National lockdown: stay at home

Kieron Williams Header

Dear resident

England has moved into a new national lockdown. This is essential because the new variant of COVID-19 is spreading very quickly and our local hospitals are days away from being full.

Infections are rapidly increasing in all age groups and all parts of our borough and city, with over 2,000 cases in Southwark in the last week.

Now, more than ever, we all need to stay at home and follow the rules to protect the NHS and to save lives.

Stay at home rules

The new national lockdown means we are all legally required to stay at home, and to only go out for specific reasons, including:

  • to shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • to go to work if you cannot work from home
  • for exercise once a day in your local area (this can be with the people who live in your household or in your support bubble or with one other person)
  • to meet people in your support bubble or childcare bubble, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • to get medical help (including getting a COVID-19 test) or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • to attend education or childcare for those eligible

Read the full details of what you can and cannot do during the new lockdown.

I know this is another incredibly difficult time for many of you, especially those looking after children or with elderly relatives, those who are sick, or shielding, and many more in very difficult circumstances.

We will do all that we can to support you, providing help from the council for local people and businesses. My greatest hope is that if we all play our part now, and with the vaccine already being rolled out in Southwark, things will get easier soon.

Thank you and stay safe,

Kieron


See in the New Year safely at home this year

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Dear resident,

The number of people catching COVID-19 in Southwark is still very high and we expect numbers to continue to increase over the next few weeks. The pressure on NHS services is very worrying, and there are now almost as many people in London hospitals with COVID-19, as in the first wave in the spring, with numbers increasing every day.

The Government announced yesterday that London will remain in Tier 4 for at least the next few weeks, which means:

  • We should all stay at home
  • You cannot meet people socially indoors, unless you live with them, or they are part of your existing support bubble
  • Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household
  • Non-essential shops are closed
  • You should work from home if you can
  • You should not travel outside of London to visit family or friends

Read all the Tier 4 rules.

New Year’s Eve

We are asking all residents to please see in the New Year safely at home this year. It’s so important that we all stay at home, and only mix with the people we live with or who are in our support bubble.

One in three people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, so even if you feel ok, you can still pass it to other people who could become very ill. Please stay at home this New Year’s Eve and do not invite people over, to keep yourself and your friends and families safe.

Remember: Hands, Face, Space

As well as abiding by the Tier 4 rules, please continue to wash your hands, wear a face mask (unless exempt), and keep your distance when outside. 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it. Please remember Hands, Face, Space.

Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms

If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test. There are two testing sites locally in Southwark, with spare capacity, and it’s easy to book a free test. If you’ve been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be able to get some financial help while self-isolating.

Getting medical help

The NHS in London may be busy, but urgent care is available if you need it. You can contact your GP practice for urgent care, or 111 is available day and night. Please remember to only use 999 and A&E for emergencies. If it’s not an emergency, contact your GP or call 111 to get the help you need.

What to do if you, or someone you know, needs help

Please look out for elderly or vulnerable residents and let us know if they need help, especially during this cold spell. And if you need help, please do get in touch. Visit: www.southwark.gov.uk/coronavirus-gethelp, email covidsupport@southwark.gov.uk or phone 0207 525 5000 and choose option 3.

Schools

Yesterday the government announced that the start of the new school term would be delayed for most children in Southwark along with many other London boroughs. Primary schools will now not reopen next week as planned for most children. Secondary schools and colleges will still have a staggered return but with one week’s delay, providing face-to-face education for exam year groups from 11 January and the planned return of all students on 18 January. Schools will be responding to the announcement, preparing to deliver remote learning as soon as they possibly can, whilst also ensuring they remain open for vulnerable children and for children of key workers. Please remember however, even if you are in one of these categories, you and your family must self-isolate and not attend school if any of you receive a positive test. Our schools have worked extremely hard throughout this pandemic to prioritise our children’s education, and the council will support them through this next phase. As ever the council and our schools are grateful for parents’ patience.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and we wish you all a healthy and happy new year.

Stay home, stay safe this New Year’s Eve

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Wishing you a happy and safe Christmas from the Leader of Southwark Council

Dear resident,

I want to wish all of Southwark’s TRA officers a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas.

This has been the most difficult of years but it has also been a year that has shown just how important our TRAs in Southwark are.  The support you have provided to the people on your estates has been inspiring to see.   So I want to say thank you to you for everything you do for our community.   

