View from the House

13th March 2020

Last Sunday night I was at Good Hope Hospital for a routine appointment. And thanks, so much to the brilliant clinician who looked after me so well and who I last met in our Town Centre dressed as a cat (her not me) doing excellent work for one of our Royal Town’s cat charities.

During my visit I was particularly pleased to see the evidence that Good Hope hospital is well prepared for any local Coronavirus needs which may occur in the coming weeks.

We are all so grateful to the Doctors, Nurses, Clinicians and non-clinical staff who look after all of us in Sutton Coldfield so well.

This weeks Budget speech showed our Governments determination to be fully ready for any eventuality in the fight against the virus. £30,000 million (30 Billion) has been pledged to help the economy respond to this challenge.

The budget also froze fuel duty for another year which will be widely welcomed in the Royal Town. The planned rise in beer and cider and wine duties is cancelled and of particular interest to us as we grapple with the changes in the retail trade that have so affected our Town Centre, business rates for small shops are being abolished for this year. The budget makes clear how seriously the Government is going to be taking the economic as well as the health dangers from the Coronavirus.

For all of us in Sutton Coldfield I can best reiterate the sensible advice from the Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty “Keep Calm and Carry On”. And locally we must keep an eye out for older and more vulnerable members of our community who may not read the media or have direct access to information and may be nervous or fearful at this time

We are told to wash our hands while singing Happy Birthday – twice – or God Save the Queen.

What with our being a Royal Town may I suggest we sing the National Anthem while engaged in this activity: this will also be an excellent way of teaching our children in Royal Town schools the first two verses, perhaps, of God Save the Queen which will serve them well in the future!