Councillor’s Update

Forthcoming

4th July – Hospitality Sector opens up. So should better access to public toilets.

6th July – Twickenham, Teddington and Hampton Hill Libraries open 10am – 2pm for collection/drop off via click & collect.

12th July – Twickenham Riverside Development – Consultation on Parking closes. Your views on whether we want cars on the river frontage.

There is a Local Area Fund of £10k per ward to support a project that aims to improve “quality of life”. Your ideas please?

Economic Support During Lockdown

18,500 people were furloughed in the Borough – close to 10% of the Borough population. The worry has to be the level of redundancies when this ends.

6,600 claims for Income Support were made by the Self-Employed.

2447 Business Support Grants were made totalling £40m

Business Rates relief amounted to £47m. 54 rough sleepers accommodated.

There is concern at an estimate of 15,800 households in the Borough with mortgages and low levels of savings.

The financial implications for the Borough in 2020/21, from the impact of incurring increased costs and loss of revenue from parking, closed leisure facilities and reduced (or deferred) Council Tax, Rents and Business Rates are quite serious. They greatly exceed the extra monies from central government. The hope has to be for a return to relative normality by 21/22. Otherwise local government in general will be struggling.

Covid-19

Richmond Borough has had the lowest death rate in London, and very few new cases in June. This is encouraging as we enter a period of relaxing the lockdown, but we should remember that April was a bad month for care homes in the Borough. Daily contact with every older peoples’ home is being maintained and PPE supplies are reliably good.

Contact tracing has been devolved to local authorities. Our Director of Public Health is developing a plan to ensure we will be responsive to fresh outbreaks.

Schools

56 schools resumed in June with about 50% attendance levels for Reception, and Years 1 and 6. Three safe school streets for primaries were established. The challenge is for September when attendance for all will be mandatory. The issues for classrooms and also transport promise to be challenging.

Cycling and Walking

Cycling lanes, such as Kew Road were implemented. Narrow and congested pavements that prevented safe distancing were addressed in Teddington, East Twickenham and Richmond Town Centre. Church Street becomes pedestrianised.

Meanwhile we continue with our virtual meetings and with public input. Longer hair and beards have become more evident on the screen!

Cllr Richard Bennett
South Twickenham Ward. Leader, Green Group Cllr.R.Bennett@richmond.gov.uk

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