There was some lovely news this week as the Prime Minister and his fiancé Carrie Symonds welcomed a baby boy into the world on Wednesday. It has certainly been a turbulent few weeks for the Prime Minister and Carrie, with both catching the coronavirus and the PM even entering intensive care. I am therefore delighted that they have some wonderful news to celebrate and I am sure that residents will join me in congratulating them both.
For the last few weeks the Country has been inspired by Captain, now Colonel, Tom Moore. His humour, modesty, respect and determination has shone through in all his interviews - maintaining hope and showing the fighting spirit that we all need to get through the immense Covid-19 challenge.
Yesterday was Colonel Tom's 100th birthday - it was fantastic to see people from across the country show their appreciation for all he has done. To help him celebrate the momentous occasion, more than 100,000 people sent him a birthday card and a special fly-by from RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight teams was also arranged. However, the highlight of the day for Colonel Tom was seeing his fundraising campaign hit £30m, which I am sure we can all agree is an incredible achievement. A big thank you to everyone who contributed.
Colonel Tom served in India and modern-day Myanmar during World War Two. It’s incredible to think that he served our nation during one of the most difficult periods in our recent history and is once again serving the nation during this difficult time.
Colonel Tim’s achievement brings me on to the 75th anniversary of VE day, which takes place next week and commemorates the end of the Second World War in Europe. Unfortunately, the coronavirus outbreak has meant that many of the planned commemorations had to be cancelled; however, there are still a number of ways to take part in commemorations. There will be two minutes’ silence at 11am next bank holiday Friday, and we are all being encouraged to stand on our doorsteps, or in our windows, to mark the moment of remembrance. Households are also being encouraged to hold their own 1940s tea parties in their own homes. The Government has launched a special website full of activities and tips – including bunting and posters, recipes, and a 1940s music play list.
I would also like to thank Swindon residents for continuing to follow social distancing rules. As the Prime Minister explained following his return to work, we want to get the country back up and running as soon as possible. However, we can’t undermine the monumental efforts and sacrifices that have been made so far by easing social distancing measures too early.
Following scientific and medical guidance, the Government has outlined five specific tests that must be met before we can ease the lockdown. These tests include: being confident that our NHS has the ability to cope, seeing a consistent fall in daily death rates, seeing infection rates decrease to manageable levels, making sure supplies are able to meet future demand, and being confident that any lockdown adjustments won’t risk a second peak of infections.
I appreciate that the current restrictions are difficult and have placed great strains on our daily lives; however, let’s all continue to work together to protect our NHS and save lives.