AS we come towards the end of the summer break, there are a couple of things that are important locally.

The first is the outcome of the planning meeting last week.

Readers will remember that this was for the council to build a homeless centre in Stourport on a site allocated for commercial use, specifically to enhance the tourist offering.

The council’s planning committee saw sense and refused permission.

The council has a right to appeal this decision, but given the local opposition to the project, I am sure they will not push this further.

The good news for Stourport is there are already ideas coming forward for this site, specifically looking to make a positive difference for the town.

Now that the adjacent Weatherspoon’s pub is up for sale, there are more exciting things that could happen in Bridge Street and the canal basins. I am standing ready to be of help to those ideas as they become more clear.

But this still leaves the needs of the homeless. I have already contacted officers at the council asking that they continue to seek provision for this specific local need.

However, I have asked them to properly ascertain how best to deliver the help needed, and not just look for any old site that may or may not meet the requirements.

I am waiting to hear back from them, but again, if financial support is needed, then I will do my very best to find some cash.

The second big item coming up is a return to school next week. This will be the first time most children will have been to school since March.

In many cases, it will be the first time they have had any sort of lesson in six months.

Some parents are still worried about Covid-19 and fear they may become infected if their child is in contact with a carrier. Similarly, there is a risk to staff at schools.

All the advice coming out is that, whilst there is a risk, sticking to the distancing rules when at school minimises those risks.

More importantly, the damage done to children by being isolated and losing out on education is estimated to be far greater than the risk of catching Covid-19.

I’ve got two school-aged children and another going to university. I will definitely be sending all my kids back to their education and I would urge all parents to listen to all the advice and do likewise.