MP SENDS SECOND SET OF COVID ANSWERS

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Good morning.  At the risk of bombarding your email inboxes, I am sending another update, as the Government has published some useful documents to help answer some of the questions people have.  

General questions
This document answers a lot of questions about what you can and cannot do, and explains what will be different from tomorrow.

Working safely
If you can work from home, you should continue to do so.  If you cannot work from home, please discuss how to do so safely with your employer.
The Government has been working with industries and unions to produce this document which provides detailed safety guidance according to sector.

Travelling safely
The advice is to avoid public transport wherever possible. More advice on travelling safely, including car sharing, is available HERE. 

Face coverings
The Government has advised the use of face coverings for adults in instances where social distancing may not be possible, for example on public transport or in smaller shops.  You can find out more about that HERE.  This is not to protect the wearer but to protect others if the wearer has Covid-19 but does not display any symptoms.  If you or anyone in your household has any of the symptoms of Covid-19 you must self-isolate. 

Timelines and the plan
The full plan the Government is working to is HERE.  A reminder that this is an aspiration, but public health is paramount, and if the R number starts to increase as a result of any measures being relaxed, they can be tightened again.  

Freedom to travel for exercise
I continue to receive emails from people who are anxious that others may now travel to exercise in the countryside so long as they remain at least 2 metres from other people.  I want to try to allay those concerns if I can.

Firstly, the scientific advisers have been clear this is a safe activity.  No measures will be relaxed until it is deemed safe to do so.  The Covid-19 virus spreads in droplets, from coughing, sneezing and talking.  So long as you remain 2 metres or more from others, you will not catch it.  Please continue to wash your hands, use hand sanitiser and refrain from touching your face.

It is much safer to have everyone dispersed, exercising in large open spaces and beaches than crammed onto pavements and in small parks. 
 
The Government has issued further guidance on planning journeys, but you are not at risk from others if they are 2 metres away, regardless of where they have travelled from. 
 
People are being advised to plan ahead, to check parks and beaches are open before travel, and if there is a numbers problem, local authorities can stagger arrival times, and ensure there is social distancing in car parks etc. 
 
The Government is only allowing this because it has been deemed a safe thing to allow.  If once these very small relaxation of measures are allowed, we find a sharp increase in the R rate, they will be tightened again.

This is a very low risk measure to allow more enjoyment for people in these tough times. You are of course free to stay home if you would feel safer doing that.
 
Second homes and holiday homes
At this point, there is no relaxation of the rules, which means you are not allowed to go to your second home or stay in a holiday home.  There are exemptions to this, which have been in place since the start of the restrictions (for example if a holiday home/caravan park is your main residence, and a number of front-line NHS staff are using them to live in to protect shielded family members at home).

If you believe someone is staying in a second or holiday home without a reason allowed in the exemptions, you are free to contact the police who will investigate.

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I do hope you will appreciate that we cannot give definitive dates for when we will reach various stages of lifting restrictions as laid out in the road map.  We must be guided by the evidence, and ensure public safety at all times. 

If a measure has been relaxed, it is because the Government’s scientific experts have deemed it safe to do so.

Very best wishes,

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

COVID: POST PM STATEMENT LETTER FROM MP

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The latest from Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, with the new banner.
View this email in your browser

Covid-19 update

Good afternoon, I suspect many of you will have watched the Prime Minister’s address to the nation yesterday (you can watch it HERE if you missed it), which explained that we are not yet able to lift the present restrictions other than to allow unlimited outdoor exercise, as long as people stay within their household groups and maintain a 2 metre distance from others.

A number of people have emailed me to express their concern about this.  The evidence is clear that the virus spreads most easily indoors, when people spend a lot of time in close proximity to one another.  That is why even though the other restrictions are remaining in place, we are able to allow people to spend more time outside – so vital for our physical and mental health – as long as people stay 2 metres apart.

At a time when we are all placed under such enormous strain, it is not right to keep restrictions in place that have no public health benefit.

All the decisions we are going to be taking will be based on ensuring we keep the transmission rate as low as possible.  Hopefully easing this restriction, which poses no danger to the public, will make people’s lives a little more pleasant through this difficult time.

