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Message from the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor Diane Taylor

I have always noted that humans are great adjusters. Whenever there is a difficult and significant change in our lives, perhaps a death or illness or relationship break-up, we can feel that we will never get used to it... but somehow, with time, we always manage to adjust to our “new normal” and get on with life in its different format.

If you had told me last year that in Spring 2020 I would be confined to my home for weeks on end, working forever at the computer, not meeting people face-to-face, queueing to get into food shops, unable to attend a single public meeting or event, I would have been horrified. How can I live like that? Guess what – I can! Like everyone who is either completely isolated for health reasons or, at the other end of the scale, working all hours to save the lives of dangerously ill people, somehow we humans adjust and find a way to get on with life.

One of the final public duties of my Mayoral year would have been to lead the celebrations of the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8 May. Needless to say, there will be no public event to mark this significant occasion – just a video of me at the War Memorial at 10am on that morning which will go out on social media.

However, can I encourage everyone to find a way – perhaps in the afternoon at about 3pm – to raise a glass or a tea cup in in your own homes in celebration of a victory that brought us the great life that we are privileged to lead today.

The resilience, courage and determination of this nation during World War Two astounds me. Let’s celebrate the outcome of a war that logically we should have lost – but, with our great allies, we won! And what’s more, we will win the Coronavirus war too!

In the meantime, please stay safe by staying at home unless it’s for an essential journey as outlined by the government and help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

If you are a vulnerable resident self-isolating due to an increased risk of illness, and have no friends or family nearby, you can register for support to access food supplies and collection of prescriptions. Call the Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline on 0333 370 4000, available seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm or visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/covid-19-community-hub for more information.

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