Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, 6 August 2020

Stay alert, control the virus, save lives – and keep social distancing!

Our work with partners on the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire NHS Test and Tracing Beacon is continuing apace.

We have agreed how we can support each other, if one of us suffers a major outbreak of Covid-19. We are now looking at how we can deal with the emerging seasonal concerns, such as flu and the usual winter pressures on our NHS and care services.

All of this work is vital, as our local data appears to suggest a slow, steady increase in cases of Covid-19 in some areas. We are trying to refresh and re-target our public health messages to prevent any complacency setting in. You can see the local data and all the information about this Beacon project on

Good to see the Duchess of Cambridge wearing a face covering; if the Royals can do this and still be ‘majestic’, I’m sure we can wear one when we are in shops, banks etc, collecting takeaways and other enclosed spaces or when with people outside our bubble. To see the full list and find out how to make a simple face covering go to

Hopefully you will have been able to take advantage of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme which launched on Monday. This scheme offers discounted meals at participating bars and restaurants. Remember, you’ll not only be eating with family and friends, but you’ll also be supporting your local businesses. 

To find out if your favourite eatery is one of them follow this link and simply enter your postcode. 

This week, I was invited to take a ride on one of National Express’ electric buses on their Solihull/Shirley/Birmingham route. Smooth and quiet, and no fumes! Wifi on board. What a difference they make. This electric bus is one of 20 National Express West Midlands has introduced as part of its promise never to buy another diesel bus. More information on

A reminder about this weekend’s closure of a section of the M42, between junctions 6 and 7A (northbound) and junctions 7 and 6 (southbound), from tomorrow evening until Monday 10 August. It will be closed after the evening rush hour and will reopen before the Monday morning rush hour.

The closure is to allow contractors LM, who are carrying out early HS2 works, to install the bridge deck for the first of four new connecting highway bridges. These new bridges will link a new road network with existing routes to ensure the local road network is fit for purpose when the HS2 Interchange Station is operational.

During this temporary closure, diversions will be in place and clear signage will be displayed along the route for drivers:

Find out more about this road closure and the works taking place on 

We must continue to live our lives, but to stop the virus spreading and protect our communities we have to maintain social distancing with those outside our bubble; carry on washing our hands frequently and at the first sign of the Covid-19 symptoms – a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss of, or change to your sense of smell or taste – get a test ! And do not leave your home for at least 10 days.

Take care!