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COVID-19: This will be a testing time

Following recent developments, we will all have very real concerns and worries about the potential impact of COVID-19 on our families and our community, writes council leader Julian Bell.

Council leader Julian Bell
Council leader Julian Bell

Ealing Council is working closely with government, our local partners, like voluntary groups and the NHS, and with business groups on our response to this fast-moving situation.

I would like to reassure you that crucial council services are working normally and our priority remains to care for our elderly and vulnerable residents. We have robust contingency plans in place to ensure that we can continue to deliver these vital services over the coming months.

Other council services including libraries, leisure centres and community centres have been temporarily closed to stop the spread of the virus.

Unfortunately, we cannot stop the virus from spreading, but for most people this is a mild illness. For older people or those with pre-existing conditions it can be serious. We can all play our part in delaying the spread and limiting the impact on the elderly and other vulnerable groups by following the chief medical officer’s advice on travel, social distancing and self-isolating.

Please don’t believe everything that you read online and on social media. Instead, I ask you to check trusted sources including the council and central government to make sure you have the latest information.

This will be a testing time, but Ealing’s community is our greatest strength. I have seen local people quickly and instinctively come together in recent days to support those who may need help. This community spirit will be invaluable in the weeks ahead and I ask everyone to reach out to any vulnerable or elderly neighbours, including single parents and those who live alone.

Next week, we will be launching a platform to help you easily find the help available to you, your families, businesses and local groups. Until this launches, you can find advice on the council’s website.

Local business

I know that Ealing residents will be stepping up to support the efforts both to contain the spread of COVID-19 (or the ‘coronavirus’) and to support vulnerable local residents. Ealing Council will be doing likewise alongside you. But I urge you to support local businesses and those they employ. While the government has identified support, our high streets will still struggle and could face financial calamity as a result of this crisis. So do support your high street and those that work in our shops.

We also urgently need the national government to step up and support individuals who are doing the right thing by boosting financial support for those who are sick, self-isolating or in financial difficulty.

Advice for businesses relating to COVID-19 can be found on the government’s website.

Council offices

The council’s customer contact centre is still open. Please check the council’s website for any changes to this situation.

Council leader Julian Bell
Council leader Julian Bell

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