26 - 30 October
I hope you are all keeping well.
Sadly, COVID19 infection rates are still rising in the borough, as well as across West London and other parts of the country. It is a stark warning that we are not out of the woods yet and – especially as we think about the complications of the winter months, particularly for our most vulnerable - we must take this disease seriously. I recognise the continued effects restrictions are having on our lives; for seeing family and friends, for mental health and wellbeing, and not forgetting the financial impacts, but protecting and saving lives must be the priority for us all. At present, London remains in Tier 2 of the Government’s alert system for coronavirus.
On Saturday, I was pleased to be invited to Nishkam School by Barbara Stryjak of OWGRA (Osterley & Wyke Green Residents' Association) to see the 3-D model and presentation of the proposed Tesco and Homebase development in Osterley. OWGRA are concerned about the proposed height and density of the development, and it was good to hear their concerns first-hand.
OWGRA representatives at Niskham School looking at the 3D model of the Tesco and Homebase development in Osterley.
On Monday, I joined other London Borough Leaders again, to hear the latest update on coronavirus directly from the Director of Public Health England (London Region).
On Tuesday morning I met Vicky from the Housing Team and Abigail, a local resident, at Field Lane, for an estate inspection. We all agreed the estate is in pretty good shape (although there were a couple of potholes to sort out and a washing machine to be removed for an elderly resident). These visits are something that many councillors do within their wards.
Vicky from Housing, Abigail a local resident and me on a wet and cold Tuesday morning!
Freddy the Fox also made an appearance on our estate visit. Handsome isn’t he!?!
Freddy the Fox in Syon
As many of you will know, it was extremely disappointing for many families when the Government took the decision not to fund free school meals during half-term. On Tuesday, Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Services announced the Council will step in to fund provision of free school meals in half term. We will not let children in Hounslow go hungry and suffer the consequences of this Government and its leadership. You can read the statement and find out more about other support available.
I started Wednesday morning with an interview for the Guardian to discuss the effects of the end of the furlough scheme. That will end on 31 October and be replaced by the Government’s Job Retention scheme. However, days before these changes come into effect, I’m sure many people are still facing the uncertainty about what this really means in practical terms.
I would also like to highlight the new Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme. It will provide support for Hounslow residents alongside other boroughs in the West London Alliance who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The scheme will help residents find work, develop new skills and retrain to improve their chances of securing alternative employment. Read more in press release and how to access the support.
Later, I was also interviewed by ITV News about the loss of jobs at Heathrow Airport. I spoke about the economic affect this is having on residents and business, and also about increased infection rates across Hounslow and the rest of London.
In action on Brentford High Street with ITV News
On Thursday, I joined the Hounslow Community Safety Partnership Board meeting, chaired by Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Lead for Communities and Climate Emergency. The meeting’s focus was the Council’s community safety review and strategy development.
As we approach the end of the half-term and the reopening of schools from Monday, I would like to remind residents, especially young people travelling to and from school, to use the fully-lit route from Barnes Bridge and East Chiswick instead of the towpath alongside Dukes Meadow. Please download the map.
Follow the signs and use the fully lit route!
As the weekend is here,I’m appealing again that everyone continues to follow the Tier 2 rules, including not visiting other households indoors. Read the guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-high
Good luck to the Bees who are playing away to Luton Town tomorrow. Come on you Bees!!!
Have good weekend everyone. Please take care and stay safe.