Kevin Foster: Let’s celebrate achievements of previous and present generations during VE Day 75th anniversary

One of eight special stamps released by Royal Mail to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of

One of eight special stamps released by Royal Mail to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. - Credit: Archant

Friday, May 8, marked 75 years since Victory in Europe and the surrender of Nazi Germany.

VE Day marked the end of almost six years of struggle and sacrifice in Europe, with many in our bay laying down their lives in the defence of freedom.

Their memory immortalised on our war memorials.

No-one could have imagined even a few months ago we would be marking this day under the current conditions, with the restrictions on daily life necessary to defeat the latest deadly threat to our bay reminiscent of those imposed to defeat Adolf Hitler.

Yet there are other similarities to that time.

The bravery of our NHS and social care teams on the front line, a united national effort with many differences put to one side in the common cause and the army of volunteers who signed up to do their bit to help.

As we remember and celebrate the achievements of a previous generation in our Bay, we can also use the day to mark those of the current one.

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BOUNCE BACK LOANS

The launch of the new 'Bounce Back Loan' scheme is a welcome sign of the government offering further support to many of the Bay's small businesses.

The scheme is in response to feedback about the difficulties many businesses found with accessing the support they needed from their bank.

This scheme will help small- and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus to apply for loans of up to £50,000.

We cannot be certain when many of the current restrictions will end and a return to a new 'normal' will be possible.

Yet we must ensure as many of our Bay's unique businesses are ready to bounce back when it is, if not our economic recovery will take much longer.

PAIGNTON ZOO

Paignton Zoo has been a favourite for generations of visitors and residents alike.

The Zoo, like the animals it supports, has evolved from being a place of curiosity to a vital part of global conservation efforts to ensure some of the world's most endangered species have a future.

Yet with visitors barred due to the current restrictions it is vital support is provided to ensure the zoo itself is secure.

Many of the zoo's animal welfare staff cannot be furloughed.

No matter how friendly some might look they cannot take the animals they care for home for a few weeks to save on bills.

We must ensure the zoo's vital role not only as the bay's biggest tourist attraction, but a key environment charity, is not lost due to the measures needed to protect our bay from this virus.

SURGERY TIMES

Based on current advice relating to the coronavirus I have cancelled my regular advice surgeries and drop-in sessions at my East Street office until further notice.

I hope to restart them as soon as possible but, in the meantime, a telephone call surgery appointment can be arranged.

Please note due to the current level of demand these telephone surgeries are for urgent personal matters, such as welfare, immigration, problems accessing support and benefits, rather than to discuss policy or the wider situation nationally.

You can either email me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989 and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.