A statement from Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council

Today’s announcement that the Vale will be in Tier 4 from Boxing Day reinforces that this will be a Christmas break unlike any other. Along with the rest of Oxfordshire, all of us in the Vale must make sure we’re following the government’s guidelines to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus.

Only by following the rules carefully can we stop the rapid increase in cases that we’ve seen locally in the past few weeks and help to protect ourselves and our communities.

Since March, we’ve seen the strength of our communities in the Vale, and at this time of year especially, those around you might be feeling lonely and isolated, so please do pick up the phone and make contact with people you might otherwise have seen face-to-face at Christmas, and do check in on your neighbours too, if you can do so in a socially distanced way.

Most of our council officers are taking a short but well-earned break this Christmas having worked so hard to support our communities during a difficult year, but we still have people on hand to help those who are most urgently in need – so if you’re isolated and have nobody else to turn to, and you need urgent help getting supplies, please do contact our Community Hub at www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/communityhub

If your business has been affected by the pandemic, there is lots of information about the support available to you at www.svbs.co.uk.

It’ll be a quieter Christmas for many this year, but on behalf of everyone at the council, I’d like to wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and a hopeful new year.