6 - 10 July
Hi Everyone, it’s been a busy week!!
As we move towards a relatively more normal way of life (whatever that means!) it’s certainly busier not only on our roads, but also our high streets etc. I would like to start by thanking everyone for doing their bit to keep social distancing and taking precautions to keep our communities safe in Hounslow.
I’m proud to say there were zero issues reported across the borough last weekend when pubs reopened their doors to patrons on Saturday. I know it’s been a difficult time for all of us; we’ve been living, working and socialising differently since the virus so I’m sure this is a positive move towards normality for residents and businesses. A big thanks to our Enforcement Teams and Hounslow Police Team, who have been working incredibly hard to ensure residents and businesses can feel safe as we start to see more businesses reopen. Lead Member for Licensing, Cllr Richard Foote’s statement this week rightly praised publicans and their customers. For those who like a tipple in your local or visiting Hounslow for one, let’s keep up the good work! Stay alert, control the virus, save lives.
One of my local pubs, the New Inn, Brentford, also opened at the weekend, pictured above (courtesy of brentfordhistory.com). I spoke to Brian, the Landlord, who said it was a very cautious but good start with everyone doing their best to follow the rules.
Although it’s reassuring the number of new cases in the borough remains low, as we’ve learned from Leicester returning to stricter lockdown measures, as well as other parts of the world, this deadly disease is still a threat to us all, so we must remember to do our part.
My regular Wednesday interview with Lorna Ko of Chiswick Buzz TV’s focussed on the reopening of pubs in Hounslow, you can watch it here
As we now move into a new stage of responding to the crisis and have begun to implement our economic recovery plans for the borough, the Council continues to work with colleagues at London Councils and other governing bodies. So, throughout the week, I continue to attend regular meetings with officials to ensure as a Borough we are fully involved in the wider plans for London to recover from the effects of this pandemic.
A letter from an elderly resident also made me very proud this week. In her handwritten letter (don’t you miss those!), she wrote to me thanking the Council for the support she has received from the weekly telephone conversations through our Befriending Service, the food parcels from the Hub, to all the other work being done to look after our most vulnerable residents. I would like to thank all the volunteers, community groups, partner organisations, NHS and emergency services and Hounslow Council staff who have continued to demonstrate their incredible commitment to the residents of Hounslow.
I was delighted to also receive a letter from the Commanding Officer of The London Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Lowe. Another proud moment for all those involved in supporting the activities needed for testing for coronavirus in the borough, and a real demonstration of working together as one community for the benefits of all. My personal thanks to Lt Col Lowe and all our soldiers, who are an integral part of the battle against this virus. I would particularly like to thank Kelly O’Neill, our Director of Public Health and her team, also, Gary Cunningham, Chair of Grasshoppers Rugby Club, Osterley and his team who couldn’t have been more helpful in hosting the mobile testing centre over several weeks. You can read the letter below.
I’d like to remind people that the Council launched a new Recovery Fund which enables charities or community groups impacted by the Coronavirus to apply for grants of up to £50,000 to deliver long-term recovery projects. Applications for the Recovery Fund can be made until 3 August 2020. For information about making an application please visit the Hounslow Council website Or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also want to highlight the Hounslow Business Support Toolkit. As more of the borough’s shops reopen, every business must make sure they are safe, clean, and can maintain social distancing. The measures are vital to ensure the safety of your business, staff and customers as well as the wider community and will help restore public confidence to get people to return to our town centres. This booklet will support your business to reopen safely and includes details of the hands-on help the Council can provide (contact TownCentre.Management@hounslow.gov.uk for further information).
Next Thursday at 7pm, we’ll be hosting the council’s first online Cabinet Question Time. You will be able to ask questions live during the event or you can submit questions in advance by emailing email@example.com before 5pm on Tuesday 14 July. Find out how you can attend on the Council website. In case you miss it, a recording of will be available of the event on the same page.
Before I go, I want to mention the sudden death of Tony Pidgley, CBE at the end of June 2020. The Chairman and Founder Berkeley Group was well-known, longstanding homebuilder and property developer. The Council have worked in partnership with Berkeley Group over many and I had met Tony on many occasions, the last time in person at Hounslow House in February 2020. I know his death will have come as a shock to many and he will be sadly missed, particularly his colourful personality. My condolences to all his family, friends and colleagues.
Tony Pidgley CBE, Chairman and Founder of Berkeley Group.
As many of you will know I live by the Brentford Football Club ground at Griffin Park and, although I couldn’t go in and watch, I could hear some of the match. Brentford stuck at it after a disappointing start but came home worthy winners with a 2-1 victory over London rivals Charlton. Brentford FC have made a fantastic start of the resumption of the season and are in a really good place for promotion to the premiership - wouldn’t that be wonderful! They have a tough game away to Derby County this weekend so on behalf of the Council and all of the residents in the borough (I know some of you might not support Brentford), we wish you all the best and please come home safely with another victory! COME ON YOU BEES!!!
We’re set to see some better weather this weekend, however while we try to enjoy ourselves, we must remember we’re still amid a pandemic and the threat of coronavirus remains. So, whatever you are doing this weekend, please remember to keep following the Government's advice.
See you next week!