There’s never been a more important time for the people of Lyme to come together

The end of the heartache for grandparents

Philip Evans My Isolation Diary – Day 71 (Friday, May 29 2020):

 KEEP faith in your town. That’s the advice to the residents of Lyme Regis from our mayor, Brian Larcombe MBE, writing in today’s LymeOnline digital edition as Lyme eases out of lockdown with the news that gatherings of six are now being permitted in your garden, but social distancing remains.

As the government begins to ease its lockdown restrictions, the mayor says this presents a width of needs and challenges for the town, as it balances health and wellbeing with the need to secure its future sustainability.

Councillor Larcombe said this is made more difficult by Lyme’s heavy dependence on tourism, adding that the wellbeing of residents is the “uppermost” concern. He has called for “level heads” and respect for others as they deal with different aspects of the virus.

Wise words indeed. Especially as news has emerged that a number of second homes in our town have been targeted by people telling them to go home and making threats. Some of these action are bordering on the criminal and those who are acting in this manner would be foolish to forget that.

In the coming weeks more second homers will be visiting Lyme lawfully and many are starting to wonder how they will be treated. Some have been coming to Lyme for years and are fearful of the reception that awaits them.

Many Lyme locals are travelling out of town to shop at the bigger supermarkets in Bridport, Axminster and Seaton. Are they being treated in the same manner?

In his excellent assessment of the challenges that Lyme faces in recovering from coronavirus, the mayor adds: “I simply ask that people continue to respect others and the different aspects of this virus they may be having to deal with. There’s a need for perspective, whether in the same house, the same street, the same town, or the same broader UK.”

Lyme is facing many challenges in emerging from these difficult days and the manner in which we do it will have a great influence on how successful we are in the future.

There’s never been a more important time for the people of Lyme to come together and build on the great kindnesses that have been so evident over the past few weeks. There is a great spirit of community in the town on which we can build. Let’s not let a few idiots to besmirch our reputation.

It’s good news that the easing of lockdown will now allow gatherings of six in our gardens providing social distancing is respected. It’s certainly popular in my household as it provides an opportunity to meet our two grandchildren whom we have not seen since Christmas.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson described this as a “long-awaited joyful moment”. He’s been encouraged to enable loved ones to be reunited after all five tests the government had set down to move to the next phase of lockdown easing had now been achieved.

But these snippets of positive movement towards a total unlocking of Covid-19 restrictions are being far outweighed by the problems besetting a government under severe pressure.

The so called “revolutionary” test and trace initiative was launched yesterday but it turned out to be a bit of a fiasco with patients and tracers finding it difficult to log on to the NHS site. Some staff that had been recruited described it as “a complete shambles”.

It makes you wondered whether this government is jinxed or just incompetent. No don’t answer that. I already know what your answer will be.

They are going to have to shape up soon with Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, looking more confident with every passing day.

Boris will not be relishing Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons whilst the litany of disasters continue.

I have commented in this blog before about how difficult the Ministers conducted the daily briefings from Downing Street find the video conference technology. On occasions Boris seems totally confused by it.

He’s not the only one. I had to watch an extraordinary meeting of East Devon District Council yesterday, called to elect a new leader and deputy leader. The Tories lost control of East Devon in last May’s election after 45 years in charge and they were about to elect an Independent as leader.

The whole meeting turned out to be a bit of a car crash. Very few of the councillors participating managed to control their mute button and just  as they were coming to the end of  the ballot one of the Conservative councillors, clearly  unhappy with the direction things were going, uttered a profanity which was heard by all and sundry. It also led to YouTube pulling the plug because they had violated their terms.

The meeting was adjourned to this morning, this time streamed on the EDDC website , and it wasn’t much better.  High point was the Conservative councillor from Budleigh Salterton apologising profusely for his bad language.

If any of you this side of the Devon border are interested, Paul Arnott, a councillor from Colyton, won more votes than Conservative Andrew Moulding, to become leader.

The following quote I once heard came to mind: “Don’t explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.” 

Woodmead Halls
About Philip Evans 798 Articles
Veteran journalist and newspaper manager Philip Evans has worked in the publishing industry for more than half a century. He started out as a reporter for Pulman’s Weekly News as a young man and went on to work for an international publishing company in the UK, South Africa and Australia before returning to Lyme Regis where he is still reporting on local events as he has done for more than 53 years.

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