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Black Lives Matter protest. Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash

Time to review our public realm to reflect diversity

So, following the Black Lives Matter protests that we’ve seen over the last week or so, and the mayor’s decision to hold a review of all the public realm in London, we’re also going to do that in Ealing.

It is really important that we reflect in our public realm our modern, diverse community. And we also will look to honour all of those local members of our black community and other ethnic minorities who’ve made significant contributions. And, in order to do that, we are setting up a commission that will work with the council to review all of our roads’ names, our places, our buildings and see how we can more reflect our modern and contemporary, diverse borough; which is, of course, our greatest strength.

Now, there are more Black Lives Matter protests planned for central London this weekend and the mayor has asked people to not go into central London for two reasons: To avoid the spreading of the coronavirus; but also to avoid any violence that may erupt. And there is a significant possibility of that this weekend. And we want everybody to be safe.

As Ealing Council, we recognise people’s anger and urge to demonstrate and protest and, so, we are looking to put on a virtual protest and event in order to allow local people to have that opportunity.

Remembering Grenfell

On another matter, this weekend marks the third anniversary of the tragedy of Grenfell: The fire where 72 residents sadly died in horrific circumstances.

Obviously, Ealing Council helped with the recovery at Grenfell and, so, we’ll be lighting up the town hall green all over the weekend in solidarity with Grenfell United. And I would urge people to take part in the commemorative, virtual, events that are taking place on Sunday.

Shops and schools

Now, on Monday more of our primary children go back to school and all our high schools will be taking more Year 10 and 12 students and, also, we see on Monday more shops reopening. Non-essential shops will be able to reopen. So, we need to encourage both shoppers and our children to walk and cycle. And to avoid public transport. And to avoid unnecessary car journeys. We also need everybody to keep those two-metre social distancing rules.

Symptoms; and contract tracers

And, also, if you do have COVID-19 symptoms: A new dry cough, a temperature, a loss of taste and smell; get a test done and self-isolate and also, if you are positive, share with the contact tracers people that you’ve come in contact with so that they can also self-isolate for 14 days.

By working together we will beat this virus and we will save lives.

Council leader Julian Bell
Council leader Julian Bell

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