Many of you have been in touch to urge the resumption of angling, and you’ll be pleased to know this can be resumed from Wednesday 13th May.

The more detailed plan explaining how we plan to lift other restrictions, once it is safe to do so, has now been published HERE.

Best wishes

Anne-Marie

UPDATE FROM LOWICK + DISTRICT CONNECTED

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Last week … we reported on three things and here are the updates:

TOP TIP!!!

  • The tips are open – but not for everything! For now, sites can only accept bagged general household waste, garden waste, wood and bulky items of household waste such as old furniture. Bottles should be taken to a bottle bank, and cardboard in your recycling bin. There’s further detail and explanation on the County Council website …

PARCEL POST ON SATURDAY

  • Postal deliveries on Saturdays. So, we weren’t expecting a delivery on Saturday and lo! and behold! the postman arrived with two parcels!  So, here’s the refinement – we will get deliveries of parcels!  And cash is available for vulnerable people through the Post Office

BOOKS AND DVDS

  • A small supply of DVDs and Books – all wiped and separately wrapped in bags – are available in the Lowick Village Stores. There have been no takers for this service since the weekend – if there’s really no need, then we won’t ask the shop to stock them. They are all free and they don’t need to be returned.

THE BLACK BULL CHANGES HANDS

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Some weeks ago we reported that The Black Bull was on the market. We can now confirm that the pub will be changing hands in September, and that its future looks assured. We publish a letter from Karl Crane giving all the details of the sale, and add our thanks to him for rescuing the inn from the hands of developers. We look forward to meeting again over a pint and a plate of fish and chips

The Sale of The Black Bull Inn

To our valued Customers and Suppliers,

We hope that you are all keeping safe and well under these challenging and unprecedented circumstances. We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on
some news regarding the Black Bull Inn.

In 2015 a new company was established to support the social and commercial development of rural Northumberland. In December of that year, that company,
LEKT Property Ltd, bought the freehold for the Black Bull Inn –Lowick, which had previously been earmarked for demolition and the site, scheduled for
redevelopment.

At the time of purchase the business had been closed for 18 months and the building was in a state of semi-dereliction. In January 2016 the new owners embarked upon
a complete refurbishment, lovingly restoring many original features and providing a further six letting rooms. The new business opened for trade on the 24th of February 2017 and since then has
made an amazing transition to become a guest favourite locally and internationally for its rooms, its food and its beer. The business now supports 15 local jobs all year
round and with a philosophy to ingredients source locally, it supports many locally suppliers too.

The year 2020 represents another exciting chapter in the evolution of the Black Bull Inn. A new local company “Black Bull Management Services Ltd”, established by another local business at the nearby Hetton Steads, has exchanged contracts with LEKT Property Ltd with the intent to purchase the freehold on the 1st of September. The new owners have already made considerable investments in the local area and Hendrik van Boeckel, one of the directors, whom many local people will know, has worked in and contributed to the local economy for many years. Therefore, it is without question, that this represents a fantastic opportunity for the team and for the business to build on the last few successful years and forge a new future for this wonderful country inn.

The first step of this evolution is marked by a forthcoming planning application to build a single story extension to create a resident’s lounge and private dining suite to the East elevation of the building. We believe that this represents a very exciting opportunity, which further strengthens the business and the customer offer at the Black Bull Inn.

This development has our full support, as we believe that it is an important step in continuing to improve the business and secure a successful future for the current employees, particularly in such difficult and uncertain times. The plans will be available to see on the local planning portal in due course once the application has been progressed.

Karl and Emma, the current owners, would like to extend their sincere gratitude for the loyal custom and support of the thousands of guests that have made this transition possible. We would also like to thank our suppliers for their support and of course in particular we sincerely thank the fabulous team who will continue to work in the new business and be at your service as the journey continues. The new owners look forward to welcoming you and thank you in advance of your continued custom.

Clearly there is some uncertainty at the moment about how and when the business will re-open and we will keep you posted as things develop. In the meantime we are planning our menus, drinks lists and carrying out our maintenance programme so that when we do open, you can enjoy the best from our restaurant and bar and of course, the place looks just as fresh and clean as ever.

