30 August - 3 September
I hope you enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend.
We continue to see the number of COVID-19 cases fluctuate in Hounslow and across the capital over recent days and weeks. This should remind us all we are still living with the virus, and must continue to take it seriously. I urge residents to continue having a test twice a week to reduce the spread of the virus, to have the vaccination and encourage your friends and family to do so as well.
There are a number of sites across the borough where you can book an appointment or walk in for a COVID-19 test. Find out where in Hounslow you can have your COVID-19 test.
The rollout of the vaccination has been critical in managing COVID-19's spread and in reducing the likelihood of serious illness and deaths. We must all take personal responsibility in our actions to reduce the impact of this virus on our communities. Book your appointment for the vaccine.
The situation in Afghanistan has been extremely awful and worrying. Many Afghan evacuees are now in quarantine across West London, including Hounslow. As a Council we have plans in place in line with the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP). We are working closely with other statutory bodies and the voluntary sector to ensure these families have the support they need. We have identified 5-6 family-sized homes as and when needed. As we do not have empty council properties of this size in ready supply, these homes will be sourced through the private rented sector.
In Hounslow we have a track record of stepping up to the plate and helping previous refugees and we will ensure we do everything we can to help these families. At this time, we have not been asked by the Government to house Afghan evacuees, but we are ready to ensure access to the housing and provide the support these vulnerable families need. I will keep residents informed of how the situation progresses over the coming weeks.
I’m very proud of the many residents, businesses and communities who have been offering their support to Afghan evacuees. Once again you have shown your true Hounslow spirit; a spirit of compassion and the desire to help others in need. I am grateful to everyone who has already helped. At this time, we have adequate supplies available as a result of the work and generosity of many in Hounslow. The Council is in regular communication with the housing providers and our staff are working closely with them to identify suitable properties. I would ask anyone who would like to - whether money or essential items - to please donate to British Red Cross. Please read more in my statement about how you can help at this time: Hounslow Leader hails local Afghan support effort
I would particularly like to thank the Islamic Integration Community Centre and the Bedfont Lane Community Centre for their significant donations of clothing, baby equipment, toys, and much more. I was delighted to visit both the Islamic Integration Community Centre and Bedfont Lane Community Centre today (Friday) to thank them personally for their hard work and their readiness to help these vulnerable families. We all know too well how important it is for us to come together as a community in these challenging times as we did through the COVID-19 pandemic. We really wouldn’t be able to do so much of what we do without the commitment of community groups, faith groups, volunteers, and individuals. We are One Hounslow.
I’m here with representatives of the Islamic Integration Community Centre in Hounslow
Going back to Thursday morning, I visited Hounslow Highways for the ‘Let’s Scrap Fly-Tipping’ campaign, along with Cllr Guy Lambert (lead member for Highways, Recycling and Companie)s. The aims of the Let’s Scrap Fly-Tipping campaign are; to raise awareness of illegal dumping, to educate everyone about their responsibility to keep our borough clean and to avoid public money being diverted from other critical services.
We looked at just some of the fly-tipped waste collected by our teams. It was appalling to see how much waste is fly-tipped in the borough, especially when we have so many options to dispose of waste properly and responsibly. Furthermore, it’s heart-breaking the amount of money wasted on cleaning up these illegal fly-tips which could be much better spent on adults’ / children’s social care services.
The Council will post CCTV footage of fly-tippers caught on camera on its website and target known fly-tipping hot-spots with posters and banners. We have set up a dedicated enforcement team - the Special Waste Service - to crack down on fly-tippers and since they started the team has issued over 200 Fixed Penalty Notices. Read more in my statement, as well as how you can report fly-tipping and where and how to dispose of waste responsibly: ‘Let’s Scrap Fly-Tipping’ in Hounslow
We will clamp down on fly-tippers. If we catch you, we will fine you! No second chances!
In the afternoon I was very proud to attend the grand opening of the newly refurbished Brentford Library, along with Cllr Samia Chaudhary (lead member for Leisure Services) and Brentford ward Councillor Guy Lambert. The library not only looks fantastic, it also has so much on offer. From upgraded technology, new computers, and high-speed broadband to a brand-new lift, and space for training and learning! I would like to thank all the staff who have been involved in creating this fantastic space which offers so much for our residents and communities. Read more in my statement and go along to see it what’s on offer yourself.
Cllr Samia Chaudhary and me at the opening of the newly refurbished Brentford Library
I was delighted to be back at Dukes Meadow on Friday to look at the refurbished shelters. I was joined by Cllr Samia Chaudhary (lead member for Leisure Services), Stefania Horne, (Head of Parks Development) and Sam Eagling Fernandez from Maydencroft, the contractor. As part of the Dukes Meadows Masterplan we have invested to improve the park’s leisure and sport facilities. I’m sure that repairing and repainting the will add to the experience of the many users and visitors at Dukes Meadow. The refurbishment of the two shelters cost over £35k; money well spent according to the young people I spoke to. We will be making further improvements to the adjacent bandstand and tarmac.
Cllr Samia Chaudhary and me - delighted to cut the ribbon at the new shelter at Dukes Meadow.
Left to right: Sam, Stefania, Cllr Chaudhary, and me at the back.
For parents and carers, don’t forget now is the time to start putting plans in place for primary and secondary school places for the 2022 academic year. The application process is now open. So avoid missing out on your preferred schools by applying as soon as possible. Read more from Cllr Tom Bruce (lead member for Education, Children and Youth Services) here: apply on time for school places.
Every household in the Borough should have received a letter from me recently with information on how to access your £20 e-voucher to spend at participating businesses in Hounslow. There’s no catch, so please use your voucher on something you will enjoy! Together we can all give our local traders the help they need to recover from the effects of the pandemic, stay open for business, and help keep people in their jobs. Shop local, keep the Hounslow £ in Hounslow! Check out the website and retrieve your e-voucher Evouchers.com | Retailer portal.
Congratulations to the Bees for last weekend, with a very credible draw away to Aston Villa.
And congratulations to England, who had an even better result last night by beating Hungary 4-0. Sadly, that game was marred by the racist behaviour of some of the Hungarian so-called fans. Let’s hope FIFA do the right thing!
Have a great weekend.
Cllr Steve Curran