8 July 2021 – Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council


Our COVID rates are now well over 400 cases per 100,000 people, and still rising.  Please, can everyone who can, get their double dose of vaccine.

In my opinion, we are on a knife-edge. This invisible virus is set to be with us for the foreseeable future and our best defence remains getting everyone fully vaccinated and taking regular tests.

We have to be vigilant against new variants. However, in the future, it is going to be less about what government rules say, more about common sense behaviour of keeping your distance as much as possible, sanitising and hygiene, as if the next person had a bad case of flu. I am still a supporter of mask-wearing

To help accelerate vaccine uptake, more walk-in vaccine sessions are planned for Chelmsley Wood over the coming week. You don’t have to book, just turn up and get a jab, either your first or second.  

Tomorrow, Friday 9 July, the mobile vaccine van will be in the ASDA car park (341 Bosworth Drive, B37 5EX) in Chelmsley Wood town centre from 11am until 5pm.

Then on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 July (5pm until 7pm), and on Saturday 17 July (9am until 1pm), there will be walk-in vaccine sessions at Chelmsley Wood Primary Care Centre (16 Crabtree Drive, B37 5BU). 

All the above walk-in sessions will be offering the Pfizer vaccine, which is for anyone over 18.

There are also some nearby walk-in vaccination sites in Birmingham here.

And you can get a test at either of our community testing hubs in Solihull (next to the Halifax bank) or Chelmsley Wood (by the bus interchange) or even at our mobile testing van.

While COVID cases are rising in the borough we are not seeing this reflected in our care homes.  I would echo the thanks given to all care providers by the new Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid. 

He said: “Whether you’ve been visiting people’s homes or working in care settings, you’ve combined care with controlling COVID-19… it has made your job so much harder, but ... it hasn’t stopped you from delivering the very best care. You’ve kept people safe and kept up their spirits.”  

And I’m pleased that we can continue to support our dedicated care providers with additional funding from the government for infection control and regular testing of staff.

I wish to take this opportunity to personally thank council staff, neighbours and others for the work they did in helping residents during the recent floods in Dorridge and Bentley Heath. I visited as many places as I could during that weekend and it was heart-breaking to see the devastation that had been visited on people’s lives. An investigation into the causes of the flooding event will be taking place and a report prepared by the Drainage and Flood Risk Management team. 

It will look at any potential mitigation measures and recommend those that are feasible and effective, as well as identifying any possible funding available to pay for works.

The Council’s Drainage and Flood Risk Management team is still keen to receive videos and photos from householders (at drainage@solihull.gov.uk) as they could be useful evidence for the incident report and may form part of a future application for funding to support the installation of flood mitigation works. 

Finally, I have been asked to mention our digital Annual Canvass campaign which will check who is eligible to register to vote in each household.   

From next Monday residents who have previously registered an email address with the Council’s Electoral Services team will be emailed instructions to take some simple steps to ensure they can vote next year.

If you receive an email you will be asked to visit a website www.householdresponse.com/solihull and use the security codes in the email.

If you don’t get an email, you’ll get the usual letter in the post later in August with instructions to go online and complete the Annual Canvass questions.

Keep doing the right thing for Solihull – get vaccinated for you, your family, friends and this wonderful borough of ours.

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council