With COVID rates rapidly rising again, I hope you will have a merry but safe Christmas this year, staying home as much as you can to stop the spread of the virus and save lives.  With vaccines now being rolled out in Southwark the end is in sight but we still have some months to go during which we will all need to keep each other safe.     

My thanks again to you and I wish a happy 2021 to you, your family and everyone on your estate.

kwxmascovid Continue reading

Stay at home, save lives – London is moving into Tier 4 restrictions tonight

Kieron Williams Header

Dear resident

From tomorrow, London will be in Tier 4 restrictions, similar to those during the last national lockdown in November. Sadly, this means we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.

These stronger restrictions are needed because the virus is now spreading rapidly. The rates in London are very worrying. The number of people in Southwark with COVID-19 doubled last week, and London has seen a sharp increase in hospital admissions.

The Tier 4 rules will apply from tomorrow, Sunday 20 December. They mean:

  • We should all stay at home
  • You cannot meet people socially indoors, unless you live with them, or they are part of your existing support bubble
  • Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household
  • Non-essential shops will be closed
  • We should all work from home if you can
  • You should not travel outside of London to visit family or friends
  • All of these rules apply over Christmas, the previous Christmas bubble arrangements are no longer allowed

You can read the full rules here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home#stay-at-home

I know how upsetting this news is for many people and I am so sorry for all of you who had planned to see relatives or friends over Christmas, but I cannot stress enough how important it is that we follow these rules.

As well as abiding by the new rules, please continue to wash your hands, wear a face mask (unless exempt), and keep your distance when outside. 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it. So it is very important that we all remember Hands, Face, Space.

Earlier this year we all worked together to stay at home, support the NHS and save lives. We now need to do that again.

Please look out for elderly or vulnerable residents and let us know if they need help. And if you need help, please do get in touch visit: www.southwark.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/coronavirus email covidsupport@southwark.gov.uk or phone 0207 525 5000 and choose option 3.

Thank you for following the rules and helping to keep yourself, your friends and family, and Southwark safe this Christmas.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Kieron Williams

Leader of Southwark Council

Support Southwark’s community fundraiser, new COVID-19 rules and more

 
Kieron Williams Header

Dear resident

From midnight tonight Southwark, and all of London, will move into Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions.

There are a number of vital Tier 2 rules that we will all need to follow. Importantly you can’t meet indoors with people you don’t live with, whether at home or in a public place, unless they are part of your support bubble. Outside, including in gardens and parks, groups of up to six people can meet.

Read the full detail about the restrictions.

However, please be careful because the virus hasn’t gone away. Make sure you protect yourself, your family and your friends, at all times in the run-up to Christmas.

Please support your local shops

Also from tomorrow, all shops can open again. It’s been such a tough time for many businesses in Southwark, so we’re asking residents to do their best to do their Christmas shopping locally. This means, where possible, seeking out local shops online, or safely returning to your local high street. If you do visit local shops please remember your face covering, keep your distance from others and don’t go somewhere that’s too crowded.

If you have a favourite shop in Southwark please share on social media with the hashtag #ShopLocalSouthwark

Please donate to our community fundraiser

Christmas will be a difficult time for many in our community, including some of our older and vulnerable residents. I’m proud of the many brilliant local charities and organisations who provide vital support to residents, all year-round, and who will make sure older and vulnerable people feel cared for and connected over Christmas.

We’re supporting, and contributing to, a Crowdfunder for these amazing local charities. Please consider making a small donation, if you can. Funds raised will go towards Christmas hampers, lunches and visits for vulnerable people, and much more.

Donate to the Southwark Community fundraiser now

Thank you and stay safe,

Kieron


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COVID-19 and more: latest updates from Southwark Council

COVID-19 national restrictions still apply until 2 December
Remember to stick to the current national restrictions, to help reduce the spread of the virus, protect your family, friends and neighbours, and to save lives.

Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms
If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test. There are two testing sites locally in Southwark, with spare capacity, and it’s easy to book a free test.If you’ve been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be able to get some financial help while self-isolating.

Volunteer to help share crucial information about COVID-19
We’re working with Community Southwark to find volunteers to help keep people up-to-date with COVID-19 advice. We’re calling them Community Health Ambassadors. Volunteers will receive specialist training and play an important role in keeping our borough safe.If you’re interested in volunteering please complete an expression of interest form.

Try our elibrary during the new national restrictions
During the national restrictions our libraries are closed. However, you can still borrow ebooks and stream films, free of charge via our elibrary service and our home library service is still operating.

Looking for things to do during the tighter restrictions?
Check out our listings of virtual events, performances and workshops to keep you entertained during the tighter restrictions. 

