THE NEIGHBOUR YOU WANT
It was wonderful to hear another huge round of applause last night for everyone in our health and caring sectors. It is truly humbling to know how many people are out there every day risking their own health to help others, and heartening to see that their work is properly appreciated.
I had a very productive Zoom chat with Tim Willcocks of Richmond Housing Partnership this morning about what they are doing to support their tenants during the shutdown. If you are an RHP tenant and are experiencing any housing issues, please get in touch and we will work with them to help get the problems sorted out.
Tim has assured me that, while RHP have halted all construction and planned maintenance work, they will still carry out emergency repairs whenever necessary, while observing all the required social distancing guidelines. Call them on 0800 032 2433 to report any required repairs.
I have been getting a lot of calls about residential building work still ongoing throughout the constituency with people being very concerned about builders not observing the social distancing guidelines. I have today co-signed a letter with a cross-party group of MPs asking the government to halt all non-essential building work to protect workers in the construction industry and residents surrounding construction sites. My team and I have also been contacting developers to ask them about their plans to close down sites where residents have shared their concerns with us.
Some of the building work still ongoing is in private residences, however, and I feel obliged to say that the lockdown is not the right time for large-scale home improvements that risk workers' safety or your neighbours' peaceful enjoyment of their own homes. Please do not commence any building work on your home at this time and bring to an end any ongoing works as soon as possible.
Most of us are now isolated in our homes for at least 23 hours of the day. Please remember that loud music or television will be audible in an adjoining property, and your neighbour there may not share your taste. More significantly, any work being done on your property will be very nearly as loud in the adjoining property as it is in your own. Your neighbour will probably be disturbed by your DIY. If it goes on for more than a few minutes, your neighbour will almost certainly be disturbed by it. If your neighbour is alone or vulnerable they may very quickly become anxious, agitated, angry or depressed.
If your work is essential, or if your DIY project is light and quick, please do your neighbour the courtesy of speaking to them about it first. Phone them if you can, or drop a note through their door with an explanation and your phone number. Ask them if there is a good time of day for you to do the work, or offer to stop if they ring to say they can't take it.
In these difficult times for everyone, the only way we will all get along is if we all bend over backward to be the good neighbours we would like to have.
It's the (very) little things
The toads have spawned in the new toad ponds in Ham Common Woods! It is hoped that this will be their new ‘home’ to save dangerous road crossing. See the photo here
For the benefit of those who are looking for online information from the Council, here are all the links for Richmond Council Covid-related information:
Information on how residents can help and volunteer can be accessed here
Our dedicated page of information for self employed residents can be accessed here
Our dedicated webpage for businesses can be accessed here
A dedicated page on business rates including an online form can be found here
Our dedicated page for employees can be accessed here
A full update on our services can be found here
Residents and businesses can sign up the Council's daily emails here
Social workers urgently needed
Kingston Council is calling for unemployed qualified social workers, retired social workers and other social care workers to help with screening vulnerable groups, home visiting, telephone advice, personal care, food preparation, shopping, cooking, cleaning, moving and handling, as well as medication.
Please also contact them if you have a health background with a clinical qualification, i.e Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Paramedics - they will have a role for you. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council tax support
For households that are experiencing problems and finding it difficult to pay their council tax, please give them a call us on 0208 547 5007, between 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.
Donate to the Love Kingston crisis appeal
Love Kingston will direct all funds raised to local charities and organisations supporting the most vulnerable in our community, for ensuring people have food, toiletries and prescriptions. For more information and to donate visit https://www.lovekingston.org.uk/
Highways and construction works
In Kingston, essential construction or road maintenance works are currently continuing and all our contractors are following social distancing guidelines.
SGN is starting works in Malden Park/Malden Road, New Malden next week. This work needs to go ahead to ensure a safe and reliable gas supply. They shouldn’t need to interrupt gas supplies to homes or businesses, or call on people's homes.
All the Kingston local Covid-19 information: www.kingston.gov.uk/coronavirus
Connected Kingston information on how to stay well at home: www.connectedkingston.uk
Here are links to the national government's Covid-related web pages:
NHS information – this page is the first port of call for the public. It is regularly updated
All guidance issued by the government is collated and published on this page, which is regularly updated.
The latest information on shielding vulnerable individuals can be found here.
A summary of the measures announced in the Budget to support those affected by Covid-19 has been published here
The latest travel advice can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Citizens Advice Bureau's corona-related advice can be found at www.citizensadvicekingston.org.uk/corona-virus
Are your friends and neighbours getting my emails?
Back on the subject of neighbours, can I ask you to please check that your neighbours and friends know about my daily email? If they would like to subscribe, the link is www.saraholneymp.org.uk/subscribe
This is just one small way to BE the neighbour you would like to have!