The 31st of January 2021 will mark one year since the first Coronavirus cases in the UK were identified in York. Twelve months one from when the city’s battle against the virus began, Council Leader Keith Aspden is reflecting on what has been a year fraught with incredible challenges.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Council, commented:
“It is incredible to think that a year has passed since the first cases of Coronavirus were declared in our city and efforts to combat a virus, we knew nothing about, began. Whilst we still have some way to go in overcoming this unprecedented challenge, residents, businesses, and communities have time and time again showed the absolute best of our city. From the very beginning of this crisis, York has worked together to save lives and livelihoods.
“Whilst we can be rightly proud of the efforts of our communities, key workers and our health and care staff over this year, tragically, a year since the first case was identified in the UK, more than 100,000 people have lost their lives to the virus. These milestones highlight the extent to which our city and country has been affected by the most challenging year in recent history.
“Residents have seen their lives turned upside down, businesses have done all they can to adapt and survive the crisis, and throughout the crisis, the Council has done all it can to offer financial help, support and advice.
“Everyone who lives and works in York knows there are opportunities unique to our city that other cities and towns would envy. From our city’s history and culture to utilising the expertise in the biotech industry, to seizing the once in a lifetime regeneration opportunity in York Central, it is clear that York is well placed to build back better. The Council cannot unlock all these opportunities alone and that is why we continue to call on the Government to ‘Back York’ and deliver on their promises of adequate financial support to councils to ensure that York can build back better.
“With a year passed and the vaccine rollout now underway, there is hope that we can soon come out the other end of this crisis. In the meantime, we must continue to meet this challenge head-on and continue to demonstrate the resolve that York has already shown in the face of adversity.”