Covid 19, where are we now?-Councillor Williamson.

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Today South Hornchurch Residents Association Councillor Graham Williamson writes in the Havering Daily.

Since infection rates have fallen the Government decided to ease the lockdown. It is important however that everyone try and socially distance to prevent a spike in new Covid-19 cases. Of course, if we had stayed in lockdown for too much longer then there was a danger the economy would be irreparably damaged with mass unemployment. Hopefully, we can avoid that.

The Council will be slowly opening up too and whilst there won’t be any public physical meetings for some time, the normal basic services will continue to resume. Of course the crisis will have cost the Council a large loss of revenue and a big increase in costs helping fight Covid. The full shortfall is not expected to be met by Government. Sadly it looks as if the Council Tax increases will continue year on year and some services may be effected.

Of course, if you are experiencing any problems or uncertainty about Council services right now feel free to ask me any questions at councillorgraham.williamson@havering.gov.uk

Some Primary Schools re-opened this week but with limited numbers of pupils. Secondary schools will not reopen until the 15th of June.

Whilst millions of employees and the self-employed plus businesses have received financial support there are some who haven’t. If you own or work for a small business that hasn’t so far been helped by the Government e.g. occupiers of retail space not otherwise rated or managed workspace and incubator accommodation. I am pleased to say some Discretionary grants have become available. If you think you might be eligible please check out www.havering.gov.uk/covod19business.

Whilst many residents are now tentatively stepping outside more than before, our ‘shielded’ neighbours are not. There are many who are lonely and need some human conversation. If you would like to be a ‘Befriender’ by phoning and saying hello for a few minutes please contact the Havering Volunteering Centre and offer your help via e-mail: volunteering@haveringvc.org.uk (http://www.haveringvc.org.uk).

If you are one of those ‘shielded’ members of the community and, unlike the rest of us, expected to stay on lockdown, please stay safe and well. Fingers crossed the crisis will soon end and we can move to a ‘new’ normal.  Speak soon!

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