Mayoral musings - January 2021

Published: 27 January 2021

As I sit and write this article I am looking out of the window across the garden, there is not a cloud in the beautiful sky, the sun is shining, and everything suddenly seems well with the world. Dozens of birds’ flit between the bird feeders and the birdsong fills the air, it feels like the beginning of spring, even though the weather forecast is not too good for the coming few days and officially spring is still five weeks away!

However, this idealistic view does not really reflect the position we find ourselves in. Since the easing of restrictions for Christmas Day we were immediately put back into the tier system, New Year’s Eve celebrations had to be cancelled and a new full lockdown from the first day of this year was introduced to try and restrict the spreading of Coronavirus. Schools and non-essential retail outlets, restaurants and pubs are closed once again, wreaking havoc on many, often small enterprises. We have known since last summer that there would most probably be a second peak of Coronavirus, and the new strains have made this second spike all the more severe. On top of which the winter issues that usually put the Health Service under pressure have not gone away, so whichever way you look at this the NHS has a massive amount to deal with. Hopefully the rollout of vaccines will help resolve these issues. However, we are not out of the woods yet, and the more we realise that and conform to the regulations and guidelines, then the sooner things will start to get better.

Like many people over the last ten months, I have been trying (my best!) to get outside and exercise daily, it was certainly easier in the summer than it is now but one thing that has really amazed me since the beginning of the month is how many people appear to be travelling into this area to walk. This last week as I have walked out of, and back into the village there have been cars parking up, carrying people into the area, and walkers returning to their cars after driving into the village to exercise. While I don’t know how far these people have travelled, I do hope they are following Government guidelines to ensure our area infection rate remains low.

There are only 32 days until the first day of spring, and already the days are getting lighter. Snow drops are appearing on the village

green and bulbs in the garden are tentatively poking up through the soil and the grass. It has been a delight to watch children (young and old!) enjoying the snow, making impressive snowmen and finding those hills to sledge down. Yet again the community is pulling together to help people in need in our area, and of course with everybody’s care and consideration the vaccine will also help improve our lives. We can look forward to all our shops reopening and the delight, missed for nearly a year of being able to safely meet up with friends and family without the worry of potentially harming other people.

The Council is looking forward to these times in the future, to be able to meet in person instead of via Zoom and to continue the new regimes of Councillors surgeries and coffee mornings. Council business still continues to be conducted remotely and if there are any questions for the Council all our contact details are on the Council website, if we do not have an immediate answer then rest assured, we will find out what we can for you. I said recently that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that we still don’t know how long the tunnel is. But the end is in sight, we just need to be sensible and patient, and look forward to the summer with great anticipation.

Cllr. Mike Holt

Mayor of Pateley Bridge