My week by Cllr. Steve Curran 2021

6 - 10 September

Hi,  

I hope you’ve all had a good week.  

As we move into the Autumn and the weather starts to change, it is important we recognise how the change can impact public health. We need to remember we are still living with COVID-19 and contracting the virus can have significant effects, especially for those who are elderly or have existing health conditions. We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus and manage the impact among our communities in Hounslow. 

I continue to urge residents; do the right things! Have a test twice a week, have the vaccination and encourage your friends and family to do so as well. Find out where you can book an appointment or walk in for a COVID-19 test in Hounslow and how to book an appointment for the vaccine.  

You can read more in this statement from Kelly O’Neill, Director of Public Health here: Help each other to stay safe this Autumn.  

Image of Chiswick Flower Market

I was out canvassing last Sunday, so regrettably I couldn’t make it to the Chiswick Flower Market. It looks like it was a jolly affair, as they celebrated their first birthday. Hats off to the organisers, all the traders and of course all their visitors! I would like to thank Council staff and Hounslow Highways crews for their support for the event and for making sure things go smoothly on the day. Chiswick Flower Market takes places on the first Sunday of each month. Pop along! It really is a great event in the heart of Chiswick.  

Picture credit to Anna Kunst – wonderful photos of the Chiswick Flower Market event!  

I started the week by doing some filming at Hounslow House on Monday morning, along with Cllr Lily Bath, (lead member for Housing Services). The video we made highlights the work the Council has done to meet our Housing Pledge to deliver 5000 new social homes and build 1000 new council homes. I want to thank the Housing Development Team, our long-standing developers and the many others at the heart of these achievements, delivering much-needed housing for our residents. Our focus is not only delivering more council homes, but providing high-quality, energy-efficient, sustainable homes for now and the future. So, keep an eye out for the video! 

In the evening I chaired the Council’s Cabinet meeting. You can read the agenda and reports here: Cabinet on Tuesday, 7 September 2021. One report, which I presented and would like to highlight, is the update on Taking Forward the Borough Recovery Plan: empowering local residents and tackling local.  

You can also watch the meeting in full here: https://youtu.be/OK6Ta9LoWVA  

On Wednesday morning I was delighted to visit Bolder Academy in Isleworth to meet Heidi Swidenbank (Headteacher), the Governors and pupils for the official opening and a tour of the new community school. It was great to see everyone, and I wish them all the very best of luck for their future at the school. With state-of-the-art buildings and facilities - from an indoor gym and climbing wall to science labs, a performing arts studio, great outdoor playing spaces and much more - the school is incredibly impressive and has a lot to offer the Borough’s young people.  

3D images of Bolder Academy community school in Isleworth

Picture credit: Bolder Academy, Isleworth, London Borough of Hounslow 

I promised to update you on the Afghan evacuees situation. At this time, we have a number of families placed with us in Hounslow being supported by council services and the voluntary sector. The number has reduced over the last week as many families are being resettled in line with the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP).  

Over 13,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan by the UK since 13 August. The majority are families with young children. In line with many other London Boroughs, Hounslow Council has offered to receive between five and six families. This might increase as the situation develops.  

We have great experience of managing and supporting families who have resettled in the Borough, as a result of the work we did to support people from Syria, during that crisis. We have well-established policies and procedures to ensure resettlements are successful. We stand ready to provide support for Afghan evacuees when the Government identifies the families to be resettled in Hounslow. It’s likely these families will be traumatised and need specialist support. We will work closely with our NHS colleagues, education services, voluntary and private sector to ensure they have the support they need.  

You can find more information about the range of help and support available for Afghan evacuees here: community_and_living/afghan_support  

On Thursday morning I was delighted to meet Mary Macleod and Jennifer Corbin (Trustees) with council officers at The Shelter Project in Hounslow. It was a very positive meeting. I look forward to working with them to support people in housing need and rough-sleepers, particularly through the winter months (which for obvious reasons is an even more difficult and challenging time for these individuals).  

Later, I chaired the WLA Skills and Employment Board. Led by the West London Alliance, the aim is to help Londoners into good work, particularly as we recover from the pandemic. The ‘Emerging London Economic Recovery Framework’ will be adopted to help people return to work. Through collaboration with other boroughs, the education sector and multi-national companies, we are identifying gaps in skills, growth sectors, and looking at better engagement with employers for the most disadvantaged.  You can read more about the West London Alliance and their programmes here: West London Alliance | Improving outcomes for over 20 years.

Today I managed to find some time away from the laptop to meet two residents in my ward. One meeting concerned a neighbour dispute, which is unfortunately quite common. We try to do everything we can to help people be neighbourly and respect each other. The other meeting was unfortunately related to drug dealing. There is no place for this criminal behaviour in our communities, and we continue to work with the Metropolitan Police Service and our local Police Team to crack down on these offenders!  

As the weekend is here, I would like to remind residents about the Shop Local scheme. Every household has received a letter from me recently with a £20 e-voucher to spend at any participating business in Hounslow. So please, get out in the borough and use your voucher! You can read more of the details here: and access the e-voucher website here: https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/info/20214/information_for_residents/2342/hounslow_council_shoplocal_voucher 

The Bees play on their home turf this weekend against Brighton in the Premier League. The match is on Saturday, kick off at 15:00. Best of luck to the team! 

C’mon you Bees!!!  

Don’t forget it’s Tidefest this Sunday (12 September). There will be boat trips, paddle boarding, kayaking, foreshore walks, island visits, London’s biggest angling competition and much more. It’s a great day out, so why not join me in popping along to support the event and the great things it offers? It’s good spend time on our wonderful River Thames, and maybe join well-known writer Lara “Mudlarking” Maiklem who will be leading walks along the foreshore. It’s a great day out so do pop along! 

More details of the event can be found here: Thames Tidefest Sep 12th 2021 | London's Family River Festival  

I hope you have a great weekend. Stay safe.  

Best wishes, 

 

Cllr Steve Curran 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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