12 - 16 July
I hope you, your family and your friends are well.
At Monday’s press conference from 10, Downing Street, the Prime Minister confirmed the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in England from the 19th of July. Although he emphasised that we will see significant increases in infection rates and hospitalisations, he confirmed that Government is sticking to its plan to lift restrictions and social distancing.
This will mean people are encouraged to return to their places of work gradually. Wearing face coverings will be expected and recommended in crowded spaces and around people you’re not usually with, such as on public transport. Venues will be encouraged to use the NHS COVID pass. Those travelling to ‘amber’ countries will no longer be required to quarantine on their return.
Below is the Government’s summary of the changes from Monday 19th July. The Government has said it will review the position in September
Source: UK Government
Understandably many will be pleased to hear this announcement. But we must recognise this pandemic is not over, that many in our communities are clinically vulnerable, that many will be apprehensive, and that we need to continue to protect, help and support them in our actions. We must take caution in our own daily activities. This disease can still cause harm to our family and friends. So, I urge everyone in our Borough to take their personal and social responsibility to public health very seriously, particularly in light of the emerging variations of this disease such as DELTA and the impact of these seen in other countries in Europe.
It is now more important than ever to keep having regular tests and to take the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as it’s offered to you. Remember, even if you have been vaccinated, you can still carry and transmit the virus to others. Testing and vaccination are the most effective ways to manage the spread of the virus, to reduce the likelihood of serious illness and prevent an increase in hospitalisations. Please play your part in managing the spread of this virus: take a test twice a week and encourage your family and friends to take the vaccine.
Before I talk about my week, of course I would like to mention the England Football Team. They have done a sterling job throughout the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, and we should all be very proud. They may not have carried the trophy home - this time - but they have brought so much pride and joy to us all and lifted spirits during difficult times. Well done to England Manager Gareth Southgate, his players and all the supporting staff!
Of course, we all wanted to see the team win, but there is categorically no excuse for the racist abuse some of the players faced following the final. It is appalling and heart-wrenching to see and hear the remarks of so-called football fans on social media towards team members, and also attacks against Italian fans in London. I, with everyone at this Council, condemn discrimination of any type, and I hope those behind these racist attacks face the strongest possible action. These people have taken the sportsmanship out of sport, and they should be ashamed. Read more in the statement I issued earlier this week: Statement from the Leader on the racist abuse faced by England football players
The focus of Monday’s regular London Council’s COVID19 Briefing for Leaders and Chief Executives included Public Health messaging around COVID-19 and vaccine uptake amongst young Londoners.
Along with other London Leaders, I attended the London Councils’ Leaders Committee on Tuesday. That covered a wide-ranging agenda looking at current issues across the Capital, and how we can tackle these together to make improvements for all Londoners. I would like particularly to refer to the following items, which you may find interesting:
- Local Government Update – an update on the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on London local government 2020/21 and 2021/22.
- The NHS White Paper and Health Bill – an update on collaboration developments on the national policy for integration of health and care.
On Wednesday morning, I was pleased to meet Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Business, Economy and Culture. As I’ve mentioned here recently, I’ve been appointed Shadow Executive Member for this portfolio, so this was a good opportunity for an initial discussion on working together to support boroughs’ longer term economic recovery and growth. We talked about the London Councils’ Pledges to Business and the London's Economic Recovery report and framework. Many of us know only too well the pandemic’s impacts, the hard-hitting effects for the airline industry, and the negative effects these have had for our communities. So, I am particularly keen to be involved in this work and make a difference for residents and businesses across our borough.
Following my update last week on Brentford Bridge, I’m pleased to say works have progressed well, with south side painting now completed. Pupils of the Green School for Boys and Girls have done a fantastic job with their artwork, which represents local wildlife. Special thanks to Sally Yarrow, Executive Head of the Green School Trust, for being part of this project. Thanks too to Octink who brought the artwork to life in producing the panels. Finally, a big thanks to Hounslow Highways and Topbond (the contractors) who successfully repaired and painted the bridge. Believe me, it hasn’t been simple; it has taken detailed planning and design to bring us to this point. Next week, you’ll see the contractors mobilising on the other side of the bridge, adjacent to the Holiday Inn, Brentford.
Some of the artwork by Green School for Boys and Girls on the newly-painted Brentford Bridge.
This weekend, Brentford Football Club have a friendly fixture against local team AFC Wimbledon on Saturday. Brentford FC will provide a free, live stream from Plough Lane for fans to watch the match. Read the details here: Watch our friendly at Wimbledon live .
As always, I wish the team the best of luck!
Come on you Bees!!!
Please remember the Government’s plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions does not come into play until after the weekend, on Monday 19th July. Until then we are still in a national lockdown and must follow the rules as set out within the Government’s coronavirus restrictions.
I hope you have a good weekend. Stay safe.
Cllr Steve Curran