We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

For Enquiries: service@blackbulllowick.co.uk

OUR WORLD WAR

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Today, it is the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe, and we must all commemorate it how we can, as we are in lockdown.

The timetable of events, here in Lowick, and nationally. is in the previous story,

If you have a story about the war, or pictures to post on our commemorative wall, go to the page on Lowick Live [see above, or this link  Our World War.]

Meanwhile, the Royal British Legion has the following poem on its website:

 

 

VE DAY 75 – REMEMBERING 8th MAY 1945

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Friday 8th May is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. On that day, Germany surrendered to the allied Armies that had fought to liberate Europe from what Churchil described in 1940 as “a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime”.

So the 8th is remembered  as a celebration of Victory and Liberation for the peoples of Europe. It is also a day to remember those who died in that struggle – the innocent civilians, the victims of torture and genocide, and those who fell in battle.

It was to be a day of commemoration and celebration, 75 years on, this Friday, however the Coronavirus pandemic has faced the world with a new threat, and the opportunity to come properly together, to remember and enjoy ourselves will have to wait for safer times.

The British  Legion has cancelled all national events that were planned, and has asked that no gatherings of people should take place, to minimise the threat of the disease.

OUR PLANS FOR MAY 8TH

  • We will fly the Union Flag at the War Memorial on May the 8th.
  • At 11.00 am the flag will be lowered to Half Mast for the National 2 Minute Silence. Those who wish to observe this at the War Memorial must respect a strict 2 metre social distance.
  • It is hoped that those who remain at home will follow the National Event, led from BBC1 at 11 a.m.
  • Other events are suggested for you to follow at home, including a garden-based street party and celebration tea, or a commemorative supper at 6.00 p.m.
  • At 2.45 p.m., the BBC will broadcast Churchill ’s “Victory” speech made at the exactly the same time in 1945
  • At 9.00 p.m. Her Majesty the Queen will broadcast to the nation as her Father, George 6th, did in 1945. This will be part of a BBC1 programme VE Day 75:The People’s Celebration, starting at 8.00 p.m. We are invited to join the “National Singalong” of “We’ll Meet Again” at  9.00 pm, which will be broadcast on BBC1, as part of the programme.

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again
Some sunny day

Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies chase
Those dark clouds far away

And I will just say hello
To the folks that you know
Tell them you won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That, as I saw you go
You were singing this song

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again
Some sunny day

And I will just say hello
To the folks that you know
Tell them you won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That, as I saw you go
You were singing this song

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again
Some sunny day

OUR COMMEMORATIVE WALL

Not so much a wall, as a WARTIME BLOG or DIARY. Later today [6th May] we will open a page on Lowick Live for people to post their pictures and stories, memories and anecdotes about wartime Britain [and afar]. Details will follow soon – watch this space.

AND FOR LATER?

August 15th is VJ Day. The Victory over Japan marks the true end of the Second World War against the Axis Powers. Many Northumbrians gave their lives in the war with Japan. It is hoped that by that day, we may be able to hold the celebration the Lockdown presently denies us. We will live in hope for then. Keep Safe and Carry On!

 

COMMON LAND RECLAIMED

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It’s not every day that land is returned to use after years as an unloved wilderness but thanks to the lockdown, and the hard work of Allan Bell and David Rooke, that is exactly what has happened on Lowick Common.

Allan and Dave live over the stream to the south, and faced with days and nothing else to do, they decided to tidy up the corner of the Common nearest to them. Between them they have accomplished a small miracle – and have demonstrated that knockdown time on your hands can be put to very good use.

Their first target was the remains of the fallen tree that was largely removed by the Burns family a couple of years ago. An inviting pile of branches, now well seasoned, it became a pile of ashes in no time.

Not content with this, they attacked the lower branches of the trees which still grew along the edge by the Low. These had been the cause of the wilderness, since they prevented the Council mowing machine from getting close.

Having got the agreement to cut the  grass and weeds back if the branches were removed, our two risked life and limb to power-saw the offending branches and clear the way. And now, with the wilderness mowed down, we can see the Common as it once was – almost 15% bigger!

So thanks to Allan and Dave – heroes of the Common!