Welcome from Warwickshire County Council Chief Executive Monica Fogarty
Welcome once again to Warwickshire Still Means Business. With all that has happened recently, it scarcely seems possible that it has only been four weeks since the last edition.
I appreciate that it has been an incredibly difficult few weeks for many businesses in the region with Coventry moving into Tier Two alert level and the additional restrictions that come with that for businesses, notably the hospitality sector. Warwickshire, as I write this, remains in Tier One but we are not complacent and have seen how quickly this situation can change. We are doing all that we can to ensure that we keep the rate of transmissions down so that businesses have the best possible chance of continuing to operate.
This has to be a collective effort with everyone having a part to play. We know it has been difficult, and businesses across Warwickshire have done an amazing job adapting to the situation and becoming Covid secure. It is absolutely critical that we keep this up, more than ever, as infection rates rise again. Please continue to ensure that staff and customers are adhering to social distancing rules and maintaining the rule of six, not mixing with other households when indoors and that there are adequate facilities for hygiene.
The collective effort at its best has been demonstrated this week with many local businesses offering to donate food to some of our more vulnerable residents. It demonstrated to me that, as we have been saying all along, we really are all in this together.
One area of the County Council’s remit that has been critical to businesses being able to operate has been the reopening of schools which has allowed many parents to return to the workplace. Since the return from the summer holidays, Warwickshire’s schools have had an excellent level of attendance for both staff and pupils, well over 90% for both; this is above local and national averages. I’m sure that you will join me in extending thanks to all schools for their hard work.
In other news, you will see that Warwickshire’s Skills Hub has launched a new website which brings together all the support for young people looking to enter the workplace; for businesses looking to recruit and for those that need some support in these difficult times. This could not have come at a better time and I urge you to visit
the site and see if there is any way that the team can support you in whatever you are doing.
You will also see that there is some really good news for Nuneaton in this issue as the Transforming Nuneaton project gathers pace. The County Council agreed £21.5m funding to improve key areas of highway in and around Nuneaton Town Centre, crucial works which the Town’s infrastructure needs if it is to achieve its ambitions and this is a real sign of our commitment.
You’ll find some more good news for the Town in the form of the £1million funding allocated from the Government’s Towns Fund. This will go a long way to attracting businesses to the Town and resulting employment which will have a hugely energising effect.
I shall leave you to read on. As I have already said, we know that many of you are facing really challenging times in the months ahead. Remember you are not alone. We have a lot of support that we can make available to you so do, please, keep in touch. You know where we are.