16 - 20 November
I hope you and your families are keeping well.
It’s been two weeks since a second national lockdown was introduced by the Government, and we all hope this period of tighter restrictions will help lower the infection rate, in our borough and across the country. However, we cannot and must not be complacent. We must continue to observe the lockdown rules if we are to keep making a real difference in the effort to stop the spread of this deadly disease.
For now, you should stay at home as much as possible and go out only for essential activities; for work if you cannot work from home, for education, essential shopping, exercise, and caring for someone else, or for medical appointments. Read more in the Government’s guidance on the national lockdown.
I want to highlight the grant support for businesses impacted by the COVID19 national lockdown restrictions. This is available to businesses which have been mandated to close between 5 November and 2 December and are liable for business rates. Please check if your business is eligible and how to apply for the Local Lockdown; Discretionary Business Support Grant.
A wide range of support is available for businesses in the borough from external organisations as well. They can help - from large organisations to SMEs – on workforce support, access to business webinars, and access free advice from organisations such as Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, West London Business, and the Council’s own Work and Skills Team. Read more on Information for Businesses.
Remember: Keeping it Local + Keeping £ in Hounslow
On Tuesday, at the request of the family, I paid my respects for one of the residents of Hartland’s Gypsy and Traveller community, who sadly passed away. He was well-loved and played an active part in his community. On behalf of Hounslow Council, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
The permanent site in Heston was redeveloped a few years ago. This was a joint Council and Greater London Authority scheme, which enabled us to provide additional plots to help families stay together. It has new ancillary buildings and the new community centre you can see in the photograph below. This was a multi-million-pound investment which has changed the lives of the families who live there.
I’m here with Tom Copley, London Assembly Member, GLA at the opening of Hartland’s Community Site ceremony in December 2016! Seems a very long time ago now!!
On Wednesday we announced the national summit, ‘Aviation Communities 2020: From the Ground Up’. Organised by Hounslow Council, with partners in the West London Alliance, the summit will explore the plight of communities devastated by the downturn in aviation, and call on government for targeted support.
It will be attended by prominent parliamentarians and senior council leaders across the UK and it will highlight those communities around airports which have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hounslow is home to much of the workforce that powers Heathrow Airport, and the effects of reduced activity at the airport are particularly acute for our communities. Many livelihoods depend on the wider aviation sector and the summit is the first concerted effort to bring together representatives from aviation communities nationally. It is expected to see the formation of an Aviation Communities Task Force to call on the Government for an Aviation Communities Fund.
The summit will be held on Tuesday 24 November between 2–4pm. To register and for further details please visit www.aviationcommunities.co.uk
On Friday, I was invited to speak (virtually) at the West London Business Blue Skies Conference – ‘Reimagining our Global Hub’ alongside representatives from Harrow College, Future Flights, CBI, amongst others.
Heathrow Airport - one of the busiest and best-connected airports in the world and the largest port by value in the UK - was an important part of the discussion. Its downturn is felt across many sectors and the conference brought together local, national and global leaders to discuss the effect on communities. We talked about the need to reimagine Heathrow’s ecosystem as a global hub for leadership and innovation.
As a Council, Hounslow is already lobbying the Government for an Aviation Communities Fund, to help strengthen our job market recovery and to support the many people affected by the demise of the airline industry.
Before I sign off, I’m delighted to finish on a positive note, which I’m sure many Rugby fans will appreciate. The new Premiership rugby season kicks off this weekend! London Irish will play their first game of the season away to the Worcester Warriors tomorrow, Saturday 21 November at 15:00. Next Saturday (29 November), they’ll play their first home game against Leicester Tigers at the new Brentford Community Stadium. Wishing the best of luck to the Exiles.
We’ve been delighted to work with the Club during the lockdown. Please see their important message for fans and Hounslow residents alike.
Have good weekend everyone. Please remember…