9 - 13 November
I hope you’re all well.
It’s just over a week now since the Government introduced a national lockdown until the 2nd December. The key message remains to stay at home as much as possible and only go out for essential activities. That means, for example; for work if you cannot work from home, education, essential shopping, exercise, caring for someone else, or medical appointments. Please read more in the Government’s guidance on the national lockdown.
Please remember too that there is a wide range of help and support available for residents, businesses and communities on the Council’s website. That includes financial support, food supplies and helping others who may be in need. Find out more here more on Hounslow's community support pages.
On Monday the Council announced we are taking on a greater role in Contact Tracing locally to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Working with Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace, we have developed and launched a system to help bridge gaps in the Government’s test and trace work. Council staff can now talk to and support residents who have been in contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus. You can read more in Cllr Candice Atterton’s statement for more details on the Hounslow Contact Tracing.
On Tuesday I attended the Borough Council meeting. You can find the agenda and minutes on the Council’s website. The motion put forward by the Tory councillors calling for a vote of no confidence in the Leader of the Council (me!) was overwhelming defeated. The story was covered by the local media including Chiswick Herald. Here’s a link to their article.
I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise the aspirations and importance of Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes and the Street Space programme. The Council is absolutely not anti-car - far from it - but we must all do everything we can to try and reduce reliance on our cars, particularly for short journeys. That is how we will improve air quality for those at most risk, particularly for our children and older relatives. As you know, the Council is committed to being Carbon Neutral by 2030. We all need to play our part to help achieve this. Residents should note - as it seems to have been lost in all the furore - that these are temporary measures. They will be independently reviewed at the end of the trial, and if they are not doing what they were intended to do, they will cease or change.
Here are the views of Mums for Lungs on our Street Space programmes, supported by Healthy Street Scorecard, who have looked at the data across London Boroughs.
School Streets video, by Mums for Lungs
It was great to see the Council’s Keeping it Local + Keeping £ in Hounslow campaign launch featured in the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce magazine, Let’s talk Business. Cllr Shantanu Rajawat (Lead Member for Finance & Corporate Services) has been working with our Director of Housing Services and our Procurement Team to introduce this new initiative. It has already seen great and welcome improvements; our businesses are at the heart of our recovery. The Council will ensure we keep investing in our local businesses and give them the support they need. Check out pages 20 – 21 of the magazine, Let’s talk Business
Sally Smith, of the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce and Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Lead Member for Finance & Corporate Services outside the Verdict in Brentford High Street
Hopefully you’ve received a letter from me in the post this week about the new national restrictions, with a three-page guide to all the support, advice and help we have put in place. If you haven’t, you can find it on our website
I received an email from a resident on Thursday, thanking the Council for providing information for residents about the pandemic, and the support the Council and other agencies can provide. If you think there is any way we can improve on this, please let me know at email@example.com. For all the latest updates, please SIGN UP to our COVID-19 Update enewsletter.
It’s really important that you try to exercise during the lockdown. I saw some really interesting things on my walk again last weekend, when I was by the canal in Brentford, and you can see from the pictures a lot was going on!
Beautiful swans of Brentford
On-lookers watch as the gate opened for a passing boat at Brentford Lock
I would like to wish our Sikh, Hindu and Jain residents a very happy Diwali. We all recognise we must mark these important days in a different way this year and not in the usual ways with wider friends and family. You must follow the COVID guidance and please be mindful of fireworks safety. As there are no public firework displays, there will be more families using fireworks at home and we would hate to see anyone injured during this very important festival.
Happy Diwali to you all from me, and on behalf of the whole Council
Have good weekend everyone. Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.