22 - 26 February
I hope that you and your family and friends are keeping well.
We had a little bit of better news his week with the roadmap the Prime Minister laid down in Parliament yesterday which starts to give a bit of hope of a chance of returning to something like normal life on June 21st. You can read about the road map here
But that news comes at a time when Hounslow is still at the top of the list of councils in London for infection rates, and even though numbers have fallen greatly in recent weeks, they are still too high, and we still see too many deaths from the virus.
So if we are going to take the chance of a return to life free of COVID regulations in June, I'm asking for three key commitments from us all.
First, we all need take the vaccine when it's our turn. The only way we will escape this virus is by becoming vaccinated against it. I urge you - take your chance when the call comes from the NHS. For you, for your loved ones and for the thousands of extremely vulnerable residents still at risk in our communities.
If you are aged 65 or over, or you are clinically vulnerable, you can now book your COVID-19 vaccination through the NHS website even if you haven’t yet received a letter. Appointments are available in Ealing and Wembley. You must book your appointment before you go to a vaccination centre. We are aware of other scam messages circulating – please ignore them. The NHS will never ask you for money or your bank details for your vaccination – it is free.
You can book an appointment now if:
- you are aged 65 and over
- you have previously received a letter saying you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- you are an eligible frontline health worker
- you are an eligible frontline social care worker
You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centres or a pharmacy that provides COVID-19 vaccinations.
I know there are untruths about the vaccine, but you can get more information about the vaccine and how to get it here.
Second, we must continue to follow the rules. So much has been sacrificed and so many lives lost that we must not blow our chance. That means we must keep doing what we’ve been doing: following the rules; Hands Face Space, Keeping your distance, Wearing a mask.
Thirdly, we need to protect ourselves and others by getting regularly tested. At the beginning of January we began offering rapid tests if you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms and you need access to FREE, quick and regular testing.
Since then we have been making some improvements to make it even easier for you to get tested. For example, we extended the opening hours at Heston Library on week days to support shift workers. We also introduced Mobile Testing Units in locations such as Brentford, Feltham and Chiswick to help bring the service to you.
Please keep an eye on our Twitter page and we will also keep you updated on any further developments in next week’s edition.
You can book rapid tests at as often as you like here or drop-in at:
- Heston Library – New Heston Road, Hounslow TW5 0LW – Open 6.30am-7.30pm Mon-Fri, or 8.00am-4.00pm Sat/Sun
- Hounslow House – 7 Bath Road, Hounslow TW3 3EB – Open 8.00am-4.00pm, Mon-Sun
- Isleworth Library – Twickenham Road, Isleworth TW7 7EU – Open 8.00am-4.00pm, Mon-Sun
- Staines Rugby Club, Snakey Lane, Feltham TW13 7NB – Open 8.00am-4.00pm, Mon-Sun
You can also call to make an appointment: 0207 084 9697.
If you have symptoms, get a test at a local testing site or mobile testing site. If we test positive, we need to isolate to stop further spread. Any increase in rates will put the roadmap off-course. You can book a test here.
These are the things that will make it possible to return to life without COVID-19 rules on June 21st.
The roadmap is only possible because the majority followed the rules, made sacrifices and showed true 'One Hounslow' spirit. Let's not be the people who get it wrong. Let's not lose our chance. If we do, more people will become unwell and may not recover.
We need to remember that we are still in a national lockdown and I urge residents to keep following the rules set out in the Government guidance.
As we prepare for the first step out of lockdown - the return to schools and education sites on March the 8th, we need parents to play their part in keeping our school communities safe, by going for tests as I have said, and by not congregating at school gates. You can read Cllr Tom Bruce's statement here
As you can see from the picture below, we are still doing all we can to make sure our young people have the tools they need to learn. Cllrs Ron Mushiso and Cllr Vickram Grewal are here delivering 15 tablets to Mark O'Brien, the Chief Operating Officer at Marjory Kinnon School in Bedfont. You can read more about our work here.
I also urge residents who are struggling to afford food and basic supplies, to apply for grants where they are eligible. You can see 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 and you can find a range of information on the Community Hub section of the Council’s website about all the help available for residents and communities. We know it's hard for some to isolate, or to get through these difficult days and we are here to help where we can so please visit the Council’s website to access the wide range of help and support available; https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/coronavirus. Residents can also seek support by contacting our Community Hub for help with food supplies, clothing, financial and other community support.
This week I chaired the online budget consultation meeting, with my colleagues Cllr Lily Bath, Cllr Candice Atterton and Cllr Shantu Rajawat. We had a pretty good attendance, and in just over an hour, we took any and all questions (including from opposition councillors) in what I would say was a friendly but open session. You can see Cllr Rajawat's statement on the budget here. Part of the session was about the new SRAs for members and you can see my statement on that.
In the online Hounslow Awards 2019/20 last December Feltham company Russell Finex won awards as ‘Highly Commended’ for Exporter in the Year and Green Business of the Year due to outstanding success and innovation in the local area. Well, this week they've proved that all of us in the Borough can reach for the moon, as they have proved essential to work being done by NASA - you can read more here.
My warmest congratulations to them
Finally, as we do start to look to the future, I'm going to run a rare competition on the blog. The first person to let me know where this picture was taken, I’ll buy them a pint when the once the lockdown is over at the pub of my choosing.
After a bit of a rough patch it was great to see Brentford FC get back to winning ways with a 3 - 0 thumping of Sheffield Wednesday, so let's hope they can keep that up against Stoke City this weekend. Come on the Bees! And the best of luck to London Irish too. After achieving a decent draw against Bristol in their last match they will fancy their chances against Wasps at the Ricoh this weekend. Best of luck to both teams!
Take care, stay safe, and have a good weekend.
Councillor Steve Curran