The Government pledged that by the 19th July we would have offered every adult a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and have given two doses to two thirds of all adults.
We have made enormous progress in the battle against this dreadful disease and I am grateful to everybody here in Swindon and elsewhere who have come forward and taken up the vaccine.
It is only because of the phenomenal vaccination programme, combined with the efforts of hidden army of key worker heroes and the sacrifices of people right across the country over the past 15 months that we were able to make the move to Step Four of our roadmap on Monday.
There are of course those who have legitimate concerns about this step and would rather we wait weeks or months and keep social distancing and other restrictions on our lives in place.
I appreciate these concerns, but I believe the logic remains that if we do not open up now then we will face the risk of even tougher conditions in the colder months when the virus has a natural advantage and we lose the firebreak of the school holiday.
This step is an important milestone, but it does not mean that the pandemic is over – far from it. As the Prime Minister said on Monday, we all need to be careful as we enter this next phase. So please enjoy summer safely and make sure you get your two jabs as soon as you can if you have not already.
In local news, I would like to congratulate all of the team at Westlea Primary School after they were named as the winning school in the category “Most Inclusive Practice Across A School” at the recent National SEN Awards 2021.
This award is a true testament of the hard work that takes place at the school to ensure that each and every child has the support that they need in order to access the curriculum. After a really difficult 18 months, this award has provided a positive end to the school year at Westlea Primary and created a springboard into the next academic year.
As part of the £17.5 million project to help alleviate congestion when approaching Junction 15 of the M4, Highways England will be implementing the following overnight closures during the week (Monday to Friday 8pm to 6am).
Between 23rd July and 10th August, the east side of the J15 roundabout will be closed and there will be no access onto the roundabout from the A419 southbound. The M4 westbound exit-slip and M4 eastbound entry-slip will also be closed.
Between 11th August and 7th September, the westside of the J15 roundabout will be closed and there will be no access onto the roundabout from the A346 northbound, or off the roundabout to the A419 northbound. The M4 eastbound exit-slip and M4 westbound entry-slip will also be closed.
Whist there will be some disruption caused by this work, it will help alleviate congestion and improve journey times for all of us. I am pleased that progress is being made on this project which I helped secure funding for.