We’re a year into the fight against this virus that has touched every part of life here in Fylde but I am delighted to say that we are now taking huge strides in winning this battle.

With increased testing in the community and in workplaces through static and mobile testing sites, as well as SMART testing for key workers, we are finding and isolating cases and stopping the spread. The vaccination roll out has also been a remarkable success. Our infection rate and the number of new cases are falling week-on-week and we are all looking forward with optimism after a long and difficult winter.

When I look back on a challenging 12 months, there are some real chinks of light that have shone through and community spirit is at the very heart of every positive. The people of Fylde have worked together to bring case numbers down and support their friends and neighbours; everyone can say they have played a part.

Our teams at Fylde Council have excelled to ensure businesses were supported, both financially and practically.

The Fylde Community Hub, which was launched almost a year ago, has helped thousands of people when they needed it most. Providing food parcels, shopping assistance, medication supplies, a befriending service and a dog walking service are just some of the ways we have been able to help.

The delivery and the running of the hub could not have been achieved without the help of a number of local community organisations, including the Council for Voluntary Services and Fylde Citizens Advice Bureau, which ensured government funding reached the most vulnerable. Thanks go to Fylde Foodbank which has been unstinting in its support of vulnerable people throughout the pandemic and to the many volunteers for their hard work and their efforts.

In addition, an army of community-spirited volunteers have stepped forward to do tremendous work for those in need and have complemented our partner charities and organisations.

The Fylde Community Hub will continue to support our residents in the coming weeks and months and they can get in touch by either calling us on 01253 658448 or emailing us at listening@fylde.gov.uk.

With work well underway to start unlocking our lives and economy, we are looking forward to brighter days ahead.