of these schemes, including our Additional Restrictions Grant, close at the end of the month. Please check to make sure you haven't missed out on key funding for your business.
The local elections for both Hastings Borough Council, East Sussex County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections take place on Thursday May 6th and it is a good idea to get a postal vote, so you don't have to go to a polling station. Everyone is entitled to a postal vote; it is easy to apply (the deadline in April 20th) and you can find the details on our website. Our polling stations will be COVID-secure of course if you want to cast your vote in person and we are taking great care to ensure that this is the case.
Tomorrow, Saturday 20 March 2021, World Against Racism & Fascism - an international coalition of anti-racist movements - will come together for United Nations Anti-Racism Day to oppose all forms of racism and fascism in a global day of action. Our poster boards along the seafront are advertising the day, and the lights in Bottle Alley will turn purple, the chosen colour of the Black Lives Matter movement. We are asked to take the knee at 1pm to show support and we can join an international online rally at 5pm.
Remember that Sunday March 21st is census day and you should have received your letter by now. You can find out more on the census 2021 website: www.census.gov.uk.
Thanks for being here, please stay safe.
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