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Coronavirus update

Coronavirus cases low here but we must be careful

As I say in my latest video (above), coronavirus cases in Ealing this week remain very low – up to 6 July there were 10 new cases, that’s a rate of 2.9 cases per 100,000 of the population. That’s really, really low, meaning there is no prospect of a local lockdown, given those figures.

However, the outbreak at Hillingdon Hospital this week, shows us how we cannot be complacent. The A&E remains open but has closed to emergency ambulances and emergency admissions, as a precautionary measure and in the interests of safe, high quality care. Thanks to all at Hillingdon Hospital. Read the full statement from Hillingdon Hospital.

That is a reminder to us all that we need to follow those social distancing rules – keep that two metres apart where absolutely possible, keep up with lots of hand washing, wear those face coverings and be cautious. We don’t want a second wave and a local outbreak.

This weekend it is the second weekend that our pubs, cafes, restaurants have been able to open and, yes, barbers; although, as you can see if you watch the video in this article, I haven’t managed to get there yet. Hairdressers as well can also open as of last weekend.

We need people to support our local businesses – it is really, really important that we support them and all those shops that have been able to re-open so far.

Just one word of caution, the police have asked us to get the message out, that we need people to follow those social distancing rules in pubs, and our licensed premises, and restaurants, both inside and outside. Once again, it’s really important to follow the 2m rule.

From 13 July – this coming Monday – beauticians, nail bars, tattooists and other businesses can reopen; and, from Saturday, 25 July leisure centres, gyms, and indoor swimming pools can reopen.

We are working currently on reopening our libraries safely and we have been able to reopen them from last week – but we haven’t done so because we need to make sure that they are safe.

Also, just for you sporting enthusiasts out there, we can start playing cricket from this weekend. That is excellent news and I am sure there are many who will enjoy that hopefully the weather allows that to happen.

This week the chancellor made further announcements about central government support to businesses and the economy.

We particularly welcome the funding for green retrofitting of homes. Obviously, that is going to have a hugely positive impact on the environment, but it also brings significant jobs so we’re hoping to get funding from that pot that the chancellor set aside to retrofit local homes.

However, unfortunately he didn’t mention local councils and give us any more support financially or indeed talk about our adult social care and the need to provide more funding for that vital work of caring for our elderly.

Our total costs of coronavirus as a council in expenditure and lost income is really significant – £65million, and we currently have a gap of £39million.

The government have promised some further additional help that will bring that figure down, but I can’t see us being anywhere close to meeting half of that £39million with any further government money that is promised.

We do really need extra help from the government in order to keep vital services going.

Council leader Julian Bell
Council leader Julian Bell

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