The changes announced mean that our district's hospitality industry and many of our pubs, restaurants, cafes and hair salons can now start to make preparations to reopen their doors. The news is also a huge boost for our local tourism industry as hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and caravan parks will also be able to reopen, just in time for the summer holiday period.

I was also really pleased to learn that our museums, galleries and playgrounds will now be able to open. Our parks and gardens team and our Novium Museum team are currently working hard, examining the Government guidance and putting in place numerous safety measures so that they are ready to welcome you at a suitable date. We will keep you posted on their progress.

As even more businesses start planning to welcome back customers, our teams including our Economic Development, Licensing, Health Protection and Planning departments will be here to support them, offering practical advice and guidance. We are currently awaiting further details about how the Government intends to relax the laws around making it easier for cafes, restaurants and pubs to serve people outside. I am sure that this will be a huge help for many of our businesses here in the district.

I hope you will also be interested to learn that we have just finished producing a short video as part of our Support Local campaign, which we are delivering in association with the Chichester Observer and Midhurst and Petworth Observer. The video features businesses from around the district welcoming shoppers back and highlighting the incredible amount of work that has gone in to making premises as safe as possible. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this video, which you can watch at Supporting local businesses.

Our council is continuing to focus on our recovery from this terrible crisis, and next month our councillors will be discussing a report on how we move forward from these difficult times and how we can best support our communities across the district.

We are all looking forward to returning to some kind of normality and we all have a role to play in helping us to achieve and maintain this. We can do this by continuing to follow the government's advice; and by continuing to support our local businesses and communities.

I am really heartened to hear that those people who have been shielding will soon be able to start seeing more people and get out and about in the community a bit more. I know that the past three months have been extremely tough for many of you who have had to isolate yourselves. Thankfully, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. I would also like to say a huge thank you to all those who have been supporting those who have been shielding, including the Community Hub, and those who have been carrying out a variety of tasks such as delivering shopping, collecting prescriptions and making those all-important calls to check that people are okay. I know that your actions have made a huge difference and it is very much appreciated by everyone in the district.

I want to finish by reminding you that this Saturday is national Armed Forces Day and our council offices at East Pallant House will be flying our special flag in support.  This year, thousands of our military have played a key role helping in the fight against the pandemic and have been supporting our NHS, and so I urge everyone to show their appreciation for our forces at the weekend. Like many events this year, these will largely take place virtually, and you can find more information about the day at Armed Forces Day 2020 .

Best wishes,

Councillor Eileen Lintill,

Leader, Chichester District Council

Date posted: 24 June 2020