17 - 21 May
I hope you’re keeping well, and that you’ve had a good week.
As many of you will be aware, following reports of an increase in infections of a new COVID-19 variant of concern, the Secretary of State announced on Wednesday 19 May that increased vaccination and ‘surge testing’ measures will be put in place in Hounslow.
The Council is working closely with Public Health England and NHS NW London to agree plans to bring additional resources which increase both vaccination and testing in the borough. These are being put in place to track the spread of the variant and reduce the risk to our residents and communities. At this time there is no cause for serious concern, but it is important we take this seriously and continue to be cautious.
Over 130,000 Hounslow residents have already been vaccinated but, as our Director of Public Health Kelly O’Neill said, “we cannot be complacent, and we know there is still a large number of eligible adults in the borough who have yet to be vaccinated”. Read Kelly’s joint statement with Professor Fenton, London Regional Director for PHE.
I urge everyone to step up for Hounslow. If you haven’t already, take up the offer of the vaccine to protect yourself and others in our borough and help save lives. Get tested, even if you’ve already been vaccinated. Keep following the rules. Finally, we can all help to stop the spread by remembering: Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air.
In the coming days we will mobilise to increase vaccinations and vaccination sites, and to increase testing across the borough. We are finalising the details of where you will be able to access vaccinations through pop-up clinics and testing at Mobile Testing Units and we will publish these widely soon.
In the meantime, there are a few steps you can take:
And if you’re on a low income and need to self-isolate but can’t work from home, access self-isolation payment.
Although I know this will be of some worry to everyone, I want to reassure you, we will continue to do everything we can to respond to these new circumstances. The Council is here to provide the help with the advice and support residents need. All Councillors are regularly briefed and updated on coronavirus and the Council’s response. You can contact your ward councillors if you would like to raise any questions or concerns, who I know will be happy to help. You can check who they are here: Your Councillors
The Government’s coronavirus restrictions remain in place and with concerns of this new variant, it is increasingly important that we continue to follow lockdown restrictions. You should read in full the Government’s information on Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do.
Step 3 and Step 4 of the roadmap below sets out the Government’s current plans out of the national lockdown.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our NHS and Emergency Services staff, and all those who have been working tirelessly for their communities. Not forgetting, the many charities and volunteers who help and support others who need it most. You’ve all played a huge role in bringing residents and communities together through the most challenging of times. A huge thank you to you all for your hard work and commitment to the residents of the Borough. #OneHounslow
On Sunday (16 May), I was delighted to join the famous, Russell Grant and Thomas Fidler, Chair of Spelthorne Heritage and also on the Middlesex Heritage Executive to virtually celebrate Middlesex Day. I was honoured to be invited to speak at the event, it was an opportunity to recognise the significance of this day and reflect on the bravery and courage of the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment in 1811 who fought under the Duke of Wellington against Napoleon.
In case you missed it last week - I’m here with Mayor of Hounslow, Cllr Bishnu Gurung outside Brentford County Court, raising the Middlesex Day Flag.
On Monday I was working from home when there was knock on the door from a reporter for Sky Sports News who had been tipped off by a neighbour on who I was and that you can see the main stairwell into the Braemar Road homestand from my back yard. Hence the impromptu interview - if you would like check it out, you can watch it here
An early start on Wednesday morning, as I interviewed by Vanessa Feltz again on her BBC radio 2 programme. Following the Secretary of State’s announcement that surge testing would be put in place in certain areas of London because of the rise in infections of the variant first identified in India, Vanessa wanted to hear directly from me on what will be happening in Hounslow to tackle this new variant. If you would like to listen to the interview, you can here. My interview starts at 9 Minutes 15 seconds into the show.
Later that afternoon, it was great to attend the Frampton Court ground-breaking event, along with Cllr Vickram Grewal, Cllr Afzaal Kiani ward Councillors for Hounslow Heath. The Frampton Road development in partnership with Neilcott Construction, will deliver 13 new council homes for residents, comprising of eight 2-bedroom and five 3-bedroom flats. Nine of which will be at local rents and four will be shared ownership properties. The development is expected to be completed by Summer 2022. I’m really looking forward to seeing these homes completed next year, I’m extremely proud of the work our Housing Development Team are doing alongside our strategic partners for the benefit of residents in the Borough. Well done to everyone involved!
I’m on the far left with Cllr Vickram Grewal and Cllr Afzaal Kiani and a representative of Neilcott Construction. In second picture we’re with the Hounslow’s Housing Development staff and Neilcott Construction.
Like me, I’m sure Brentford Football Club fans were disappointed with the result of the first leg of the play offs against Bournemouth on Monday (1-0). But the Bees are back at home for the second bite of the cherry on Saturday. So, let’s all wish them the best of luck. Come on you Bees!!!
Before I sign-off for the weekend, I’m delighted to mention last week I sited a pair of swans who have taken up residency at the canal in Brentford next to the Holiday Inn. If you’ve read this blog regularly you will know the canal project has been going for some time. Last year we cleared over 100 bags of rubbish from the bank. We’re delighted Mum and Dad like it! We will soon be running a competition so keep an eye out for the details on our social media: Twitter and Facebook . Good luck to those who enter and of course our very best wishes to the swans and their forthcoming arrivals.
Please remember not to feed them or disturb the best if you’re visiting or walking by!
Please remember we are still in a National lockdown. Follow the rules to stay safe yourself and protect others. We are all in this together #OneHounslow
Hope you have a great weekend! Stay safe.
Cllr Steve Curran