You are saving lives

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A message from Lambeth Council Leader Cllr Jack Hopkins

Dear resident,

I want to start by thanking you. By staying home and observing social distancing you have been playing a vital role in protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your community from coronavirus. It is absolutely essential that we all continue to observe social distancing so that we can beat this crisis together and come out the other side.

The council’s work to support our residents through this crisis is continuing at pace and I want to encourage you all to keep doing your bit to help our friends and neighbours: whether through volunteering, keeping in touch with your neighbours or directing people to the support they need.

We’ve expanded all our schemes to help those who lose their job, lose income or are struggling financially in the current crisis. If you or someone that you know is struggling please contact the council and seek out the help we are offering.

Find out what support you can receive.

Thanks to our incredible group of charities, voluntary sector groups, council staff and volunteers, we’ve now delivered more than 4000 food packages to local vulnerable people and opened over 9000 cases with our helpline. We’re also trialling a new shopping offer in a small number of neighbourhoods with plans to expand quickly to be borough-wide, delivered by our fantastic group of local volunteers. I’ve been heartened to hear from so many people who have been helped by these services. If someone you know is worried about access to food or other essentials, please do phone our helpline on 020 7926 2999 (open every day from 8am to 8pm).

We have also been supporting businesses in Lambeth, with £23 million of business rates grants and support already paid out. All information about our support for businesses is available on our website.

While the indication is that the lockdown measures are working to reduce the spread of the virus, we cannot be complacent and know that difficult times still lie ahead. Our focus as a council is on ensuring we can support people with care needs when they leave hospital, and that our care services can continue to cope throughout the peak of this crisis. That also means continuing to press government for appropriate PPE for staff, which is still inadequate and too slow, so that we can protect staff and residents.

Of course, all of this costs and we will be reporting on all of our actions, decisions and spend during this time, to capture the learnings, improve and prepare for whatever is still to come. Everyone in local government welcomed the government’s immediate commitment to support councils financially by repaying the extra money spent to support our residents and save lives through the crisis.

But in the last week the tone of the messages from government has changed. Local councils have already suffered a decade of government cuts– it would be an absolutely betrayal for local services to have to bear the burden of the current crisis as well. This difficult time has shown us very clearly that the vital public services that councils deliver must be funded properly and sustainably in the long term, and Lambeth council will fight to ensure that happens.

Best wishes,

Cllr hopkins

Cllr Jack Hopkins

Leader of Lambeth Council