It is an honour to be elected as Leader of Southwark Council. As Leader, I want to work with everyone in Southwark to keep building a better future and unlocking the amazing potential I see in every part of our community.
Never has that potential been clearer than during this pandemic. Seeing volunteers, frontline workers, public services, charities, faith groups and businesses all step up together has been truly inspiring. I want to thank you all for the part you have played. Your actions have shown incredible strength and resilience.
Sadly the pandemic is far from over and our continued response to COVID-19 remains our top priority. Cases and hospital admissions are rising across London and much of the UK. If action isn’t taken quickly, we risk seeing another dramatic rise in hospitalizations and, tragically, deaths.
I welcome the additional restrictions that have been introduced this week – further information about these is below – and I have joined the Mayor of London in calling for further targeted restrictions in London to help keep us all safe.Although COVID-19 is the most pressing and urgent issue we face, it is not our only challenge. The unequal impact of the pandemic on different communities has shone a light on wider inequalities and injustice in our society. My ambition as Leader is to unite communities in Southwark so we can break down that inequality, and not just rebuild from the crisis, but build something better. A Southwark where everyone has a home, where everyone can get a decent job, where we end our carbon emissions and where everyone is empowered to make the best of their life.
I look forward to working with you to continue to build a better future for the people of Southwark.
Thank you and stay safe.
Update on new Covid-19 rules
This week the government announced a tightening of Covid restrictions in a number of areas and also launched its new Test and Trace app.
Self-isolating is a legal requirement from 28 September
From 28 September you are legally required to self-isolate, if you’ve tested positive or been told to by the test and trace service. People who don’t self-isolate when required could now be fined. If you need to self-isolate and you’re on a low income and can’t work from home, you may be eligible for £500 hardship payment. We are waiting for further details from the government about how this will work.
New rules for pubs, restaurants and shops
Some businesses need to follow updated rules where appropriate. This includes shop staff wearing face coverings, and pubs and restaurants closing by 10pm and implementing table service only.
Businesses must display a contact tracing poster
Businesses and some other organisations must download and display a QR code poster for customers and visitors to support contract tracing.
Download the Test and Trace app
You can now download the national test and trace app. The app has a number of features including alerting users if they have been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus. Find out more about the app.
Changes for indoor sports and weddings
Indoor team sports can now only be played by a maximum of six people. Weddings can now only have a maximum of 15 guests.
Keep washing your hands, social distancing and wear a face covering
In addition to the new rules we must keep washing our hands regularly, keep our distance from others (and not meet with more than six people), and wear a face covering in shops and on transport.
Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms
If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test.
Southwark Council monitors the COVID-19 infection rates on a daily basis. Whilst numbers are still low, the number of new cases has nearly doubled in Southwark in the last week and numbers are rising across London.
A high proportion of new cases are for people aged 18–34. We also know that most transmission is still amongst family and friends and there is some transmission from people coming back from holidays abroad. As we look forward to the bank holiday weekend we are asking people to please be careful and help prevent the spread of the virus and another lockdown.
If you’re visiting family or going out with friends you must:
- keep your distance from other people at all times
- wear a face covering in shops and on public transport
- wash your hands regularly.
Get tested if you have symptoms
Get a test as soon as possible if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste). You must also must self-isolate, as should members of your household and anyone in your support bubble.
How you can help.
I have attached a number of assets such as posters, leaflets and social media artwork. Please feel free to use this and share across your networks, put posters up on noticeboards and TRA halls and get the message out to residents.
The webpages at www.southwark.gov.uk/gettested have more info on Test and Trace and more posters you can download including area specific ones like Keep Peckham Safe. If you would like a poster with your estate specifically mentioned please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get one sent to you.
Thank you for helping to keep Southwark safe.
Kim Hooper – Publications and special projects manager at Southwark council