Scarborough Council leader issues reflection message to mark lockdown anniversary

Scarborough Council leader Cllr Steve Siddons has issued a message of reflection to mark the one year anniversary of the first lockdown.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 9:56 am

One year ago today people in Scarborough woke up to the first full day of the coronavirus lockdown.

A borough that thrives on welcoming people from far and wide was suddenly forced to close it doors to all and put up the "no vacancies" signs.

After a year of hardships and struggle there is finally light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine roll out that has so far found its way into the arms of almost 50,000 people in the borough.

Cllr Steve Siddons.

Reflecting on an unprecedented time, the leader of Scarborough Council, Cllr Steve Siddons, has paid tribute to all of those who have helped the borough to keep going, as well as remembering those who lost their lives to virus.

Cllr Siddons said: “One year ago this week, we entered the first coronavirus lockdown and all our lives changed overnight.

“Terms that started out unfamiliar to us, like working from home, furlough, self-isolate and hands, face, space, are now the accepted norm.

"Businesses closed, sadly some lost their jobs and seeing family and friends became a distant memory. The pressure on our mental health has been unprecedented.

“Above all, we remember all those who have tragically lost their lives to the virus and the millions of people bereaved. I pay tribute to the wonderful and extraordinary NHS workers, who have been absolutely heroic in the face of adversity.

“Through these turbulent times, I am proud of the support our council has given and continues to give to our communities.

“We have worked tirelessly to issue business grants in a timely manner and provided businesses with the information and support they need to make the right decisions and keep customers and staff safe.

“Together with our partners, we have responded to every stage of the pandemic, from helping with practical support for those shielding or self-isolating, to providing clear and timely information through a variety of channels about all aspects of the virus.

"We also deployed our own staff and employed Covid marshals to support police activity around compliance with the restrictions.

“While a small minority of people have chosen to ignore the rules put in place to protect us, the vast majority of people have done the right thing. Thank you to everyone who has played their part in preventing the spread of the virus and helped to save lives.

“Lockdown isn’t over yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The hope provided by the vaccination programme allows us to look to a brighter future with cautious optimism. A future where we can see our loved ones again, businesses can reopen and we are able to safely welcome back visitors.

“Last week my Cabinet agreed a detailed recovery plan, in step with the government roadmap, which details how our council services and facilities will reopen, alongside details of the support we will give to help our communities recover from the pandemic.

“There are also exciting developments planned for improvements to Scarborough and Whitby town centres, made possible by the recently awarded government funding, and a bespoke investment plan for Filey.

“We will never forget the last 12 months but it’s now the right time to hope and plan for better times ahead.”