Get help if you’re struggling with low mood, stress or anxiety
Feeling low, stressed and anxious are common feelings. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be finding things harder than usual. Get advice and support to improve your mental health.

Support for parents during the tighter restrictions
If you’re a parent or carer, get support and advice to help you cope with the new national restrictions, including managing conflict, emotions and behaviour at home, eating healthily and talking to children about COVID-19.

Tips on staying active if you’re feeling low on energy
Have you had COVID-19 and are feeling low on energy? Moving more is an important part of your recovery and can help put a spring in your step and lift your mood. Get tips on staying active and free support in the borough for you and your family.

Get your free flu jab
If you’re eligible, make sure you get your free flu vaccination to protect yourself and those around you from the flu virus. It’s more important than ever this year. Ask your pharmacist or GP today.

Get free career and employment support
Southwark Works is a free employment support service for anyone living in the borough. It’s for residents of all ages, experiences and backgrounds and offers one-to-one support to help find a new job or a better job.

Voting safely at next year’s elections
The Greater London Authority elections are due to take place on Thursday 6 May 2021 and we are already making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote.

Give your views on our climate strategy
We want to know what you think of our suggested approach to reducing carbon and protecting biodiversity in Southwark.

Thinking of becoming a foster carer?
Find out what is needed to become a foster carer by registering for one of our online fostering information sessions on Tuesday 1 December at 6.30pm or Monday 7 December at 12 noon by emailing fostering@southwark.gov.uk

Register to attend your local housing forum meeting
If you live in a council home, including council-owned temporary accommodation, you can register to attend your next virtual local housing meeting. The next meetings are in December and you can take part in discussions with council officers and councillors including how the council can better spend funding on improving homes and estates or how the council allocates homes.

Job support for 16–25-year-olds
We will shortly be launching a new campaign which will help link young people with jobs, training and other opportunities. Sign up now to get jobs, training, volunteering and work experience opportunities and more by email

Update on housing services during the tighter restrictions

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Dear resident,

Following the recent tightening of COVID-19 restrictions in England here are some key updates about our housing and other services and a reminder of upcoming opportunities to get involved.

Remember, if you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test. There are two testing sites locally in Southwark and it’s easy to book a free test.Thank to everyone who is looking out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours during these difficult times. If you know a vulnerable resident who needs help, please tell us so we can support them.

We’re currently only doing essential repairs
To reduce the risk to residents and staff of home visits, we will only be carrying out essential repairs inside people’s homes, focusing on ensuring homes are warm, dry and safe, and prioritising our vulnerable residents.

Resident services
We will continue to contact and support vulnerable residents in all tenures of council accommodation including our supported hostels and residents in temporary accommodation, sheltered and Extra Care housing. We will carry out estate inspections and fire risk assessments, and we will continue to carry out work on voids to support choice based lettings.Meetings with residents and routine home visits will be carried out virtually where possible.

Homelessness services
Our Housing Solutions service continues to provide advice and support to people who need urgent help because they are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Please continue to pay your rent
Please continue to pay your rent if you can because it helps to fund vital council services at this difficult time. If you are struggling with rent payments there is help available.

We’re still building new homes
Construction is permitted to continue under the new restrictions so we will be continuing work as planned on delivering new council homes, while our contractors and construction workers are working in Covid-secure ways. Read more about the council’s new homes programme. 

Register your interest in a growing plot
Early in the new year we will launch a new Allotment Expansion Guarantee to create hundreds of new growing plots on council land. The council’s community gardening coordinators will work with residents to design, build and run their own community allotments. Sign up to receive an alert.

Other changes to council services
Southwark’s parks will remain open
All sports and leisure facilities, including football, tennis and basketball courts, grass and astro-turf pitches, outdoor gyms, cricket nets and fishing areas will be closed.
Schools remain open and children should attend as normal.
Leisure centres will close.
Libraries will close (but digital services and the home library will continue)
Playgrounds will stay open but families should maintain social distance and wash hands/use hand sanitiser before and after use.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can only proceed in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can still be held, with up to 30 people.

Join in your next local housing forum
The next round of housing forum meetings is taking place in December. Anyone who lives in a council home, including council-owned temporary accommodation can now book their space.

When are the meetings and what will be discussed?The next meetings will take place between 3 and 17 December and topics will include:Feedback on previous meetingHousing service updates for your area.Election of a resident to chair the meetingsElection of representatives to the new Tenants and Homeowners ForumDue to the current pandemic these meetings will be held virtually on Zoom. You can reserve your place on Zoom.>> Register to attend now. 

