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‘We’ve lost far too many to this deadly virus’

In the last few days we’ve learned the name of the high school teacher who sadly passed away due to the COVID-19 virus. His name was Dr Douval Thompson-Davis.

He was a science teacher for the last 12 years at Greenford High School. On behalf of everyone in Ealing, I’d like to pass on our sincerest sympathies and condolences to his family, friends, work colleagues and pupils at Greenford High School. It’s a tragic loss and yet another reminder of how awful this virus is.

We’ve lost far too many people to this deadly virus and, in order to remember everyone who has been lost in Ealing, some residents have started to do a candlelit vigil every Sunday evening at 9pm on their front doorsteps. And I’d ask you to join with them this Sunday and every Sunday. It’s a way of showing solidarity and sympathy with all those who’ve lost loved ones during this awful crisis.

Now, I want to just remind everybody about the changes to the rules and where we actually are now in this pandemic.

So, first of all, the lockdown is not over.

We need you to stay at home as much as possible. If you can work at home, please do.

Avoid public transport and walk or cycle instead.

When out and about, including in our parks, stay two metres away from others and wear a face covering in shops and other enclosed areas.

Also, remember to wash your hands regularly. Especially after you’ve been out.

And if you, or someone else in your household, develops COVID-19 symptoms then, please, make sure that you self-isolate.

I also want to just, finally, say something about council finances.

We’re coming under intense pressure: Both with extra COVID-19 expenditure we’re having to make; and, also, we’re losing income.

And we’ve worked out that this is costing us £52million additionally, in this current financial year.

Even with the government’s extra funding that they’ve given us so far, that means that we’re still £30million short.

Nationally, local authorities are £10billion short and, if we don’t get extra funding from government, we’re going to have to stop delivering some of the vital services that councils are providing for local people – including those vital social care services to the elderly and children.

So, we’ll continue to campaign and ask the government to provide more financial help to us in this crisis.

Finally, look out for the latest Around Ealing magazine from 18 May: A COVID-19 special which gives more information about self-isolation and what the new rules are, what you can and can’t do.

And, again, just a plea for people to stay at home and, by doing that, you will protect the NHS and save lives.

Council leader Julian Bell
Council leader Julian Bell

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