I would like to thank all of those involved in the vaccination programme, from our doctors and nurses through to the fantastic volunteers who have been taking on the role of stewards. I know I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that we will be forever grateful to you.

I would also like to say how grateful we are to our NHS colleagues for listening to our local residents and providing a city centre vaccination site. Since the start of the year, we have been working very closely with the NHS to make sure that our residents are well informed about their work and progress. We have seen first-hand how hard they have been working to rollout this incredible vaccination programme and how they have been willing to adapt in order to respond to local needs.  

While there is light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the mass vaccination programme taking place, there is still a high level of uncertainty, particularly for some of our district's businesses.

This is why this week we will be running a special webinar for businesses which will talk through all the different Government coronavirus support schemes that businesses can apply for.

The webinar will take place this Friday 19 February from 2pm until 3pm. Our officers will be there to help you make sense of all the grants available, explain which businesses can apply for each option, and will answer any questions that you may have. If you would like to book a place please visit: .

If you aren't able to join us for the webinar then you can still find out about the full range of business grants available at: Coronavirus support for businesses. Support includes one-off top up grants for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that are required to close during the current lockdown, and a grant for businesses that are not required to close but are still affected by the current national lockdown. There are also schemes for businesses that were affected by the national lockdown in November 2020 and last year's tier restrictions. Our teams are ready for your applications and will work hard to get grants out as quickly as possible.

This week I would like to highlight the work of our fantastic team of community wardens over the past year. They have been carrying out a wide range of work to support their communities. I know that as well as carrying on with many of their day-to-day duties such as dealing with incidents of fly tipping, anti-social behaviour, animal welfare and neighbour disputes that they have also been involved with many more welfare visits and issues as a result of coronavirus. This work has undoubtedly been crucial to the health and wellbeing of many elderly and vulnerable people in our district. From collecting and delivering shopping and prescriptions, to supporting the county council's Community Hub, to helping people access other services, our wardens have been playing a really important role and I know that their communities really appreciate all that they have been doing for them.

Lastly, as this week is half term I would also like to draw your attention to the fantastic online resources that our Novium Museum has on offer.

This year they are taking part in the South Downs National Park Dark Skies Festival with a series of virtual space videos, storytelling and craft activities. These will be available on the museum's YouTube and Facebook channels, as well as through its Virtual Museum every day this week. The museum also has a variety of other craft and learning activities plus virtual exhibitions which can be found at: The Novium Museum - virtual museum .

Thanks again to everyone for playing their part in the fight against coronavirus, please continue to keep safe and take care.

Best Wishes

 

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council