The final stage of lockdown easing has now arrived, with almost all Covid-19 related restrictions being eased. At this time, the only restrictions remaining concern self-isolation periods. It is important to remain acqainted with the current self-isolation regime, particularly as we continue to see a rise in case rates across the country.
If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started, or the day you had the test if you do not have symptoms, and the next 10 full days. If you get symptoms while you're self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from the day after your symptoms started. The 10 day isolation also applies for those you live with.
If you have been told to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace, your self-isolation period includes the day you were last in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 and the next 10 full days.
Whilst case rates in Richmond and Kingston are currently below the national average, I urge residents to remain vigilant in mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing. Please remember that many shops and services have chosen to proceed with mask mandates and social distancing measures as a precaution for those who are elderly or immunocompromised.
The past year has been an incredibly difficult one. I hope constituents are able to enjoy time with their beloved family and friends in this glorious weather, in a safe and responsible way.
HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE REOPENS TO PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS
I am extremely pleased to say that Hammersmith Bridge has finally been reopened to pedestrians and cyclists after a year of being closed. I will continue to work closely with Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the Department for Transport to get Hammersmith Bridge reopened to cars and buses as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I know the welcome relief that this will be for local businesses who have suffered reduced footfall in their shops following the closure, as well as school children looking to walk safely to and from school in Hammersmith. If you would like to see my full remarks on the reopening of the Bridge, you can do so here.
PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE - THE IMPACT OF CROSSRAIL ON HOUSING AND SMALL BUSINESSES
I spoke with Andy Byford, the Commissioner of TfL, and Mark Wild, the CEO of Crossrail, on the potential positive impacts that Crossrail will bring to London in terms of housing and small businesses. Andy Byford discussed his experience visiting the Crossrail locations and finding that already, small businesses have begun to flourish in connection with the proposed locations. You can hear more from our exchange here.
HAM CLOSE CONSULTATION
Ham Close consultations will be taking place this weekend with current residents of Ham Close. The first community consultation event will be on Friday 23rd July from 2pm to 6pm and the second on Saturday 24th July from 10am to 2pm.
RHP and representatives from the Hill Group (the developers chosen for the project) will be located on the green at the corner of Ham Close and Ashburnham Road.
Further workshops will be taking place in late summer and early autumn. If you would like to be kept up to date with Ham Close developments, you can sign up at the dedicated website here.
I'd like to extend my warmest wishes to those celebrating Eid Al Adha this year.
Please enjoy the warm weather and celebrate safely!
VACCINE 'POP-UP' SITES ACROSS RICHMOND AND KINGSTON
Boots on Union Street in Kingston Town Centre is offering a #GrabAJab service for either your first or second dose of the vaccine throughout July. Walk-ins are offered Monday-Saturday from 8:45am-5:10am.
Teddington Health and Social Care Centre is offering bookings for the Pfizer vaccine for the rest of this week until Saturday 24th July. Book your jab any time between 9am-4:30pm. Find out more here.
A 'pop-up' vaccine walk-in site is being offered in Kew for those aged 18-39, at the Queen’s C of E Primary School (Cumberland Road, TW9 3HJ). Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs will be offered at the site, which will be open from 10am-6pm on Saturday 24th July.
LOCAL ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL JULY 24 Makers United and Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College have joined forces to organise an arts and crafts festival at their venue in Parkshop on Saturday 24 July from 10.30am to 4pm. There will be arts and crafts stalls, demonstration of crafts, arts tours of the school and even a band playing! If you would like to know more about Makers United, please look at the Makers United website.
