From the leader – December 17, 2021

It’s unbelievable to think that this time last year we were coming to terms with the news that Rother had been moved to the highest tier of restrictions putting an end to many Christmas plans, dealing a further blow to struggling local businesses and leaving residents isolated and, in many cases, struggling to make ends meet.

Although we are still suffering, both physically and economically from the pandemic, it looks likely that this year we will be able spend Christmas with family and friends, albeit with restrictions in place.

It is up to every one of us to make sure we strike the right balance between celebrating with loved ones and taking precautions to protect each other, particularly with the emergence of the Omicron strain of the Covid virus.

I’m extremely proud of the way our district has coped over the last 21 months, the way in which Rother residents have reacted to restrictions and done everything they can to keep their neighbours safe, and I am confident that we can make this festive period a great but safe one.

Right now, the district’s economy is in desperate need of a boost and we are working with local businesses to encourage people to shop and eat locally this festive season.  While we have to be cautious, we can all do our part to support local business who rely heavily on the Christmas period.

For those who are heading out and about in the next couple of weeks, a plea to make sure you stay safe by only travelling in licenced taxis. Rother District Council has launched its annual campaign – No badge, no plate = No ride, to encourage people to only use licenced vehicles with drivers who carry photo ID.  Not only will you be ensuing your own safety, but you will also be supporting hard-working, bona-fide cabbies.

The financial toll of the pandemic is being felt far and wide and while we are doing everything we can to support businesses and encourage others to do the same, we know that the impact of restrictions has had a devastating effect on many residents.

This week we have launched a Vulnerable Renters Support Scheme in a bid to prevent people who have fallen behind with rent payments as a result of the pandemic becoming homeless.  As always, funding is limited, but we hope to help as many people as possible so please visit our website and find out how we can help.

And that just leaves me to wish every Rother resident a safe, healthy and happy Christmas.  Thank you all for your support and understanding over what has been another difficult year, and let’s hope for a more positive 2022.

Ends.

Published: 21st December 2021