As we enter yet a further week of lockdown measures, albeit with some easement, I am writing to let you know that your local council is still operating, albeit in quite a different way.

Municipal life pales into insignificance at times like this, but there are still important things that need to be done and as a council we have focused on these.

Your councillors are not meeting in person (yet) but have delegated many decisions to our new Town Clerk, Louise Dwelly, in consultation with the Town Mayor and Committee Chairmen, so that essential things can be dealt with efficiently. We shall be meeting on a virtual basis later this month until we are again able to meet in person. A number of committee and Council meetings are scheduled for May and June and anyone wishing to attend these meetings on a virtual basis may do so – please contact St Ives Town Council for details – 2020 meetings, agendas and minutes

Whilst in many cases normal operations have been suspended, we have taken the opportunity to undertake a range of repairs and maintenance to our assets and facilities. We are now beginning to plan which of our services may be opened up on a phased basis alongside further lifting of restrictions as they are rolled out.

We are still dealing with planning matters as a statutory consultee on a weekly basis, and these decisions are being posted on our website. We shall later this month be meeting virtually until able to meet in person.

Our town councillors are doing what they can to support the community, given their restricted access and movement, of course, and their case loads continue to be dealt with. Some of your councillors are also key workers themselves so are exceptionally busy vocationally.

In addition, many of your councillors are continuing with their own work in support of the voluntary and community sector in so many ways throughout the parish, as well as contributing to physical improvements such as maintaining floral planting, cutting back overgrowth on footpaths where necessary, removing weeds from our pavements, unblocking rainwater drainage gulleys and generally contributing to the ongoing maintenance of our street scene and amenities.

Councillors are also continuing to press for major issues, such as safeguarding the future of Edward Hain Hospital, and actively contributing to work on the Towns Investment Plan, which is seeking major government grant assistance to improve the town and help with our post-pandemic recovery.

On a wider note, hopefully you will have seen the community information leaflet produced and delivered by the fantastic volunteer teams around the parish, which gives details of where you can get essential provisions and help/advice during these restrictions. Our thanks go to Morag Robertson and her team of volunteers for supporting the most vulnerable in our local community, as well of course to all key workers who continue to work selflessly to ensure essential services continue.

There are of course recent indications that restrictions will gradually be lifted and that we can emerge from lock down with full economic and social vigour.

We all want tomorrow to come quickly, but we must be patient and observe social distancing rules and obligations to ensure that our recovery is sustainable.

Cllr. Tony Harris

Mayor of St Ives