The real basis of life is human relationships: Many inspirational things have happened during the
‘lockdown’. People, using technical/electronic devices, started talking to each other in an innovative manner, forming bonds, playing games, participating in group activities online; all has led to a new way of bonding. People found new ways of shopping, shared activities from home, with many artistic talents have came to the fore. Children have become more ‘involved’ with their parents lives and hopefully, for some, become more central to their families. For many, there was time, often for the first time, to share helping these little people to grow and develop as part of a community.
The other side of the coin: The Island is very busy with tourists, so it's very important for all us locals to practise good hygiene precautions and to do everything we can to stem any rise in Covid-19. It is important because of the ‘knock on effect’ of a rise in the pandemic on the Island
could affect local entertainment centres, pubs and restaurants, which could then have to be closed again. We have already seen partial closure in other parts of the country and the havoc that it is causing to local communities. It's up to us to do everything that we can to be as careful
as possible, including social distancing, when we can.
Our children will be returning to school soon, some have already gone back. Once again it is up to us all to try and provide as safe a haven as possible. This is a very scary time for young people. Many of them have never experienced anything like it. Us ‘older’ inhabitants have had experience of various contagious illnesses, like scarlet fever, polio, Asian flue, respiratory deaths from air pollution, before the ‘Clean Air Act, numerous cancers, where people not only did not survive but either had no access to treatment or that any form of treatment was available.
We are so fortunate in the 21st century, that with-in a short space of time we are, hopefully, looking forward to treatments and even more exciting, preventative vaccines including that for Covid-19.
Returning to school might for some young people be quiet scary. It is up to all of us to support their return to their education. As the saying goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. In the case of covid-19, we need to all work together to keep us all safe, especially our children.
The council and staff at Island schools will be doing everything possible to ensure safe distancing and minimal contact. You can only imagine how problematic that this is going to be but we can all play our part, by encouraging our families in being positive and keeping young people involved in what is happening around them. On a lighter note look out for the Covid-19 secure entertainment which is available around the town.
All this has an effect on the day to day running of our services and ensuring that where we live functions. Council services are doing their best to coordinate the different services in order to provide seamless provision. Sometimes, this will mean that appointments, collections, repairs could take longer and instead of direct contact, it could be a telephone call or done by email.
Timing will be essential if this is to work. For instance planning a trip to the local rubbish amenity. It will be important to keep to the time given and to ensure that you keep within the allocated times. Home visits will be kept to a minimum, but again appointments will be regulated with email or telephone follow ups.
In my ward, Island Roads are working at a pace and carrying out resurfacing works. We have managed, despite Covid-19 to keep on track. I welcome feedback from residents using the recently opened Nicholson footpath. I have heard via the grapevine that it is being well used.
Recently I have received positive feedback on the flower beds on the seafront. It makes me very proud, that despite the many difficulties, we were still able to provide a welcome to visitors.
Unfortunately we have suffered an outbreak of graffiti across the town. Not only is this very expensive to remove, which means funds being diverted from other projects, the presence of such graffiti makes some people feel unsafe and afraid to go out. It is not art! It is expensive to remove! It cause unrest! If you see the people involved - please report it on 01983 821000.
The lifeguards on Ryde Seafront are working hard to keep people safe, including their new duty of reminding us not only to be water safe but also to socially distance both on the the beach and in the water. A big thank you for their work.
Have a good summer, I intend too, Charles Chapman.