I have had hundreds of emails from constituents this week about the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. Many of you have also written to me about racism in the UK, as evidenced by the Public Health England report showing the disproportionate number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people dying of Covid-19. We are replying to emails about these matters as quickly as we can, and I apologise to those who are still waiting for a personal response.
In the meantime, I would like to assure all of my constituents that I am as appalled by these injustices as you are and have been speaking and writing about them both in the House and on social media. The Liberal Democrats are jointly calling on the Government to stop the sale of rubber bullets and tear gas to the US, and we are asking the Government to commit to implementing the proposals of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission inquiry into the racial inequalities exposed by the coronavirus outbreak.
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON REQUIRING FACE COVERINGS FROM JUNE 15
Transport for London (TfL) has today confirmed that all customers travelling on the TfL transport network must wear face coverings for the duration of their journeys from Monday 15 June. The latest scientific advice suggests that, although face coverings are unlikely to prevent an individual from catching the coronavirus, they can help prevent someone who is infected from infecting others and therefore help control the virus.
Face coverings can be a simple cloth that covers the nose and mouth. They can be made using many items found in the home. There are resources available to help people make their own, including at www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus/face-covering-guidance Face coverings can also be purchased at a number of local shops or online. TfL will be temporarily supplying free face coverings at some stations.
AGE UK AND NHS VOLUNTEER RESPONDERS
Age UK is working closely with NHS Volunteers and the Royal Voluntary Service to connect NHS Volunteer Responders to older people who may be in need. Some of the services delivered to older people require volunteers to complete additional tasks, such as entering an older person’s home to put away shopping. By becoming an approved Age UK volunteer as well as being an NHS volunteer, you’re able to provide this extra help.
If you are an NHS Volunteer Responder already and want to register as an Age UK volunteer, please use this link and note "NHS Volunteer Responder" in the field labelled "Company or Organisation" so that Age UK knows you've already completed the NHS Volunteer Responder requirements.
NEW BUSINESS AND AIR QUALITY INITIATIVE
Richmond Upon Thames is one of twelve London boroughs chosen to be part of a year-long project to improve air quality by helping businesses recover from COVID-19 in a clean, green and sustainable way. The Clean Air Villages project is being delivered by the Cross River Partnership and is funded by the Defra’s Air Quality Grant.
Richmond town centre, including the shopping area in East Twickenham, has been selected as an Air Quality Focus Area. Businesses will be invited to engage with the project through workshops, webinars and meetings, as well as trialling sustainable delivery methods – for example eCargo bikes and electric vans – and/or co-ordinating waste collections to be more environmentally friendly.
If you run a business in Richmond town centre and would like to be involved with the Clean Air Villages project, please contact Laura Jacklin on firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY: DISCOVER KINGSTON'S BIODIVERSITY
Today is World Environment Day, which has been celebrated on June 5 since 1974 to bring attention to pressing environmental issues. This year’s theme is Biodiversity. Kingston Council is immensely proud of Kingston's natural heritage and aspires to become a leading borough in managing the local environment and biodiversity.They are encouraging residents to discover the wonderful natural world at their very own doorsteps this weekend by joining in one of the activities and education opportunities here: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/news/article/1089/discover_kingston_s_biodiversity_this_world_environment_day