Swale Borough Councillor’s Report - March 2021

It’s been a long cold lonely winter…..


The lyrics of the Beatles track came to mind as I began to think about the end of lockdown, particularly the loneliness of this past winter.


At our Green Party meetings we have a “warm up “ question to start with, which this month was “what are you looking forward to for the end of lockdown”, and for everyone the answer was about meeting up with people again in one way or another.


It has been so strange for the normal things we do to be hidden or banned: smiles behind masks, elbow bumps or waves instead of handshakes or hugs.


Having said that, there are some things it would be good to carry forward from this year, and “getting back to normal” could mean a missed opportunity.


Council work involves a lot of meetings, all virtual at present, which despite mishaps with the mute button, have meant much less travelling: it has almost felt like a teleport machine as one flips from one meeting to another with a click on a link. It has often been said that one way to reduce carbon emissions was to make better use of technology, but the pandemic has forced it upon us.


I understand holiday bookings in the UK are at record highs, and perhaps people will begin to appreciate the wonderful countryside we have on our doorsteps, which will also bring economic benefits.


Cycling in the early part of lockdown last year was a pleasure, with the reduced volume of traffic on the road, and although numbers are going up again now, it can give us an idea of what Dutch levels of cycling might feel like.


There may yet be bumps on the road out of lockdown. Hopefully vaccination will mean we will be protected from a repeat of the catastrophe of the last wave, but that really depends on as many people as possible accepting the vaccine when it is offered, so with my GP hat on: please do come when called!


That way, we may be able to say…


Here comes the sun!


Alastair Gould (AlastairGould@swale.gov.uk)

Swale Borough Councillor for Boughton & Courtenay.

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