Residents encouraged to get their home winter ready with a Green Homes Grant Richmond Council is urging eligible residents to submit their applications for the Green Homes Grant scheme now, in order to have improvements installed before winter. The Green Homes Grant is a scheme for homeowners and landlords in England to support the installation of energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvements to their homes. The types of improvements that can be made include insulation, double-glazing, air source heat pumps and heating controls. The grant provides residents with the opportunity to save up to £600 a year on their home energy bills while making their homes warmer and more comfortable ahead of the winter months. These improvements will also help to reduce their carbon footprint. Both homeowners and landlords are eligible to apply for the scheme. Residents who are owner occupiers of their homes do not need to contribute any funding. To be eligible, households must:
Have a household income of £30,000 or less OR £20,000 or less after housing costs
Live in a property with an EPC rating of D, E, F or G (the four lowest household energy ratings)
This scheme is separate to the Government Green Homes Grant Voucher scheme which is now closed to new applications. Council staff will be visiting eligible homes across a number of areas in the borough in the coming weeks to speak directly with residents about the grant and their possible eligibility. Councillor Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee, said: “While Winter might seem like a distant thought at present, I would encourage residents to think ahead and consider applying for a Green Homes Grant. “The grant provides residents living in energy-inefficient homes with an invaluable opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of their homes while saving them money on their home heating bills. “If you receive a visit from a Council staff member, I would encourage you to chat with them to find out how the grant could benefit you to help save you money, improve the comfort of your home and reduce the carbon footprint of your home.” All Council officers will provide photo identification on request. Please do not let anyone into your home who is unable to provide identification. Find out more about the Green Homes Grant. Check the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of your home here.
Winning artists announced for new sculpture trail in Kingston town centre
Seven contemporary sculptures have been selected to be installed in Kingston town centre as part of a new sculpture trail arriving this summer. An open call saw nearly forty submissions from artists from Kingston and beyond to be considered by the sculpture trail selection panel, which included two local students and was chaired by renowned international artist David Mach RA (creator of the iconic red phone box sculpture ‘Out of Order’ on Old London Road).
The panel met at the end of May to decide which artworks should form part of the trail, which will also incorporate existing public art including the new eleven metre long three channel video installation ‘Echolocation’ from Mat Collishaw and Carole Hodgson FRSS’s 1986 wall-based sculpture of Icarus holding a Sopwith Camel in the Cattle Market car park. The seven winning artworks are:
‘Kingston Spinning Sculpture’ by Roger Clarke MRSS - A colourful sculpture that invites viewers to interact by spinning it
‘AANGEL’ by David Begbie MRSS - An androgynous angel figure, acting as a ‘guardian’ or benevolent presence looking over Kingston
‘Time and Tide’ by Marigold Hodgkinson FRSS - A curved, mirrored sculpture which shifts gently in the wind reflecting light and it’s continuously changing surroundings
‘The Kiss’ by Alex R T Davies MRSS - Part of a series of sculptures titled ‘Unwanted Monuments’, two bronze street cones ‘kiss’ inspired by Rodin and Constantin Brâncuși’s piece of the same name, conveying the delicate intimacy of the subject with ordinary objects with no gender.
‘Party Animal’ by Alex R T Davies MRSS - From Davies’ same series ‘Unwanted Monuments’, a bronze goat sculpture stands proudly with a street cone on its back, inviting the viewer to touch and even sit on the piece.
‘Mountain’ by Stefan Jovanović & Jack Hardy - a large interactive steel sculpture designed as a symbolic fireplace for gathering, an offering and an invitation to the folks of Kingston to touch and listen to, in sun, wind and rain.
‘The Juggernaut of Nought’ by Richard Trupp MRSS - a large, industrial wedge-shaped sculpture celebrating the industrial heritage of the Thames riverbank and creating a moment of pause in its surroundings.
The project is being organised through a partnership of the Canbury Community Trust, Kingston Council, Kingston First and Kingston University, who are working together to launch the trail ready for visitors in mid-August.
The trail will run across the town centre including the riverside and Canbury Gardens, North of the town centre and will be in place for up to six months. Residents and visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite sculpture and this will become a permanent artwork in the town centre. The winning artist will receive £10,000 prize money.
NEW JOBCENTRE IN KINGSTON
A new temporary JobCentre at Anstee House, Wood Street, Kingston KT1 1TS will open on 21st July 2021 to meet the increased demand for employment assistance. Both the present site in Guildhall and the new site will be working with people from all Kingston postcodes. If you have lost your job due to Covid-19, or have recently left school or university, please contact Kingston JobCentre.