Jim Parker: Not quite sure how mother would have coped with all this ...
Went for a walk on Torquay seafront the other night. It is my place to escape after a hard day of Zooms, webinars and Teams meetings – I will never again moan about a meeting in the board room by the way.
It is somewhere of which I never tire. Somewhere to ponder and clear the brain. A quiet prom as we get ready for another dose of lockdown, a repeat of where we were in March.
The seafront still doesn’t beat my most favourite haunt, magnificent Meadfoot Beach but both are very close to my heart. Mum loved them both.
She has been gone a few years now but never a day goes by without me missing her.
I miss our night-time moments on the sea wall having a smoke while we put the world to right (we both gave up by the way).
As I walk on the prom I still take a look at the place she always chose to sit in the hope that she might just be there.
I’m not sure what mum would have made of the mess we’re in at the moment.
Lockdowns, independence and freedom and then more lockdowns...
I have to take my hat off to council leader Steve Darling for helping to keep it all together in the Bay.
He says: “Entering this lockdown feels like we are watching a slow motion car crash whilst in the passenger seat, wishing that the driver had applied the brakes much sooner.
“Over recent weeks Torbay Hospital has experienced growing numbers of patients suffering from COVID-19.
“Whilst our numbers of infections are nowhere near some of the hardest his areas of the country our capacity in our NHS is poor compared to other areas.”
On lockdown he says: “Going into lockdown now is crucial to protect the NHS and save lives. Scientists called for this lockdown two months ago so this ‘better late than never’ lockdown is vital for protecting our essential services.”
He revealed: “On Sunday evening myself and many council leaders attended a ministerial webinar where we were directly briefed by the secretary of state regarding the role that local authorities would have to play in the second lockdown. There were three key elements to this which, at the time of writing, remain sketchy due to a lack of guidance from central Government
* Supporting the most vulnerable - The government are asking those who are most clinically at risk to take extra precautions. The government will be writing directly to these individuals. As a local authority we also have a database of 6,000 residents who needed support in the last lockdown so we will be directly contact these individuals so they can assess the level of support they require.
* Business support – The council will help facilitate monies to businesses who are directly affected by the lockdown. We are considering how we can fast track grants and protect against fraudulent applications.
* Local track and trace – Our Torbay public health colleagues have mostly been focussed on prevention of the spread of the virus through supporting the managing of high risk places of transmission. The government now expects us to play a greater role in track and trace.
Not sure how mum would have coped and taken all this is in. In some ways I am glad she is not here right now. She would have hated hot being able to get out and about. Most of all she would have hated not being able to show her love for her family and friends. Not being able to hug her grandkids and great grandkids.
That said, what I’d give for just a few moments on that sea wall.....
* Torbay’s coronavirus community helpline, which you can call on 01803 446022 for Torquay and Paignton or 01803 857727 in Brixham, is gearing up; if you are in need during the lockdown or you want to volunteer to help please call them.