8 - 12 February
I hope you’ve had a good week; despite the freezing temperatures we’ve had! I must start by thanking our all of our front-line staff who continue to support our most vulnerable residents, and also staff in our subsidiary companies; Coalo and Lampton 360, as well our contractors, Hounslow Highways, All have provided key services across the Borough despite very cold weather conditions. A huge thank you and well done to you all!
It’s been encouraging to see the number of COVID-19 infections decline for another week, and an increase in the number of residents who have been vaccinated across the Borough. Having your vaccination is so important, so I’m raising this again to remind you how important it is, not only for you and your family and friends, but also for your community. Remember, the NHS will be in touch with you. You don’t need to ring your GP.
Here’s the picture again of me having the Astra Zeneca Oxford vaccination against COVID19, administered by my GP, Dr K Hugh-Jones.
I recognise it’s been a very challenging 11 months for everyone, but it’s not the time to be complacent. We are still amid a pandemic. We’ve seen a decline in the infection rate because of the lockdown measures and because of residents who stick to the rules. So, we must keep up our fight against this disease until we are confident everyone is protected in our communities. Please continue to follow the Government guidance.
Remember, there is a wide range of help and support available on the council’s website here; 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. You can also contact the Hub by email Hub@hounslow.gov.uk or on 020 7084 9697.
On Monday I joined other London Leaders for the regular briefing hosted by London Councils, where Professor Kevin Fenton, London Region Director for Public Health gave an update on the current COVID19 situation. These briefings are extremely informative and help us understand more broadly the impact the pandemic is having across London, and what more we can do reduce the impact on our residents and businesses.
This week Cllr Tom Bruce, Lead Member for Education, Children & Youth Services confirmed that the Council will be providing free school meals again during the half-term holiday. No child in Hounslow will go hungry on our watch, with or without Government funding. Read more in Cllr Bruce’s statement.
Yesterday, the Evening Standard ran a story on the disastrous economic impact COVID-19 has had on Heathrow Airport. You can read that here: (https://www.standard.co.uk/business/heathrow-sees-passenger-freight-brexit-quarantine-hotels-mean-borders-effectively-closed-b919375.html)
This is particularly acute for residents who are employed at Heathrow or in businesses who are part of the supply chain. Therefore I am calling on the Government again for support needed for our Aviation Communities, as we’ve not had a response so far!
A view of Heathrow Airport, picture courtesy of Wikipedia
We mustn’t forget either, the affect Brexit is having on our economy - a perfect storm! Read more in this statement from Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Lead Member for Finance & Corporate Services about the impact of Brexit on London’s economy.
I know you will be as concerned as I am for residents who are homeless. The Mayor of London, and the Council are doing everything we can to support homeless people. You can read more, from Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Housing & Social Inclusion in this statement. If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, you should contact StreetLink so that an outreach team can help the individual and connect them with the appropriate help and support. If you believe the individual is under 18 years of age, you should contact the Police.
On Wednesday evening I chaired a cross-party briefing for all Councillors, given by our Director of Public Health, Kelly O’Neill. All Councillors are committed to ensuring we do everything we can to protect our residents and businesses and support the NHS in delivering the vaccination programme.
Hounslow Council continues to offer members of the community who do not have COVID-19 symptoms Rapid Tests. This is an extremely effective way to reduce the spread of the disease in Hounslow. Test results are provided within 30-40 minutes. You can book a FREE rapid test, available at Hounslow House, Heston Library, Staines Rugby Club and Isleworth Library, online via the Council’s website www.hounslow.gov.uk/rapidtest or by phone on 0207 084 9697. You can also walk in for a test now too.
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.
On a happier note, although it’s been very cold, the first signs of Spring have arrived! The daffodils I planted last year have now come into bloom!
Lovely yellow daffodils
Before I go, I would like to share the latest Hounslow Herald online edition with you. Featuring interesting news from across the borough and things you can still do locally. Check it out here: Hounslow Herald.
Have a good weekend everyone. Stay safe.
Cllr Steve Curran