Sandy Town Council 'cautious' as Freedom Day approaches - but is glad for return of face-to-face meetings and events
A range of activities are planned for the summer
Sandy Town Council is both "glad and cautious" as 'Freedom Day' approaches, as it looks forward to meetings and events whilst maintaining safety measures.
From Monday (July 19), because there will no longer be restrictions to prevent members meeting face-to-face, the council's meetings will return to being held in the Council Chamber, starting with Monday's Development Scrutiny (planning), and Community, Services and Environment Committee meetings.
However, measures such as encouraging the use of face coverings, ensuring there is additional ventilation, providing hand sanitiser points and allowing more space in between attendees, will be implemented.
Meanwhile, a range of exciting events has been planned for the future, including a Summer Street Market, Fun Day, and the reopening of the Roman Sandy archaeological exhibit.
A Sandy Town Council spokeswoman, said: "Like people around the country, the council is both glad and cautious about England moving to Step 4 of the government’s roadmap on Monday.
"Whilst the move towards normality and greater personal freedom will be welcomed by many, we must all understand that the virus is still in our communities and exercising our freedom comes alongside continued risks which need to be managed appropriately by individuals, families and friends.
"However, measures such as encouraging the use of face coverings, ensuring there is additional ventilation, providing hand sanitiser points and allowing more space in between attendees, will be implemented."
The council's reception continues to operate, and is open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am-4pm and Fridays from 9am- 2pm. However, some measures, such as a social distancing screen, will be kept in place at present.
Its Roman Sandy archaeological exhibit will also be reopened to the public, although visitor numbers will be restricted for the safety of visitors, councillors and staff.
The spokeswoman added: "The council hopes that the easing of restrictions will help to boost our local economy, with businesses now being able to cater to more customers.
"We encourage residents to keep shopping and socialising locally, to enjoy and support our wonderful independent businesses which have been vital to our communities over the last 18 months, whilst travelling further afield wasn’t possible."
To help welcome the community back into the high street after the lifting of restrictions and celebrate local businesses, the council is organising a Summer Street Market in Sandy Market Square on Sunday, August 22, from 10am – 4pm.
The market will include a variety of locally made products, such as food, gifts, crafts, homewares and more, while local musicians will entertain visitors with live music at the community stand.
At the same time, Let’s Get Going, a Sandy-based community interest company have arranged a Fun Day in the nearby Bedford Road recreation ground, with sports activities, community group stalls and refreshments on offer.
The spokeswoman concluded: "There will be plenty to interest all the family and we hope to see lots of residents coming into Sandy town centre to enjoy this great offering.
"Of course, both of these outdoor events are being planned with covid-safety in mind and we would ask visitors to be mindful of keeping their distance from others, sanitising their hands and consider using a face covering in any crowded areas.
"The council would like to thank all the people of Sandy and Beeston for the patience, community spirit and self-sacrifice which they have demonstrated since the start of the pandemic. We are especially indebted to all those volunteers and key workers whose invaluable work has supported our community throughout this crisis.
"The road ahead may not be easy but we trust our residents will continue to pull together and support each other along the way."