WASTE DISPOSAL UPDATE
As I reported last week, the Government has approved the re-opening of waste disposal sites in England and Wales, at the discretion of the local councils. I know this is an area of concern for many of my constituents, so I asked Richmond and Kingston Council for their views on reopening their facilities.
Cllr Hilary Gander, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport in Kingston has said this: "Plans are being made across the South London Waste Partnership to ensure that when the (Villiers Road Household Refuse and Recycling Centre) reopens, it does so in a way which observes the current restrictions and social distancing guidance to ensure the safety of all staff and residents."
Richmond Council is similarly considering the actions necessary to re-open the Townmead Road site in the next few weeks, in line with expected amendments to government guidelines. The situation is complicated by the site’s proximity to Mortlake Crematorium, to which access is essential. The re-opening of the Townmead site therefore needs to be managed very carefully to ensure that queues are kept to a minimum without making undue calls on policing or putting staff in harm’s way. Council staff are considering how to achieve this and how to implement protocols necessary to maintain social distancing and safety of both staff and visitors to the site.
On behalf of all of the residents of Richmond Park I would like to thank the refuse collectors, site workers and council officers in both boroughs for continuing to provide waste disposal services during this crisis. They have worked under enormous pressure with reduced available staff to keep this constituency safe and healthy throughout the crisis. Neither council is reporting an increase in fly tipping, which is a testament both to the good service provided and to residents' patience and public spirit.
SELF- EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME OPENS NEXT WEEK
HMRC has begun contacting customers who may be eligible to apply for the Government’s Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to explain the application process. The claims service opens on Wednesday 13 May and is being delivered ahead of schedule, with payments reaching bank accounts by 25 May, or six working days after the claim is made. Further guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
The scheme will benefit self-employed individuals or those in a partnership whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, covering most people who get at least half of their income from self-employment. SEISS is a temporary scheme that will enable those eligible to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits) in a single installment. HMRC has opened an online eligibility checker; use this tool to see if you are eligible.
INFO AND SUPPORT FROM RNIB - ROYAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BLIND PEOPLE
The Royal National Institute of Blind People has sent this useful information sheet on supporting blind and partially sighted people during the Covid-19 outbreak. Please have a look at it if you support a blind or partially sighted person, or if you might come into contact with someone who is visually impaired in the course of your work, including in a retail environment.
RNIB is ramping up their support and services so they get the help they need during the Covid-19 outbreak. If you need assistance please call their helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A316 OVERNIGHT CLOSURES
Transport for London is planning overnight closures for essential maintenance work on the A316 Lower Richmond Road and Chertsey Road from 10pm-5am on Monday to Friday (excluding the Bank Holiday on Friday) from 5-22 May. The works will include critical repairs to the road surface, gully cleaning, maintenance of the lighting and barrier repairs.
LONDON MAYOR TO REVIEW MORTLAKE BREWERY PROPOSALS
The Mayor of London will be considering the three planning applications made for this site, looking particularly at the impact they would have on London highways and the provision of social housing. There will be a public hearing on the proposals, which will be announced by the Mayor's office one week in advance.
PLEASE WATER NEWLY PLANTED TREES IN YOUR STREET
With warm, dry weather for much of the lockdown, the Council has increased its watering schedules. However, it is also calling on residents to check on any new trees outside their home and give them the best start in life by providing some extra water. A couple of watering cans every couple of days will be greatly appreciated and will help the trees in the early stage of establishment.
KINGSTON RESUMES BULKY WASTE COLLECTIONS
Kingston Council has announced they have restarted their bulky waste removal service from Monday, but with a reduced number of slots offered in order to keep staff available for other priority services. You can book a slot on their website.
NO INCREASE IN FLY TIPPING IN KINGSTON
Cllr Gander is also pleased to report that despite the closure of the Villiers Road site and the suspension of some household collections, there has been no increase in fly tipping in the Borough. As well as being unsightly, fly tipping is also illegal and can be reported on their website. She thanks Kingston residents for their patience while services are restricted.