Today I signed a cross-party letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, calling on him to extend the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, as he has the furlough scheme for employees. Self-employed people are in equally difficult financial circumstances and they will need additional support to see them through the crisis.
INFORMATION FOR LANDLORDS AND TENANTS
If you are unsure what Covid-19 means for your tenancy, the full Government guidance for landlords and tenants can be found here at gov.uk.
Advice for tenants on their rights and responsibilities can be found at Shelter, along with contact details if you need to speak with someone. https://england.shelter.org.uk/
Advice for landlords can be found on the National Association of Residential Landlords website, which includes COVID-19 specific information.
REMINDERS ABOUT HYGIENE MEASURES
As the Government eases the lockdown, I would like to remind residents of the NHS's recommendations for protecting yourself from the virus:
wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
keep a 2m distance between yourself and other people
wash your hands as soon as you get home
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the general waste bin and wash your hands afterwards
put used masks in the general waste bin as well, not the recycling
if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it's hard to stay away from people, such as on public transport – see staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK for more information.
COUNCIL LEADER SETS OUT SCHOOL REOPENING POLICY
Cllr Gareth Roberts has outlined Richmond Council's position on the Government's plans to readmit Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils to school. The decision on whether and how to open each school on June 1 rests with the schools and they will make those decisions based on safety. The Council will support schools' decisions, as well as those of parents who choose not to send their children in to school due to their own circumstances. The situation is fluid, so please contact your child's school for up to date information. See Cllr Roberts' statement here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HDpnG6Fykc&feature=youtu.be
THANK YOU TO CROSSROADS CARE
As part of the Council's #RichmondGivesBack campaign, they would like to thank Crossroads Care, who are going above and beyond to help with the coronavirus response. The local charity has now completed +2,000 deliveries of supplies and supported +300 vulnerable people in Richmond. I join the Council in sending them thanks for this vital work.
COUNCIL ISSUES ADDITIONAL COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND GRANTS
Two local organisations providing vital support right now – including food for vulnerable residents and services to those with neurological conditions -- have received funding from Richmond Council. The £100,000 Covid-19 Response Fund was set up to allocate grants to community projects tackling the local impact of the Coronavirus crisis. These two organisations join six other local groups already receiving funds.
Barnes Community Arts Centre: The new funding will help with their continued operation of hot meal preparation and delivery to vulnerable residents in the borough.
Integrated Neurological Services: Funding will allow them to continue providing vital services to people with neurological conditions through the purchase of new IT equipment and software that will allow them to support their clients remotely.
PARKING RULES NOW BEING ENFORCED AGAIN
Kingston Council would like to remind residents that parking rules are being enforced again. As the amount of traffic on roads has started to increase, the council encourages everybody to park considerately and walk or cycle where possible. Free key worker and approved volunteer permits are valid until the end of June. Payment plans and a new temporary COVID-19 permit are now also available to support those that have ongoing difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
CHANGE TO CARELINE SERVICE PROVIDER
The Council has a new operator for the telecare service, known as Careline, that helps make emergency calls for people who are elderly person, less mobile, or have a physical or learning disability. Tunstall Healthcare will be taking over providing and managing the call centre that responds to clients if they need to press their call button. There will be no change to the service itself. All current users will be contacted by Tunstall Healthcare over the next few weeks to arrange a switch over. If you have any questions, or would like any more information about this change, please email John-Paul.Inglis@kingston.gov.uk