As we head into another sunny weekend, with more easing of the lockdown measures coming next week, I want to thank you all for your continued commitment to keeping Southwark safe. It’s great news that many of our much-loved local businesses will be reopening on Monday, and that churches, mosques and other places of worship will be open for private prayer next week too. I know what a positive difference this will make to many of you. However, please remember that we will only keep ourselves and our families safe if we continue to observe social distancing. The 2m rule remains in place across our borough to keep us safe.
I promised you last week that I would share with you the details of our plans to respond to the killing of George Floyd and the injustice and racism experienced by our BAME communities. I have asked Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning, to lead our work in this area under the name ‘Southwark stands together’, which today we can announce will include:
An anti-racist audit of the borough to identify statues and street names that do not reflect our borough’s diversity, especially anything with links to slavery or our country’s colonial past, and to identify positive opportunities for the celebration of more diverse figures
A listening exercise with communities across the borough, partner organisations, and our staff, to hear their concerns, and identify solutions to address entrenched and persistent racism and injustice
A call to all businesses and organisations in the borough to work with us to implement these solutions, taking positive action to ensure equality of opportunity
Cllr Situ will report back on progress towards the end of the summer, but in the meantime we will soon be sharing details with you of how you can get involved in this important work, as we want to ensure it is driven and informed by our communities.
Have a lovely weekend,
Cllr Peter John
Third anniversary of the Grenfell tragedy
This Sunday, 14 June, marks the third anniversary of the Grenfell fire in which 72 people tragically lost their lives. On Sunday our Tooley Street and Queens Road offices will be lit #GreenforGrenfell to remember all those who died. We will be thinking of them, their families, loved ones and all of the people whose lives were changed forever by the tragedy, on this sad day.
Face coverings required on public transport
From Monday it will be mandatory for anyone travelling on public transport to wear a face covering.There is more information available on the TfL website.
Shops and places of worship
A number of shops and businesses will be opening across the borough from Monday 15 June. They will have to meet the government’s Covid-19 social distancing guidelines to protect their workers and the public. In addition, customers are asked to be vigilant, stay away from others and wear a face covering if in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible.
On Monday 15 June, places of worship are also permitted to allow people to attend for individual prayer only, rather than services, so that people can socially distance.
Businesses that offer personal services, such as hairdressers and nail bars, will remain closed, in line with current government guidelines, until 4 July. This also applies to the hospitality industry, meaning that pubs, cafes and restaurants are still restricted to takeaway or delivery services only.
New £3.4 million grant scheme for small businesses in Southwark
The council has launched a new support scheme for local small businesses and market traders that did not qualify for the Government’s Small Business Grant, the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant, or were unsuccessful in applying for the Southwark Business Hardship Fund in April. The new £3.4 million fund will be allocated on a rolling basis until the fund is exhausted. Demand for grants is expected to be high so businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. For more details and to apply: http://www.southwark.gov.uk/discretionarygrantsfund
Climate emergency – your thoughts?
In March 2019, Southwark declared a Climate Change Emergency. This declaration reinforced our commitment to combat carbon emissions and do all we can to tackle rising global temperatures. We have been working to reduce our emissions for some time, cutting them by 37 per cent since 2010. Moving forward we want to join forces with everybody in the borough to try to make Southwark carbon neutral by 2030.Please tell us how you think we can work towards a carbon neutral 2030, together.