Coronavirus advice, support and returning to school

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My week by Cllr. Steve Curran 2020

1 - 5 June

Earlier this week, we learned of the death of former Councillor and Mayor (1999-2000), Gopal Dhillon and on behalf of the Council, I would like to share my deepest condolences and sympathies with all his family and friends. Gopal worked tirelessly for his community over many years, he will be sadly missed, especially by former and serving councillors, and the many residents he helped whilst serving as their ward councillor for Heston.

Image of ex Councillor, Gopal Dhillon.

Former Councillor and Mayor (1999-2000), Gopal Dhillon

This week there have been changes to the lockdown restrictions in England, meaning that we can now meet up with up to five friends or family members, providing you stay outside either in parks or gardens, but we must keep 2 metres distance from anyone not in our own household.

We must all remember; we are not out of the woods yet and we are still in lockdown. We must still take caution when we go outside to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this disease.

The easing of lockdown also saw some businesses reopen this week, with more set to reopen from 15 June 2020. This is positive news for business in the borough, but we must ensure the appropriate measures are in place so businesses can open safely whilst protecting their staff and customers.

On Monday, the Council launched a discretionary business fund to support small and microbusinesses in the borough. The new Discretionary Business Support Grant is intended to aide those businesses who have so far not been able to benefit from the funding from central Government during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more in the statement from Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Lead Member for Finance and Corporate Property. Sign up for the enewsletter to receive notification that applications have gone live.

Some schools also reopened on Monday for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils. From 53 primary schools, 24 reopened on Monday, and 26 more will be opening on Monday 8 June 2020. However, there is much clarity still needed, see Cllr Tom Bruce, Lead Member for Education, Children’s and Youth Services statement and letter to the Education Secretary, Gary Williamson MP.

The tragic killing of George Floyd in Minnesota last week, caused widespread anger and dismay across the world. We are against all forms of prejudice, discrimination, violence and injustice. Alongside many councils, on Tuesday we marked George Floyd’s death by lighting up Hounslow House purple to show our solidarity. Cllr Katherine Dunne, Lead Member for Communities and Climate Emergency issued a statement.

Image of the Hounslow House facade illuminated purple in solidarity with Black people all over the world. #BLM2020

An article published by Local Government Chronicle this week, featured our Chief Executive, Niall Bolger: Our ommunity hub is a catalyst for change. It’s really worth a read!!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you, who have been doing your bit for the residents in Hounslow during the crisis and many of you volunteer all year round to help others in our communities. We couldn’t have done so much without you - looking after 22,500 shielded residents and many more vulnerable residents through our Hub! A big thank you to everyone involved!

A few previous pictures from the Hub.

A collage of pictures from the Hounslow Community Hub.

On Wednesday, I was back in my regular hotseat with Chiswick Buzz TV, interviewed by Lorna Ko. You can watch it here

As a council, we have been giving a great deal of thought to how we harness all the positive things that have developed during responding to the coronavirus crisis, including the great relationship with our diverse communities and partners. Now we will need to plan for how we move forward with our recovery, I will be presenting a report to Cabinet on Tuesday 9 June 2020. I would encourage you to read the report – you can find it on our cabinet meetings on the website.

The mobile test centre for coronavirus will be available on Sunday 7 June and Monday 8 June 10.30am - 3.30pm at Grasshoppers’ Rugby Club, Syon Lane, Osterley, TW7 5PN. There is a mixture of walk-in and drive-through appointments at this test centre. You can book your appointment from 8pm tomorrow via the NHS websiteIf you have any questions about testing, please contact publichealth@hounslow.gov.uk.  

Once again, thank you to Grasshoppers’ RFU, for supporting testing in Hounslow.

Please remember this weekend, it’s still important to stay alert and follow the Government’s guidance. Have a good weekend, stay safe!

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