In a year like no other most residents can remember, it is difficult to know where to start. However, reflecting on the last 12 months, the resilience and community spirit of residents clearly stands out. From the early days in March and April 2020 to the evolving needs of people as we ease hopefully out of lockdown, the willingness to help one another has been evident across the village, ward and country.
The collaboration between local charities, residents, CBC and the voluntary sector has been exemplary. Indeed the volume of offers of assistance and the desire to volunteer is something to be built on going forwards. While many will have lost loved ones in the year, we must build on the positives from this terrible pandemic, in to our future plans.
A huge resurgence in the joy that can be had from living in the countryside, together with the exercise benefits are apparent for most to see, as walkers and cyclists radiate around Fairfield and beyond.
While the CBC office at Chicksands started the year as a food parcel assembly centre, it has more recently added capacity to the COVID immunisation programme, with one wing being given over to a second vaccination centre in Shefford. Likewise the Weatherly Centre in Biggleswade has been re-purposed for the same use and supported by a raft of volunteers form the area.
Throughout 2020, CBC have continued to push on with the adoption of a Local Plan. This has had its final hearing and is currently out for a final public consultation, ahead of hopefully being ‘made’ in the next few months. It will set out a roadmap of where development will happen across the authority over the next 15 years or so. The introduction and approval of the Article 4 application was a key step in underpinning the determination to protect the aesthetic of the village.
Concerns at the time taken for grants to be processed by CBC has proven thankfully small. The expectation set by the PM and other Ministers at the Downing Street press briefings have often taken some considerable time to filter through to our officers to implement. It has been heartening to see so many smaller businesses able to adapt to the challenge the pandemic has laid before us all, but worrying for those most affected. Let us hope that the start of a cautious unlocking today, can signal a return to a degree of normality for 2021 and beyond.
Councillor Steven Dixon
Councillor Nicola Harris
0300 300 8553
Councillor Brian Saunders
12th April 2021