Richmond Park News: 13 October 2020
NEW THREE TIER ALERT SYSTEM ANNOUNCED
Most of you will have heard about the Government's new three-tier Covid-19 alert system, which will come into force tomorrow, following debate in the House of Commons tonight. You can see detailed information about the new system and check what applies where here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-levels-what-you-need-to-know
After the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, the Sage group of scientists which advise the government released their suggested approach and it is clear that the government are not following the advice. I’m very concerned that London may soon see rates of infection increasing at the same rate as those in the North West and we know that rates of hospitalisation and death will follow. I’m anxious that we are missing an opportunity to really make a difference to infection rates by not taking more robust action now.
The Government also needs to provide the necessary financial support to get everyone through a second lockdown. I am calling for furlough to be extended, and broadened to support everyone, especially businesses forced to close temporarily and all the businesses and self-employed persons left out of previous schemes.
GETTING THE INFECTION RATE DOWN IN RICHMOND PARK
Yesterday I questioned officials in the Public Accounts Committee on the very steep rise in Covid-19 cases in Richmond borough. There have been reports that this spike can be attributed to students whose home is in Richmond but who are currently away at university. You can see my questions about this issue and the answers I received here:
Until the Government steps up, I am asking all of my constituents to consider whether they are personally doing all they can to help get the infection rate down. Please try to stay off public transport when you can, work from home if possible, and avoid socialising if you have any reason to believe you have been exposed to the virus.
If you have symptoms, or have been exposed to someone who tests positive, please be scrupulous in self-isolating. If you have teenagers or young adults living with you, please talk to them about the rising infection rates in their age groups. Please wear (and wash) your masks as much as possible. If you can, download and use the NHS Covid-19 app.
I will continue fighting in Parliament for the Government to take more robust action. But even without stronger enforceable measures we can get our local numbers down if we all act in the public-spirited manner this area is known for, and work hard together to foster a culture of care for each other's wellbeing.
LOCAL ARTS ORGANISATIONS RECEIVE RECOVERY GRANTS
Richmond's Orange Tree Theatre has been successful in their application to the Cultural Recovery Fund, and has been awarded £770,538! I lobbied for this fund, and for the Orange Tree Theatre's bid, and am delighted to hear that this local treasure will survive Covid-19. See their announcement here: https://twitter.com/sarahjolney1/status/1315628751330443265
The wonderful OSO Arts Centre has also received funding from the Cultural Recovery Fund and will be able to continue making their vital contribution to the cultural life of the area. You can see their Autumn programme here: http://osoarts.org.uk/whats-on
and read their announcement about their recovery grant and other funding here: https://twitter.com/OSOArtsCentre/status/1316012552158019590?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet
I’ve spoken up in Parliament about the need to support theatres, and I’m delighted to see local institutions getting the support they need to survive this crisis. Please support these theatres and our other local arts organisations if you can.
You can read my comments in Parliament about supporting the theatre industry here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-06-25/debates/EA13BD22-C272-4C9E-8F65-49700A2B76E1/CorporateInsolvencyAndGovernanceBill#contribution-F88ECAFE-6768-4B55-9D31-74274AFC76E5
VISIT TO EDUCARE SMALL SCHOOL - PLASTIC FREE SCHOOL AWARD
Last Friday, I visited Educare Small School in North Kingston. It was great to hear the pupils talk about what they did to earn the Plastic Free School Award recently given to their school. The pupils found lots of ways to raise awareness of single use plastics through their work litter picking in Kingston and writing to companies whose packaging they found on the streets. Top marks to these children and their teachers!
JOIN ME FOR (VIRTUAL) COFFEE TOMORROW!
There are still a few places left for my Zoom Coffee Morning tomorrow at 10:00am. If you would like to join me, and a few other Richmond Park residents, for an informal chat about local and national concerns, please sign up at www.saraholneymp.org.uk/events
GP PRACTICES ARE OPEN FOR ALL YOUR MEDICAL CONCERNS
The local GP surgeries have contacted me to ask me to reassure my constituents that surgeries are open, and to especially urge you to contact your GP if you have worrying symptoms such as a lump, sudden weight loss, change in bowels habits, etc. that may suggest cancer needs to be ruled out. It is vital that we continue to go for cancer screenings, tests, appointments and treatments despite the pandemic. You can see some of the symptoms to watch out for here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/symptoms/
MET POLICE NOTICE
The Metropolitan Police has asked me to remind constituents that if your bicycle is stolen or if any other crime occurs you should report it to police by calling 101 (if it's not an emergency) or 999 (if it's an emergency or if a crime is occurring at the time.) You can also report a crime online, or by attending the local police station. Unfortunately not all crime is reported in the correct way, which makes it difficult for police to respond. You can report crime online here: https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/
FREE DYSLEXIA AWARENESS TRAINING
Made By Dyslexia is offering free online dyslexia awareness training for teachers, to show them how to spot and support children with dyslexia. The course takes just two hours and can be completed at any time. It contains easy-to-implement strategies from the world’s leading dyslexic schools, designed to help you make sure that dyslexic learners realise their full potential. Take the training here: https://connect-the-spots.madebydyslexia.org
GREEN RICHMOND GUIDE FROM FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
Richmond and Twickenham Friends of the Earth have just launched a Green Richmond guide: everything you need to know about sustainable living in Richmond borough. You can see the guide here: http://greenrichmond.org.uk You can also use this link to share suggestions of local businesses they could could add to the guide.
GREENER BUSES IN KINGSTON
Kingston Council reports that Transport for London confirmed that as of this month all of its bus routes through Kingston now meet the Euro VI compliance requirements, bar one vehicle which will be retrofitted by the end of October. Euro VI is the latest standard in diesel engines, which dramatically reduces emissions of harmful pollutants.
Councillor Hilary Gander, Kingston Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport, has been campaigning for a long time to get low emission buses for Kingston. A clean bus fleet serving 34 routes in Kingston is a huge success for the borough.