It is important that we all play our part to reduce transmission of the virus and lower infection rates. We must continue to regularly test ourselves using the Lateral Flow tests, which are free and easy to access and take up the offer of the vaccinations when they come your way. The message to remember is ‘Hands,Face,Space’ if we all practice this then we are doing all we can to keep our loved ones, friends and colleagues safe.
Volunteers’ Week was held recently with the valiant and vital efforts of Rochford’s volunteers recognised particularly following the incredible challenges of 2020. I want to add my personal thanks to all those who give their time willingly and freely to help and support all those in our community. We know many of the organisations and volunteer groups like Rayleigh Rochford and District Association for Voluntary Service (RRAVs) and The Rayleigh Mega Centre but there are so many more individuals who stepped forward to add their efforts to ensure that our elderly and vulnerable were not isolated during the last year. It is inspiring to see such kindness in action and continuing as we move forward and restrictions ease.
We will shortly be publishing the responses, views and feedback we have received from residents, Stakeholders and our Partners around the Asset Delivery Programme. This looks at the future of six key sites and how best to utilise these assets in the future on the basis of the best value for residents both financially and in terms of access and use. More information about these sites can be found at www.voyage-partnership.co.uk . This is a wide-ranging project with the Rayleigh Mill Hall site causing concern for many Rayleigh residents. I recognise these concerns which, is why I have called for a pause, in order to reflect on all of your responses, so these can be reviewed, and due consideration be given to options. As a council we have set governance and legal processes that must be followed and these take time so it is not possible to respond as quickly as some might like, but it does mean that the work being done is thorough and productive.
Rochford District Council and its staff have continued to ensure continuity to it’s services while adapting to new ways of working and I am grateful for all they do. I am always mindful that we are here for our residents and with that in mind we are working hard to ensure the Rochford District becomes a net zero carbon area by 2030. This is very important to me; we have made this commitment and are taking it very seriously, we are all acutely aware of the need to protect our environment for future generations and that work has been ongoing. Councils across the country are prioritising the goal to become net zero carbon areas and we need to be part of that ambition.
With more people now taking Staycations and using their leave for day trips around the country our District has a unique appeal. Wallasea Island regularly attracts walkers, bird watchers, boat enthusiasts and those seeking the history of the Beagle while our country parks offer respite and relaxation for all. Indirectly this too supports our local economy and small businesses, all so important to the individuality and success of the area. Click it Local is a new initiative that we have launched to support those businesses by offering a service where you can buy and have your purchases delivered to your home. Let’s help get our local economy get back on it’s feet, building strong businesses and employment opportunities for the future.
We are fortunate to live in a district that offers so much. A coastline to explore, Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park and Hockley Woods to enjoy, our sports and leisure centres and our heritage and history. This is what makes Rochford the place it is and where people want to live, work and enjoy their time with their families and friends.