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Leader's Blog - July 2020

Our Customer Service Centre on Southfield Road is now open for essential enquiries by appointment only. Please be aware that it is mandatory for face coverings to be worn on the premises. More information, including how to make an appointment, can be found in this news story.

I was delighted that Birstall, Thurmaston and Wanlip (and a part of Anstey) were removed from the Leicester lockdown zone last week.

This is exactly what we had asked the County Council and Government for as the data clearly showed these areas no longer needed to be under more stringent restrictions.

I am sure the communities and businesses will benefit from the change and it’s a welcome relief for the borough.

However, we still have a long way to go as a nation so I would strongly urge people to continue following the guidance, in particular the basics of social distancing and good hand hygiene.

We now all need to wear face coverings in shops. It might not be what some people would prefer to do, but it’s a small price to pay if it helps to keep others that little bit safer.

Recovery

We are pressing ahead with our recovery plans for Charnwood.

Charnwood Community Action, the campaign we launched with John Storer Charnwood, recently delivered its 8,000th parcel. They have been greatly welcomed by people who need our help.

The campaign has also acted as a befriending service and offered advice, information and reassurance to thousands of people. We are now looking at how we support communities in the future.

With the economy, the Loughborough Town Deal offers a massive opportunity to secure up to £25 million of government funding to invest in the town.

We recently held a consultation on our draft investment plan and I would like to thank everyone who took part. We are now working on a range of exciting projects with partners before we submit a final bid.

However, even being in the mix is helping as we have been awarded £750,000 to invest in projects that will have an immediate impact. We are currently drawing up schemes.

The Council has also issued over £31 million in government grants to around 2,200 local businesses in recent months. We have also run our Charnwood inBusiness campaign which is helping over 150 companies connect with customers via the local media.

There is a lot going on to help the local economy, including the resumption of the night-time economy. It was great to see pubs, cafes and restaurants reopen.

We took a decision as a Council to have stewards, working alongside Charnwood police, on our high streets for the first few weekends of pubs reopening.

We had some great feedback from police and licensees that this was a reassuring measure for them and customers.

And it’s good to see that there is further support on the way with the national Eat Out to Help Out scheme. I look forward to local restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs taking part.

I was pleased to see the county council open new pop-up cycle paths, including one at Birstall, as the way we travel changes. Charnwood has supported the cycling effort by installing cycle racks in Loughborough and several villages.

New fleet

It was also nice to talk about something other than the pandemic this week as we unveiled our new fleet of refuse and recycling vehicles.

We are naming all the vehicles and are running a competition for suggestions from young people. Some of the initial ideas are fantastic. Find out more at www.charnwood.gov.uk/namethatwagon

The first one we chose ourselves – Florence, as in Florence Nightingale, as a tribute to the NHS who have been incredible in recent months. The vehicle also displays a large thank you to the NHS, care workers and key workers. It’s fitting and we will probably be relying on them for some time to come.

Welcome aboard

I would like to welcome Cllrs Richard Bailey and Shona Rattray to the Council cabinet. You have certainly picked an interesting time to take on your portfolios and I wish you well!

Thank you

I would also like to thank all staff at Charnwood Borough Council for the amazing work they have carried out since the pandemic began. District councils have adapted rapidly to ensure residents and businesses are supported, and everyone at Charnwood should be proud of the contribution they have made. On behalf of all members, thank you and keep up the good work.

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Last updated: Fri 24th July, 2020 @ 15:11