16 - 20 March
As you all will be aware, the coronavirus (COVID 19) crisis has dramatically changed over the last seven days. With the Government having to take more draconian measures to try and stop the spread of the virus. We are, of course, working with the Government and the NHS to protect our most vulnerable residents. It is the council’s top priority.
We have released information to support residents on our website and through social media. You can see the latest information below:
Video - Protecting yourself against Coronavirus - Message from the Leader of Hounslow Council and Director of Public Health
You will understand that the situation is changing on a daily basis and this is putting a lot of strain on key services, particularly the NHS, the council, Metropolitan Police and the other emergency services.
This afternoon (Friday 20 March) I joined two conference calls, one with Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and one with other council leaders across the country, so that we could be updated on the latest developments in tackling the spread of coronavirus. Today’s call focused on the setting up of community hubs. We’ve already started engaging with our local community groups, faith groups and others. Over the next few days, we will be harnessing the support so that we can ensure the most vulnerable in our communities are safe, well and protected.
The second conference call was with the other thirty-two London Borough Leaders and with senior officers from London Councils. The meeting was chaired by Cllr Peter John, Chair of London Councils. The focus of this meeting was to ensure that we encourage our residents to follow the NHS Public Health guidelines and that we are supporting our local hospital - West Middlesex University Hospital. We also discussed how we can discourage panic buying as this making it very difficult for the ‘at risk’ groups and emergency services staff to buy food. It is vital if we’re going to beat the spread of the virus that we all work together.
Following on from the Prime Minister’s press conference this evening, the Government is now telling pubs and restaurants to shut, as well as theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres.
Further information and support can be found from the following links:
- UK Government response: https://www.gov.uk/
- NHS Covid-19 advice: https://www.nhs.uk/
- Mental Health helplines
- Loneliness and isolation: Samaritans (https://www.samaritans.org/), Silverline (https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/)
- Safeguarding and good volunteer management practice: https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/
This is the most challenging time Hounslow; London and the country has faced for many decades. I know the residents of Hounslow will all pull together for their family, friends and neighbours. I wish you well over the coming days and weeks.
Cllr Steve Curran
Leader of Hounslow Council