Mayor writes letter to residents urging them to focus on positives during pandemic

Councillor Brian Larcombe

“PERHAPS one thing the virus has shown us is what really matters, what the important things are.”

That is one of the messages the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Brian Larcombe MBE, is sending to the town’s residents as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold.

Cllr Larcombe has written a personal letter to Lyme Regis residents about how the virus is being dealt with nationally and locally, thanking local volunteers who are helping others during the crisis, and sending out a message of hope.

The mayor has spoken of these “unprecedented” times, acknowledging the scale of the national initiative in response to the outbreak.

He said: “We are all paying regard to the announced advice, guidance and instruction of government, and while no one knows the ultimate reach and extent of the virus, it is of a virulent nature and will impact communities, both in the cases contracted and the effect current measures place on everyday life.”

Cllr Larcombe has spoken about the challenges of providing support and services locally due to self-isolation and social distancing but praised the local support groups.

He said: “The relatively large number of local volunteer support groups are a valued part of the way our town is responding to the effects of the virus and the disruption it’s causing.”

The mayor is looking ahead to the future and trying to find the positive in this situation, hoping the crisis helps us realise what the important things in life are.

“While everything is about the present, there will be a time when things do return to more like normality, albeit with some residual consequences of the actions now being taken that will have to be worked through,” he said.

“However, as we often find with temporary situations of scale, sometimes things don’t return entirely as before and perhaps one thing the virus has shown us is what really matters, what the important things are, and perhaps some of the things we thought were important but actually matter less are given less prominence.

“Maybe that’s the positive we can take from this.”

Read the mayor’s letter in full below…

THE present situation we find ourselves in and the impact on daily living is unprecedented in recent times; while there have been previous situations that have required significant government action and public collective support, nothing in post-war years has been quite on the scale of the national initiative being taken in response to the current coronavirus outbreak.

We hear daily national announcements of the impact of the virus and the measures being taken to combat this global outbreak. We are all paying regard to the announced advice, guidance and instruction of government, and while no one knows the ultimate reach and extent of the virus, it is of a virulent nature and will impact communities, both in the cases contracted and the effect current measures place on everyday life.

Government are making extra resources available to the NHS as fast as can be brought to it, and have injected huge sums into the economy to help businesses, the employed and the self-employed while restrictions to movement, save for essential purposes, are in place.

At local authority level, the nature of the virus places a difficult converse on the way in which support is provided, – normal contingencies surround the coming together for collective response to a crisis; the present situation requires isolation and distancing which naturally makes getting the support to where it’s needed more challenging.

However, the South West of England currently has the lowest regional number of cases in the country, which may be something to do with its relatively rural nature, and within this Lyme is a small town where everyone knows each other and has always been a town of proportionately high community engagement.

The relatively large number of local volunteer support groups are a valued part of the way our town is responding to the effects of the virus and the disruption it’s causing. I’ve expressed my thanks in the past year to all of Lyme’s support groups for the good work they do and, on this occasion, may I add my thanks to those who are providing support to this particular need.

While everything is about the present, there will be a time when things do return to more like normality, albeit with some residual consequences of the actions now being taken that will have to be worked through.

However, as we often find with temporary situations of scale, sometimes things don’t return entirely as before and perhaps one thing the virus has shown us is what really matters, what the important things are, and perhaps some of the things we thought were important but actually matter less are given less prominence. Maybe that’s the positive we can take from this.

Thank you and all the very best – and keep well.

Brian Larcombe,
Mayor of Lyme Regis

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2546 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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