The last week has been fast moving and unlike anything any of us have experienced before. Many of us are feeling anxious and concerned about the coming weeks and months ahead, and I wanted to write to you to let you know about our plans to support our community and what we’re doing as a Council to help slow down the spread of Coronavirus.
As ever, Hackney’s community spirit has been out in force. I’ve been blown away by the offers of help, support and neighbourliness I’ve seen on display. At the weekend I leafleted for my own ward mutual aid group and spoke to residents, hearing how glad they were to be connected into a network of active neighbours and citizens. We’re busy working with local voluntary and community groups to get together a really robust and effective way to ensure we can get support to those who need it most. This will include the food and other deliveries the Government confirmed at the weekend.
Council officers are also working with the Government around the package of support announced for local businesses, and we’re finalising a further hardship fund to help residents being impacted financially.
We will continue to update you on these really important pieces of work, as well information about service changes.
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister last night, Council buildings are now closed to the public. This means that all face-to-face appointments are being postponed or carried out over the phone.
We will continue to deliver essential public services, and are looking at how we can redeploy staff to support our frontline teams. We have been only able to do this because of hard working staff who are keeping our schools open for key workers, maintaining services and often taking on new roles to support the community. I thank all of them and other key workers who ensure we are safe and have access to food and other essentials.
We will continue to update residents about service changes via our website, this newsletter and by phone where necessary. Our contact centre remains open. If you have a question about a specific essential service, please call 020 8356 3000.
We are providing parking exemptions for key workers on the front line of the borough’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This will allow key workers to park in any resident or shared use parking bay in Hackney.
This is open to workers classed as key workers in government guidance, and includes:
NHS workers / police
Council workers, and contractors delivering services on their behalf (ie social care)
Organisations providing support to vulnerable individuals, such as care home workers
To apply, please provide your name, telephone number, email address, organisation name and vehicle details (make, model, colour and registration number) in an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our parks remain open to allow people to exercise, as per Government guidance, however our outdoor gyms, play areas and multi-use games areas are now closed. It is essential that park users adhere to the Government guidance about social distancing and do not congregate in groups of more than two from outside their immediate household.
The Government has advised that people must only leave home for:
shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
Additionally, however difficult it is people must not visit family members or friends; all libraries, places of worship and playgrounds will be closed, as will all shops selling non-essential items, and groups of more than two people gathering can be dispersed by the Police.
It is absolutely essential that we all follow this advice to help stop the spread of the virus, protect frontline workers, our vulnerable family members and neighbours as well as our NHS.
Please stay at home and stay safe.
Mayor of Hackney