2 - 6 November
I hope you’re all well and had a good week up to Thursday!
From Thursday 5 November, the Government introduced a month-long, national lockdown. These new measures have come into place because of the rapid, nation-wide rise of COVID-19 infections in a second wave of the pandemic. This is a particular concern because of the pressures of the coming winter months and the potential impact on our NHS.
The key message is simple - stay at home as much as possible and only go out for essential activities. That means only going out for work if you cannot work from home, for education, essential shopping, exercise, caring for someone else, and medical appointments. The new measures also mean certain business and venues must close, like hospitality and non-essential retail.
Please take some time to read the detailed Government’s guidance on the national lockdown.
The Government also announced the decision to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) scheme to March 2021. This means if your employer has less - or no - work for you because of COVD-19, they can request a grant to help them carry on paying you. You can find out more at the Government's worker-support pages.
I know this is distressing news for many across the Borough, as we continue to see the damaging effects of the crisis to our social and economic livelihoods. However, we are all in this together and it’s never been as important to keep working as one community so we can reduce the spread of this deadly disease and protect our most vulnerable and loved ones.
There is information about a wide range of guidance, help and support for residents and communities on the Council’s website. It includes financial support, food supplies and how you can help others who may be in need.
Find out more here more on Hounslow's community support.
If you, or someone you know, needs urgent support, you can contact the Hounslow Community Hub or call 02070849697
I would like to remind residents of the new Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme, offering support for Hounslow residents who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, alongside people in other outer London boroughs. The scheme helps residents find work, develop new skills and retrain to improve their chances of securing alternative employment. Find out more about the JETS programme and how to access the scheme.
There are many things we can all do to help our mental and physical health and wellbeing. That’s especially important as we are in a national lockdown for a month. So, I’ve started walking again in the mornings, and would encourage everyone to exercise during this time if you can; it’s very important to keep looking after yourselves.
While I was out, the leaf fall and fog were surprising reminders that we’re already in November! How this year has soared by! In Hounslow we are fortunate to have the benefits of over 11,000 trees on our network, managed by our contractor, Hounslow Highways. Street cleansing crews are out working hard to clear leaves from our roads and pavements across the borough. But not all the leaves have fallen yet, so you’ll see the vast majority of clearance work in the middle to the end of November. If you do see an area where leaf fall is particularly heavy, and you’re concerned about it, you can report this directly to Hounslow Highways via www.fixmystreet.com
I would also like to remind residents - particularly young people - to use the fully-lit route from Barnes Bridge and East Chiswick, instead of the towpath alongside Dukes Meadow. Please download the map.
Next week, every household in the borough will receive a letter from me. It outlines the Council’s clear priority to continue providing support and help our residents, businesses and communities during this very difficult and uncertain time. I will also write separately to our most vulnerable residents, and to the voluntary organisations who help us support them in the community, to ensure they have access to the help and support they need.
The Government will be writing to residents they describe as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ with their full advice and guidance. You can find that here and read about registering for support for yourself or on behalf of someone else https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support.
Remember the three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting residents in Hounslow:
Have good weekend everyone. Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.