Which forum meeting you should attend
There are five different housing forums, each covering a different part of the borough. You can check which housing forum you should attend on our website.If you would like more information on these meetings, nominations or the elections (see below) please contact resident.participation@southwark.gov.uk

Nominate yourself to become your local housing forum chair
By having a resident chair this meeting we will ensure that the meetings cover relevant topics and are shaped by residents for residents. You would need to commit to attend four meetings a year. Experience in chairing meetings is not necessary as training and support will be given.>> Complete a self-nomination by 18 November

Nominate yourself to represent your housing forum in the tenants’ or homeowners’ forum.
Nominate yourself to represent your housing forum in the tenants’ or homeowners’ forum. You can now also nominate yourself to represent your local forum at the new tenants’ or homeowners’ forum. This might be for you, if you are able to commit to attend about nine evening meetings a year. You don’t need to have previous experience as we will offer free training and support to help you fulfil this role.  >> Complete a self-nomination by 18 November


Urgent information about new national restrictions

Kieron Williams HeaderDear resident

From today, England is moving into a new period of national restrictions, until Wednesday 2 December. This means that once again, we should all stay at home as much as possible and work from home if we can.

While this is hard for everyone, it is really important that we all stick to the rules, so together we can reduce the number of people who are catching the virus, protect our families, friends and neighbours, and save lives.

The laws that the Government is introducing for this period mean you should only leave your home for specific purposes. These include to:
Attend school, education or childcare
Exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place
Attend medical appointments or for any medical concerns or emergencies, including a booked Covid-19 test, or avoid harm or injury (such as domestic abuse)
Go to work if you cannot work from home
Shop for basic necessities like food and medicine
Visit members of your support bubble, care for vulnerable people, or volunteer

Many businesses, such as pubs, non-essential shops, cinemas, leisure centres, museums and hair and beauty salons, will be closed. Read the full details about the restrictions.

I know how worried many of you will be about these restrictions. Some will be worried about the financial impact on your families, while others will fear loneliness and isolation. I can’t pretend it will be easy, but I can promise you that we will do everything we can to support you through this challenging time.

Thank you and stay safe.  

Kieron

Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms
If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test. There are two testing sites locally in Southwark and it’s easy to book a free test.

Try our elibrary during the new national restrictions
During the national restrictions our libraries will close. However, you can still borrow ebooks and stream films, free of charge via our elibrary service and our home library service will keep operating.

Impact of tighter restrictions on council services
Government guidance on specific aspects of the new restrictions that relate to council services is still emerging. However, we can currently confirm the following:
Southwark’s parks will remain open
All sports and leisure facilities, including football, tennis and basketball courts, grass and astro-turf pitches, outdoor gyms, cricket nets and fishing areas will be closed.
Schools remain open and children should attend as normal.
Leisure centres will close.
Libraries will close (but digital services and the home library will continue)
Playgrounds will stay open but families should maintain social distance and wash hands/use hand sanitiser before and after use.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can only proceed in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can still be held, with up to 30 people.


Watch the Unicorn Theatre’s online theatrical reading of one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved stories, The Twits. This unabridged reading, filmed in the theatre, is gleeful, gunge-filled digital storytelling aimed at children aged 6 to 12.

Support for parents during the tighter restrictions
If a parent or carer get support and advice to help you cope with the new national restrictions, including managing conflict, emotions and behaviour at home, eating healthily and talking to children about COVID-19.

Remembrance Sunday service in Southwark Cathedral
The Mayor of Southwark and Southwark Council will be marking the day with a virtual service and wreath laying in Southwark Cathedral, which was pre-recorded before the new restrictions came into force. This will be available on the council’s YouTube channel on Sunday 8 November.

Get your free flu jab
If you’re eligible, make sure you get your free flu vaccination to protect yourself and those around you from the flu virus. It’s more important than ever this year. Ask your pharmacist or GP today.

Voting safely at next year’s elections
The Greater London Authority elections are due to take place on Thursday 6 May 2021 and we are already making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote.

If you smoke you’re more at risk from COVID-19
If you’re a smoker and become infected with COVID-19 you’re more likely to become seriously ill than a non-smoker. Get help to quit smoking now

Job support for 16–25-year-olds
We will shortly be launching a new campaign which will help link young people with jobs, training and educational opportunities. Sign up now to get jobs, training and education opportunities by email.