Fringe Box



Grateful Council Leader Offers Support and Encouragement

Published on: 20 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 21 Dec, 2020

Cllr Joss Bigmore

Borough council leader Joss Bigmore has said: “Infection rates have rapidly increased across most of Surrey and following yesterday’s (December 19) announcement from the Prime Minister we have moved into stricter Tier 4 restrictions today.

“This means we must stay at home where we can and not mix with others from different households except in special circumstances such as support bubbles.

“You can find information on the new Tier 4 restrictions on the government website.

“We understand how distressing this news is for people across our borough. Seeing family and friends at Christmas was providing light and hope to many at the end of this unprecedented year, but because the rate of infection is increasing, those plans will have to change.

“We must now follow the new restrictions, similar to those we followed during the national lockdown in November and include:

  • No household mixing inside (apart from within a support bubble);
  • Meeting only with a maximum of one other person from another household outdoors; and
  • All non-essential shops, personal care, indoor gyms and hospitality venues must close.

“The planned Christmas bubbles do not apply in Tier 4 unless you are in an existing support bubble, which includes families whose parents do not live together. Please see the government guidance for full details on Christmas Bubbles here.

“I want to thank you all for continuing to play your part and encourage you to take personal responsibility over the festive period to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones and the NHS. One in three people with Covid-19 has no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising.

“The safest way to spend Christmas is with your household or your existing support bubble in your own home. The more people you see the more likely you will catch or spread coronavirus.

“The new Tier 4 restrictions will be hard for many of our local businesses and we will continue to support you.

“The virus mutation seems to be far easier to pass to one another so we must reduce social interactions further to keep it under control and avoid overwhelming our hospitals.

“We know this is difficult but urge you to please be vigilant and continue to look after each other by following the rules.

“We are supporting local families who need help with food over the Christmas holidays, working with Foodwise and Mandira’s Kitchen to store and deliver their generous donations of meals until January 4.

“If you are worried about how you will feed your children during the Christmas holidays, please get in touch by calling 01483 444150 or emailing

“Please remember if you have a medical emergency continue to visit the NHS website or call them on 111.

“If you need us, please get in touch. We are here to support all of our residents and businesses. Visit or call 01483 44 44 00 on Monday.

“Remember, many people are being vaccinated every day. There is hope and although today may be dark and comes as a blow to our festive spirit, as Winston Churchill said: “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

“If we follow the guidance now we can get through this together. The tiers are due to be reviewed on December 30.”

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test One Response to Grateful Council Leader Offers Support and Encouragement

  1. Barbara Ford Reply

    December 21, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks to Joss Bigmore for his supportive and helpful message during a bad time.

    As to the source of his quotation, an online search result says: “The English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller appears to be the first person to commit the notion that ‘the darkest hour is just before the dawn’ to print. His religious travelogue A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof, 1650, contains this view: It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.”

    No doubt Churchill was quoting Fuller.

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