Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, 4 August 2020

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

“Let’s do the right thing for Solihull”

I was in the town centre last week to help launch Solihull BID’s initiative, to offer shoppers free hand sanitisers and face coverings funded by our ERDF Reopening High Streets Safely fund. 

Well done to Solihull BID for organising thousands of these hand sanitiser bottles and disposable face masks. This follows their brilliant ‘We Want You Back’ town centre campaign which focused on shopping local and staying safe.

Following the launch, I had a chance to walk around the town centre and Touchwood and I was impressed by what I saw. It is good to see habits are changing, with almost everyone I saw wearing face coverings, and using the new one-way systems.

Face coverings are a strong visual reminder that we are living in a new ‘normal’; we must take every precaution we can, to avoid a second wave. I meet frequently with opposite numbers from neighbouring councils, to review data and the course of this pandemic in the region. The risk of a second spike, and all that might bring, remains never far away.

Getting the message out to our young people is also vital. We know they have had their worlds turned upside down during the lockdown and continued restrictions, but we do need to remind them that the pandemic is still something they need to consider too. They might be unknowingly spreading the virus to their friendship groups and to vulnerable adults amongst their families and friends. This will become increasingly important as the weather gets colder and gatherings happen indoors.

Social distancing, hand washing, and wearing face coverings have to become second nature to everyone regardless of age. To help get the message across we have launched a “let’s do the right thing for Solihull” campaign. The messages are the same, but we are trying to catch people’s attention; people are taking Covid-19 for granted and that’s exactly what we do not want to happen. 

In Solihull, we are very lucky to have many exceptional businesses and community organisations. Covid-19 has been a hugely challenging time for them all and has affected every sector of our economy.

The annual Chamber of Commerce Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the best local businesses as well as the talented and motivated individuals who make them up. As in previous years, it is a great honour for the Council to sponsor the Awards and I look forward to seeing which high performing businesses make the shortlist.

This year, the awards ceremony will be an online virtual affair. For more information on award applications and registering to view the event, click here.

Finally you’re now able to “Eat Out to Help Out” and enjoy discounted meals at participating bars and restaurants; importantly, you will be helping support local businesses. 

To find out if your favourite eatery is one of them, click here and simply enter your postcode. Do try and support your local businesses. 

Take care!