LETTER: We must plan for end of lock down
A reader calls for planning over the return to non-lockdown life.
Powys is closed to tourists and that is as it should be today (April 21st), but who authorises the release of the lockdown? How, where and when? Surely it should be a joint decision of Westminster, Cardiff and Llandrindod Wells? It has to be a joint strategy, otherwise one will blame the other for what transpires. The Welsh government and our own County Council have the responsibility and are closer. Are they meeting prior to May 7? They should be.
I have spoken to Dyfed Powys Police and they are agents who should give their clients – that is all of us – the benefit of their wisdom, but cannot make the call on policy, such as the lockdown or an authorised Home Guard to assist them in their important and growing duties.
Powys probably has within it 50,000 caravans and 5000 holiday homes which, if occupied, would double the county’s 132,000 population. Many individuals are furloughed or out of work or simply self-employed, with not a lot to do, and are sitting at home waiting. For what? Something to do perhaps? Could such an authorised force assist the police on matters such as minor traffic accidents, checking vehicle licences, preventing vandalism and helping with lockdown enforcement? They would be local eyes and ears who know their own area well. There are many closed businesses, empty pubs, caravan parks, holiday homes, factories, schools and isolated farms where a public-spirited presence and interest would reassure everyone. It would reassure not just the general public, but our visitors too – perhaps 130,000 of them, who in more normal times, relish the joy of our countryside and who year after year underpin our economy.
We, the public, cannot meet because of restrictions but we can, within the forum of this newspaper, open the debate.
It has been said that there are options, none of them attractive, and that we are in this for the long haul. There have been too many platitudes and too much complacency. If politicians cannot start a sensible and calm debate about lockdown then we should, in good time, for whenever it arrives.
Bruce Lawson, Montgomery