Lockdown transition plan revealed for North Somerset
PUBLISHED: 17:04 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:04 18 May 2020
A recovery plan to ease North Somerset out of lockdown and back to normality has been drawn up.
Recycling centres and some car parks are reopening this month and North Somerset Council chief executive Jo Walker said playgrounds and libraries could follow in June.
Leisure centres and venues like the Tropicana are likely to start reopening from July onwards, and pubs and hotels could follow that lead.
The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to ease the lockdown over the coming months.
Ms Walker told a briefing broadcast live on Youtube: “We’re starting to plan for recovery and renewal, and how we transition out of lockdown.
“We’re focusing on economic recovery for our residents and businesses.
“The first assets we’re reopening are our car parks.
“We’ve avoided opening car parks right on the seafront. That’s supporting the message that we’ve been giving out.
“We welcome the opportunity for our residents to have more freedom to exercise and socialise at a distance, however we aren’t open to a lot of tourists coming to visit. We still have hotels, restaurants, pubs, all closed.
“There have been questions about why we’re opening any car parks.
“We feel it’s more appropriate if people are going to be taking advantage of the freedoms they’ve been given that they park in car parks rather than residential streets and outside people’s homes.”
The car parks that are opening are Knightstone Causeway, Melrose and Worlebury Woods in Weston; bus terminus and Beach Road in Kewstoke and Sand Bay.
Weston’s recycling centre opened today Monday.
Ms Walker said: “The next step is nominally in June. There’s talk of primary schools reopening from June 1 for reception, year one and year three.
“We may be able to reopen our playgrounds.
“We’re exploring the opportunity to reopen libraries in June, possibly around a click and collect option.
“Moving towards July and onwards, in line with Government guidance, we would hope we could see some freedoms around opening our leisure centres, the Tropicana and the Bay Cafe.
“We need to follow the Government guidance. Tourism and leisure are in step three. Indications are that will come from the end of July. “We’re expecting more tourists in the area and seeing that. We will be encouraging businesses including hotels and B&Bs to follow Government guidance.”
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