The Government has a five-point plan to manage the virus, including: reinforcing the country's vaccine wall of defence; enabling the public to make informed decisions; retaining proportionate test, trace and isolate plans; managing risks at the border and supporting a global response; and retaining contingency measures. You can find out more at:  Gov.uk - Coronavirus .

There is no doubt that the success of the vaccination rollout has paved the way for the safe and gradual lifting of restrictions. This is why it is important that you get vaccinated if you are over the age of 18. It's even easier to access your first or second jab because there is now a walk-in vaccination clinic at Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester. They can provide the first or second Pfizer dose, or the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Please remember that you can only walk-in for your second dose if it has been over eight weeks since your first one. You can find out more information and timings on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership  website. If you know someone who has yet to have their vaccination, please do pass this information on.

This week also marks the launch of a new tree planting scheme. Residents, community groups, schools, landowners and businesses can apply for free trees, as part of a scheme to increase tree planting across the district. We are one of five local authorities in England taking part in the £2.5million tree planting pilot, to investigate ways to increase tree cover in rural and urban areas. As part of this scheme, we hope to distribute up to 7,000 trees, which will be ready for planting later this year.

Trees will be supplied in bundles of 10 or 20, but not as individual trees, and applicants will receive different bundles to suit the location and soil type of the area where they intend to plant them. Biodegradable guards and stakes will also be provided to help the trees grow and thrive.

Our Tree Chichester District scheme began at the start of the year and since then our Tree Project Officer has been in touch with people from across the district, giving them advice on their tree planting projects and helping them to access funding and sourcing trees through a range of organisations. This is just one of the many ways in which we are working to protect and enhance our local environment. You can find out more and apply at: Chichester District tree scheme.

This week also marks the start of the school summer holidays. If you are looking for activities to keep the whole family entertained, make sure you visit our Novium Museum and Tourist Information Centre in Tower Street, Chichester. It has a range of exciting exhibitions on, including 'Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man.' To book your free visit, please visit the  The Novium Museum  website. I'm also really pleased to say that Chichester's Summer Street Party is back on 26 August from 3pm until 7pm. Visitors can expect to find a wealth of family friendly activities, an array of local food vendors and participating businesses along Chichester's high street. You can find out more on our latest news page. Midhurst Town Council are also holding a summer street party on 28 August between 11am and 3pm.

Best wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council