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From the Parish Council Chairman - October 2020

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Dear Parishioners

I am very sorry that we can’t do Bonfire Night this year.

Even before the government’s announcements in late September we had decided to postpone the event, but it now seems more honest to change that to cancelled. The Parish Council looked at every which way to fire some rockets up in a responsible way and host a community event, but in the end we couldn’t see beyond the fact that we would be encouraging a crowd that might be unlawful and also dangerous to our vulnerable parishioners.

This equally applies to Remembrance Sunday. There will be new wreaths laid on the cross on Cuddesdon Green but sadly it looks unlikely that there will be any official service held on the village green.

The strange thing about this terrible disease is that we actually don’t know who is vulnerable. It seems that over 30% of us have few symptoms, while others will be extremely ill and it isn’t an experiment that any of us would like to undergo lightly. The government certainly abandoned any herd immunity approach early on and I have colleagues who were fit and well but became extremely ill with Covid, though happily survived…. one after a month-long ordeal of high temperatures, searing pain and hospital admittance.

It is obviously depressing to think that we’ve been asked to commit to another six months of semi-lockdown to get us through the winter in order to avoid the NHS breaking down. Personally I have enjoyed being back in the office and, while many of us are struggling to save our businesses at the moment, there is also an important psychological benefit to going into work and then coming home. With no differentiation between the state of work and the state of relaxation the inevitable consequence is no relaxation at all and I have massive respect for those who are able to find that balance.

It may seem unimportant in the current climate but we are continuing with the Neighbourhood Plan. There have been complications due to the pandemic but we currently remain on course to hold our Village Referendum in May 2021 as planned. It has been shown already that central government can overrule any local laws, but we think it remains very worthwhile to finish our Neighbourhood Plan as it will afford the Parish some protections in these increasingly uncertain times.

This winter could be very tough for all of us in different ways. Having to buy a whole new set of jigsaw puzzles for another six months of isolation, worrying about your job, worrying about your health… and for kids, distraught that they cannot have a birthday party even though they are in lessons every day with the 20 people they would have invited… these are all distressing realities of our current circumstances.

For myself, I agonised about dropping my daughter off at the airport for a year abroad studying in Madrid and I still don’t know if it was the right decision, but I doubt it’s any safer here. Can she come home for Christmas? We just don’t know yet?

As we go about our daily lives here, I have seen some dangerous and selfish behaviour in local shops, with people not wearing masks, but this has been the minority. The reason for this renewed lockdown is partly because of the people who are ignoring the government’s rules. We all need to step up to protect the community against the virus. It doesn’t matter if you’re young and healthy, you can pass the virus on to those more vulnerable. So be sensible and be careful.

I like to think that in this Parish we are all considerate and will look out for each other as we head into winter. Please let the Parish Council know if you discover that anyone is struggling alone. Remember what I said at the beginning of lockdown. ‘No-one gets left behind’.

Ohana,

Chris

Chairman, Cuddesdon and Denton Parish Council