25 - 29 January
Sadly, this week the country recorded 100,000 deaths due to coronavirus. Although the infection rate has been declining, it is a stark reminder that we are still amid a pandemic. So many have suffered the loss of family, friends and colleagues, and I would like to share my deepest condolences with everyone who has been affected by this disease in one way or another. It seems that in these last weeks and months the losses have come more often and closer to home for many of us. My sincere condolences are with the family, friends and colleagues of anyone we have lost at this difficult time, at the end of a month in which we will likely see in excess of 150 further deaths.
We must all continue to play our part and keep driving the rate of infection down, reducing the impact on our communities and making every effort to save lives. I want to assure you again that the Council is here to help and support you. There is a wide range of support available at https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/coronavirus
I also urge residents who are struggling to afford food and basic supplies, to apply for grants where they are eligible. Please read more in Cllr Shantanu Rajawat’s statement on the range of financial support available, and how to apply online or call the Council for advice.
You can find a range of information on the Community Hub section of the Council’s website about all of the help available for residents and communities. That also explains how you can be involved in the efforts to make sure everyone in our borough is supported through these most challenging times. You can also contact Hounslow Community Hub on 020 7084 9697 or email Hub@hounslow.gov.uk.
It was concerning to hear from the Prime Minister this week about the lack of data to review the current lockdown restrictions, so it is unlikely we will see any real changes before March 2021. We also learned that schools will not reopen until 8th March at the earliest. I know how worrying this is for many individuals and families, particularly those with children who are home-learning. Although there is uncertainty about when things might change, it’s another clear sign that we must continue to follow the rules and keep doing our bit, so that in time we can look forward to returning to a more ‘normal’ way of life.
Please follow the Government guidance to protect yourself, your family, friends and the extremely vulnerable in Hounslow. You are required to stay at home, only leaving your home for essential activities or where there is a permitted reason. It’s also really important that we all continue with the three basic steps which help stop the spread of coronavirus; wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, and keep space.
Also, this week, we learned of the death of a well-known and long-standing resident of the Borough. John Dwyer was in his seventies and for more than 30 years called his encampment beneath the A4 fly-over at Chiswick Roundabout his home. Over the years, he resisted help from the Council and other agencies to move into accommodation. I would like to share my condolences with his family, friends and the many who knew him in the borough and further afield. You can read more in the Council’s statement.
On Tuesday (26th January), India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day to mark the day India became a sovereign republic. I would like to wish all our residents and communities celebrating this occasion in Hounslow Happy Republic Day.
Hounslow Council sends best wishes to the people of India and our Indian residents
It’s great to see Hounslow Chamber of Commerce supporting the Richmond Rugby Club in their effort to help provide much-needed tech for our young people during the lockdown and beyond. The Club’s initiative with cross party support from Hounslow Council, other partners and donations from individuals will see second-hand laptops professionally cleaned and refurbished, and then donated to Hounslow schools. It’s a great initiative, one that I’m sure will go along way to help children who are home learning, particularly those who may not have the access to the technology they need. If you would like to make a donation, you can find the details on how you can do that on the Club’s tech for students page.
Picture courtesy of Richmond Rugby Club website
This week, we received national coverage for our LBH Enforcement and Police Team’s working together to prosecute against illegal puppy breeding operations following an early morning raid last Thursday. Several dogs were seized and are now in safe hands. A great example of multi-agency work to crack down on these types of criminal offences. Well done to the teams for their hard work and success. Read more in the article and comments from Cllr Katherine Dunne, Lead Member for Communities and Climate Change; police-bust-illegal-puppy-breeding.
I was also very pleased to learn that former Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Hounslow, Mukesh Malhotra has selected among just 27 other individuals across the UK for a British Citizen Award. Mukesh has worked tirelessly for over 20 years within his community, particularly to support people with physical and mental disabilities, as well as to help end Polio. He’s been a great advocate for many communities locally and more widely. I would like to congratulate Mukesh on his achievements and wish good luck for receiving a British Citizen Award, its well-deserved.
It’s also great to hear about the re-launch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Hounslow charity. MS Society Hounslow, founded over 60 years ago, offers support to anyone who is affected by MS whether they are suffering from the disease or caring for someone with MS. The charity tirelessly fundraises for research into treatments and fundamentally want to find a cure.
Read more about the incredible work of Multiple Sclerosis Society and how you can get involved.
Before I sign-off, I would also remind members of the community who do not have COVID-19 symptoms to take up the offer of ‘Lateral Flow rapid COVID-19 tests’ in Hounslow. Rapid tests are an incredibly useful way to reduce the spread of the virus. You can book a FREE rapid test available at Hounslow House, Heston Library, Wellington Day Centre and Isleworth Library by booking online via the Council’s website www.hounslow.gov.uk/rapidtest or by phone on 0207 084 9697.
Residents who do have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, a change to, or loss of, smell or taste, should self-isolate and book a ‘PCR test’. You can book an appointment or order a home testing kit via the government’s website www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119.
We must all follow the rules. Stay at home as much as you possibly can. If you do have to leave, remember – hands, face, space. Anyone who ignores the rules is putting themselves, and selfishly their family and friends at risk which is resulting in people dying.
Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives. Remember, we are all in this together.
Take care and best wishes,
Cllr Steve Curran