"At the start of my Mayoral year I could not imagine I’d be writing this: I said in a speech half-way through the year that Cheltenham was in rude health materially; now we face a very unexpected challenge."
"Coronavirus came in first by stealth, and then like a Tsunami. I’d have to say I’ve been seeing numerous acts of kindness, large and small all-round my area and on TV and social media.
"Now is not the time to be blaming people for what wasn’t got right, but we should not be afraid to ask difficult questions. It is very much right to be asking what we can do to move the situation forward and save lives, and especially asking ourselves. I cannot personally provide more protective clothing and test kits but here’s a good few things we can do:
- Keep to the rules on social distancing, and not gathering together.
- Look out for neighbours who need shopping.
- Self-isolate properly if I need to.
- Give money or food to food banks, especially if you get home and found you over-bought a bit.
- Support the Police who are working under extreme pressure in this emergency, also Councils.
- And supremely, support the NHS and exercise real common sense on when to contact them.
"This ‘lockdown’ could go on some weeks, with only gradual relaxations after this, so it is really vital we all work together. I have been so impressed by the way the people of Cheltenham and surrounding Gloucestershire have pulled together.
"I have two friends who were moved on by the Police while taking a break from their walk in the park. These are two of the most law-abiding citizens on the planet, but we are all learning to do things differently to combat this virus.
"Just to remind people the Council help-line is https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/helphub and if you’re reading this on-line do remember that some of your less tech-savvy neighbours may not be, hence the phone option on 01452 583519 – Mon-Fri 8.30am to 5pm.
"Finally I’ve just launched the Mayor’s Food Bank Fund Lottery page at www.CheltenhamLottery.co.uk and search for Foodbank."
Cllr Roger Whyborn - Mayor of Cheltenham
For more details on the Coronavirus health guidelines, and the support available from Cheltenham Borough Council, check out the latest resources on their website: https://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/coronavirus