13 - 17 September
I hope you and your family and friends are well.
Although the number of COVID-19 cases has fallen in Hounslow compared to the previous week (and are now lower than the national average) there are still more than we want to see. So, I emphasise again how important it is not to be complacent in our actions to manage COVID’s spread and to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
We have a large percentage of doubly vaccinated Borough residents. The vaccines protect people against serious illness or dying as a result of COVID-19 and is the single most effective way to reduce the likelihood of serious illness and hospitalisation. If you haven’t already, please find out more about getting the vaccine.
Remember, having the vaccine doesn’t mean you can’t transmit the virus to others and some people have a higher risk of becoming critically ill from it. You can help. Have a COVID-19 test twice a week. Find out where you can book (or walk in for) a COVID-19 test.
There is lots of advice and guidance on keeping safe, accessing support and local services on the Council’s website: Coronavirus - advice and updates.
On Monday the Government accepted a recommendation to offer a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to healthy young people aged 12 to 15. Over coming days and weeks, we will work with NHS colleagues and schools across the borough to mobilise the programme, minimising disruption to education. Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by vaccination staff in line with existing school vaccination programmes. You can read Cllr Tom Bruce’s (lead member for Education, Children and Youth services) statement here: vaccinations for 12-15 year olds
It was also announced that Phase 3 booster vaccinations will be administered during the autumn/winter months for priority groups identified in Phase 1 of the vaccine rollout. Preparations are being made by vaccination centres across our communities to begin as soon as possible. More details will be made available to support the roll out.
It was great to catch up with Chief Superintendent Peter F. Gardner (West Area Basic Command Unit (BCU) Commander) on Monday morning. The West Area BCU is made up of three boroughs: Hounslow, Ealing, and Hillingdon. BCUs are multi-agency hubs where police officers and child safeguarding professionals sit side-by-side, sharing information. It was a good opportunity to discuss with Peter how we can work together more closely to achieve the best outcomes for residents and communities in Hounslow.
Chief Superintendent Peter F. Gardner in the centre with a new cohort of Police Officers (May 2020). Picture credit: Met Police Facebook
Along with Council officers, I then met representatives of voluntary sector organisations to talk about our preparations to help Afghan families resettle in the borough under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). It was an opportunity to explore how we can work together to provide help and support to these vulnerable families. Many of these organisations already support refugees and asylum seekers, so their experience is invaluable and the Council Is grateful to have them on board. The meeting was also an opportunity for representatives to share experiences of working in our communities. It was a very successful meeting, and humbling; to say the least. I want to thank everyone who attended, for their continued commitment to those in need. You can find out more about the help and support available for Afghan evacuees here: community_and_living/afghan_support
I was delighted to visit Anne and Paul’s Woolshop on Feltham High Street on Wednesday morning. We were interviewed by the BBC about the introduction of Hounslow Council’s Shop Local campaign, and the £20 voucher for all households. The feature will showcase our ambitious initiative on the BBC Politics live show this Sunday at 10 a.m.
Since the launch of the vouchers, I have received many emails from residents complimenting the initiative. I’m very pleased that residents approve. I want to thank Cllr Shantanu Rajawat (lead member for Finance and Corporate Services) and Council officers who worked hard to make this a success. Let’s all #ShopLocal, and keep the Hounslow £ in Hounslow!
Anne attempting to show me how to crochet! It’s not as simple as it looks!!
Talking of boosting our local economy, I want to highlight the "Welcome Back Fund". Community events across Hounslow’s town centres are eligible to receive this funding. We want to bring life, community and fun back to our public spaces. We want to encourage footfall, showcase our fantastic local business, and celebrate our unique Borough and its town-centres. We’ve already supported; Feltham in Bloom’s popular plant giveaway; the installation of locally designed graphics on Brentford High Street; the Creative Mile homegrown creatives’ showcase in Brentford; Abundance London’s secret community project in Chiswick; and fantastic live performances on Hounslow High Street’s Bell Square.
The Council is now looking for more community events to support, especially in the run-up to the festive period. If your organisation is experienced in organising town centre events, contact email@example.com before the end of September.
Read more in my statement: Welcome Back Fund offers boost for town centre events in run up to Christmas
It was great to meet Jim Cope (West Area Neighbourhood Sergeant for Chiswick), his team and officers from the Hounslow Police, and Safer Transport Teams. I joined them to observe ‘Operation Cubo’, tackling illegal use of e-scooters on Chiswick High Road. That’s a controversial matter for Council and residents alike. Pretty much any e-scooter or moped was stopped on Chiswick High Road that night. It was a highly successful operation, as you can see from the results below:
- E-Scooter - 10 seized
- Moped - 1 seized
- Traffic Offences for no Insurance / not in accordance with a licence – 22
- Stop & Search – 3
- Penalty Notice for Cannabis Possession - 1
The operation also led to interest from, and very positive engagement with, the local community. I want to thank Sgt Cope and all officers involved in making our roads and pavements safer for everyone.
Standing ready to take action!
Just two of the e-scooter stops made.
In the evening I attended Brentford Lock West Residents Association’s meeting (Commerce Road). I was invited to update residents on parking enforcement in Commerce Road, which is mixed-use for industrial and residential properties. I was pleased to say that over the last year our Parking Team have issued 211 PCNs for various traffic violations. We also talked about resurfacing the road, which the Council is planning towards. I want to thank Subz (Chair of the Association) for fantastic work both in their community and with the Council.
At Thursday morning’s pre-launch event at the Lampton Parkside development (the former Civic Centre site) I was joined by Cllr Katherine Dunne (lead member for Communities and Climate Emergency). The scheme, being delivered by Hill in partnership with Notting Hill Genesis, has come along at pace and is nearing completion of phase 2. It was a pleasure to see Kate Hughes (Chief Exec for NHG), and Greg Hill and John Hughes (Group Development Director) from Hill.
Set to launch at the end of the month, Lampton Parkside will deliver a mix - 563 homes for private sale, and 217 properties for affordable rent and shared ownership. Consisting of one- and two-bedroomed apartments, and three-bedroomed houses, every home comes with private outdoor space in the form of a balcony or terrace, and residents will benefit from a dedicated concierge service and gym. Each property has been finished to an extremely high standard, including fully integrated kitchens, and quality fitted bathrooms. I was certainly impressed by the development and delighted that these high-quality homes will soon be available for local people in Hounslow.
I’m in the centre, with Cllr Katherine Dunne to my left. Standing to the right of me is Kate Hughes from Notting Hill Genesis, beside John Hughes from Hill and some of their team.
Today (Friday) I joined cabinet colleagues and council officers at the Municipal Journal (MJ) 2021 Achievement Awards. Hounslow Council were finalists for ‘Local Authority of the Year’ and the ‘Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency’ and ‘Workforce Transformation’ awards. We are the only Council to have been shortlisted for Council of the Year by both the MJ and the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) this year, and in what has been a very tough year, that’s no mean feat. I’m delighted to say we were highly commended in both the Climate Emergency and Workforce Transformation awards, and I’d like to congratulate all Cabinet Members and officers who worked so hard in those areas to win us a seat at the top table. Congratulations to the winners, Cornwall County Council, and North Tyneside respectively, and to Plymouth for winning Authority of the Year. We hope we’ll be back for that one next year, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a win at the LGC!
Commiserations to Brentford Football Club for their last-minute defeat against Brighton last Saturday, but it was still only their first loss of the Premier League season, so here’s wishing the Bees the very best wishes for their match against Wolves tomorrow.
C’mon you Bees!!!
I hope you all have a great weekend. Stay safe.
Cllr Steve Curran