Penrith mayor Doug Lawson has issued a rallying cry for the community to show what “in it together” really means as the country enters a new national lockdown.
Mr Lawson said news of another lockdown brings with it more fear, sorrow and frustration, but he remains convinced that the particular strengths which the community possesses – in particular its resilience, kindness and patience – “will get us through this latest challenge”.
He said: “There is much to talk about, and we can and will debate for many years the details of how and why we are where we are; but for now, our community needs to focus on pulling together.
“Teachers and school staff, like our wonderful NHS staff, are back to being front-line workers and should be given the same love and respect.
“Many small business owners will be desperate to carry on trading – use their services if you can.”
Town business leaders are also urging residents to continue supporting local shops following last night’s lockdown announcement from the Government.
Philippa Ball, administrator/manager of Penrith Business Improvement District (BID), said a number of businesses, although closed to the public, were still offering “click and collect” services in a COVID-secure way and she urged everybody to “please pull together as a community” – as they had done in previous lockdowns – and “buy local”.
Darren Broad, chairman of Penrith BID, said from a business point of view it was a “tough time” for all those who have to close.
“My heart goes out to those businesses, hopefully they can come through this, but this (lockdown) is what is needed from the national perspective,” said Mr Broad.
He said the new national lockdown means that everybody, once again, has to pull together, but the difference between now and March was that businesses could continue to trade via click and collect.
Mr Broad, who is manager of the Penrith branch of Argos, said click and collect had been a godsend for the New Squares-based store.
But he urged people to keep their journeys down to a minimum by only visiting the store as part of their “essential shop” for food and other necessary items.