A New Year Message
Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, issues a warning to residents ahead of the New Year
"I'd like to begin this year’s New Year message ‘as usual’ by wishing all the Residents and Friends of the Vale of Glamorgan a Peaceful, Happy and Healthy New Year. However, that is where the normality of my message must end, at least for some months to come.
I make that comment, because I do so in the backdrop of the current Pandemic and the fact that the seriousness of the situation cannot be overstated. It's obvious the 2020 was not a normal year and we've all been in a state of limbo since the Pandemic was escalated to a National Lockdown on the 23rd March.
Life since then has not been easy. Many have lost family members or friends to this ‘deadly virus’. However, despite the anxiety and heartache felt throughout the nation, even now some people are not taking the Pandemic seriously and by doing so are not only putting themselves at this at risk, but are putting their families, the elderly, the infirm and OUR COMMUNITY at risk.
Before Christmas I released a statement warning resident’s that this was the last chance to prevent a lockdown in the Vale of Glamorgan. At that time, I anticipated a lockdown could be on the 28th of December, but what I did not realise that the lockdown would come around Christmas. I genuinely believe that this could have been prevented if everyone took the matter as seriously as they should have done.
In the seven days up to 27th December we have seen a further 109 new cases in the Vale of Glamorgan. We can no longer be complacent, yet people are still flouting the rules. I am aware that Barry Island and Penarth Marina were flooded by people on the weekend after Christmas, allegedly taking exercise, but it has been reported to me that many were clearly not locals and the number of cars entering the area was excessive. All this, bearing in mind we are supposed to be in a Lockdown, with effect from Boxing Day. Although I have not had reports from other areas, like Ogmore and Llantwit Major, I have no doubts that this would have been the same. It's about time some people woke up and smelled the coffee!
Our NHS is being stretched and staff pushed to the limit following their experience at the sharp end of the Pandemic. People need to understand that their actions can save lives and take the pressure off the NHS too.
The Pandemic can only subside if people do not meet others outside their household bubble and even then, if anyone leaves the home for legitimate reasons, they should take the normal precautions to keep themselves and families safe.
I know many who are following the rules are frustrated, as am I, and that is why we are taking as much action as we can to protect our community.
Every rule violation makes the situation worse, no matter how small it may seem, so in the strongest possible terms, I would urge everyone to stick closely to the restrictions, take their responsibilities seriously and stay safe.
The message is simple. Follow the basic rules, that we should all now be aware of:
Wear a mask when indoors in public places.
Always observe social distancing.
Wash your hands regularly or use hand gel if necessary.
You should not meet another household, even if it is outside.
Work from home if you can.
Avoid car sharing.
Stay at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.
If you have symptoms get a test and self-isolate immediately.
We are all aware that we are at the beginning a roll out of a vaccine to help prevent the spread of the virus, but we must be patient as this isn’t a simple or an easy job to undertake. We all must wait our turn and we must ensure that our front-line workers are protected first, along with those over 85 years of age and those most vulnerable in our society. Even then we cannot let our guard down, and we will still, even after being vaccinated, take those simple precautions to eliminate the virus from continuing to spread in OUR community.
Finally, I am confident that 2021 will improve and life can once again become a little more normal, but to do so we must keep those safety measures in place for some time to come. After all, if we all play our part, our lives and health can only get better!"
- Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council