Published Monday, 8th August 2022

Updated 27 September 2022 to include letter from Cllr Brunt to Crispin Blunt MP.

The Council would like to reiterate its thanks to residents for the tremendous community support they demonstrated throughout the pandemic as well as for adhering to the Government’s COVID-19 ‘rules'

We have thanked residents at numerous points throughout the pandemic but following a discussion at a Council meeting on 28 July 2022 which considered comments made by Crispin Blunt MP relating to adherence to lockdown rules, the Council wants to publicly acknowledge the great support of the people of Reigate & Banstead.

Contributions and sacrifices

Cllr Tony Schofield, Deputy Leader and Executive Member responsible for Finance and Governance, says: “Our residents came together with great community spirit during the past two years. In the majority of cases, they complied with the tough COVID-19 restrictions, and we saw the positive results of their magnificent contributions and the many sacrifices people made during this difficult time”.

During 2020 to 2022, the Council focussed on supporting the most vulnerable people and small businesses in local communities, whilst maintaining the delivery of all statutory services. It adapted how it did things, utilising resources available. For example when theatres were shut down, The Harlequin Theatre & Cinema, Redhill was turned into a food distribution hub in March 2020, then it became a COVID testing site in March 2021. Much of this work was supported by hundreds of volunteers from across the borough.

Playing a part

Cllr Schofield adds: “Working with our partners in the Voluntary and Community sector, we were blown away by the amazing support, involvement and commitment of residents throughout that time – as volunteers, as community leaders, as employees, as neighbours. Whether it was volunteering at vaccine centres, picking up prescriptions, delivering essential food packages, becoming one of our community champions - to help make sure vital public health messages reached as many people as possible - or checking their neighbours were ok, so many people went above and beyond. I want to thank every resident for playing their part in helping us all through the last few challenging years.”

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council very much hopes to continue to build on the community relationships and networks forged during the pandemic.

It should be remembered that whilst the threat of COVID-19 has significantly reduced from 2020, it has not gone away and residents are encouraged to take steps to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the disease.

Council meeting

At its meeting on 28 July 2022, the Council considered a petition with 419 online signatories, asking the Council to condemn Crispin Blunt MP for saying people didn’t follow COVID-19 lockdown rules. The petition also requested the Council release a full press statement describing the contribution of residents, and to publish a letter to Crispin Blunt MP condemning his remarks.

The Council agreed to both requests, by issuing this news release, and will publish the letter once sent by the Leader, Cllr Mark Brunt.

The Council agreed to both requests, by issuing this news release, and publishing the letter from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Brunt.

You can watch a webcast of the Council meeting on 28 July and view the agenda and report for full details of the debate, information and a written comment from Crispin Blunt MP in response to the petition.

Under the Council’s Petition Scheme, any petition with more than 400 signatures is referred to the Council for debate.  Anyone who lives, works or studies in the Reigate & Banstead borough can submit or sign an e-Petition.