No Place for Hate, keep our parks tidy, transport changes and more

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Message from the Mayor

This week, we joined the worldwide backlash against the senseless killing of George Floyd in the United States. We are proud of our long history of standing up to racism and that Tower Hamlets continues to be a borough where there is ‘No Place for Hate’, and where Black Lives Matter. Please read more on this below.

It’s also been busy with changes to the coronavirus restrictions coming into play and the publication of a major Public Health England report into the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people from a black and minority ethnic background. Next week, I will meet with health experts at Queen Mary University to understand this better and to see what local guidance and other steps we can take to provide greater protection for our residents.

More generally, I know many people are finding the government’s new guidance more difficult to understand and that many of you remain nervous. In the near future, we will be issuing further local guidance based on our challenges here in the East End to help you.

Returning the borough to the new normal is going to be a difficult and slow process but together I have no doubt we can make it work. Getting people back to work and school is vital for our wellbeing, our children’s education and our economy – but it must be done safely. We’ve been working with our schools to help them begin to open their doors safely to more pupils this week.

On Wednesday, I also chaired our first live digital Cabinet meeting. I was pleased to welcome four councillors to new roles and I look forward to working with them to deliver for our residents. During the meeting, we took a minute to pause and remember all those who have lost their lives to coronavirus as well as those who are facing injustice.

The meeting also gave us an opportunity to discuss the council’s response to this unprecedented crisis and the steps we’re taking to move forward together with our partners.

This weekend, please continue to take care and follow social distancing guidance. We are making good progress but we must continue for the long haul.

If you're visiting our parks or public spaces, please make sure you use the bins or take your rubbish with you. And finally, if you haven't already, please take a moment to fill in our coronavirus impact survey. This will help us plan our services so that we can respond to the specific issues faced by our communities and provide support on the road ahead. 

Stay safe,

Mayor John Biggs

Bromly Public Hall in purple

Standing up to racism and injustice

On Wednesday, we lit the Bromley Public Hall in purple in memory of George Floyd and in solidarity with the many millions appalled by this issue.

In Tower Hamlets we have used the message of ‘No Place for Hate’ which means not discriminating because of the colour of someone’s skin, where they are from, who they are or who they love.

We show solidarity with those affected by injustice on this basis and reflect on what we can do in our lives to ensure that we are part of that ongoing fight for equality.

Each of us has a part to play in achieving equality and social justice and we urge our whole community to continue to speak out against all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Pledge against hate >

Volunteers Week

Thank you to our thousands of inspiring volunteers 

It's Volunteer's Week and we've been celebrating the thousands of volunteers who have supported vulnerable residents and made a real difference in our communities.

We have shared some of your stories online and say a big thank you to everyone who has volunteered or offered their support in Tower Hamlets in so many different ways!

If you're interested in volunteering, you can offer support through the Tower Hamlets Volunteer Centre.

Get inspired >

Park visit

Plan your park visit and keep our borough tidy

Updated social distancing rules mean that you can now visit a park to exercise or spend time outside either alone, with members of your household or to meet up to six people – provided that those from different households stay two metres away from each other.

We all must play our part to keep our borough tidy - please enjoy our parks responsibly and take your litter home with you. Like many parks in the UK, our toilets are temporarily closed so please plan your trip accordingly, and don't forget to wash your hands before and after visiting.

Plan your park visit >

Shielding update

Updated advice for ‘shielding’ residents

The government has now updated its advice for people who have been told to self-isolate (those with serious underlying health conditions and who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus). This extra precaution is called shielding.

The updated advice now says people who are shielding can go out once a day, either with members of their household, or if they live alone, they can meet one other person from outside their home. This should ideally be the same person each time.

We’ve worked with local health partners to provide more detail on how people who are shielding can follow the updated guidance safely.

Always keep up to date with the latest NHS advice if you are in this group and remember, shielding is working and remains the most effective way of protecting yourself if you are at increased risk.                 

Shielding advice >

Freedom Pass changes

Freedom Pass changes for older residents 

From Monday 15 June, holders of an older person’s Freedom Pass, 60+ Oyster photocard or English National Concessionary Scheme pass will not be able to use those passes on weekday mornings (Monday - Friday, 4.30am - 9am).

Theses passes will continue to be valid at all other times on weekdays, all day on weekends and bank holidays. Passengers with a disabled Freedom Pass are unaffected.

These temporary arrangements will help reduce the risk of crowding at peak times, which makes social distancing more difficult to maintain.

Read more >

Health & Wellbeing Board

Question our Health and Wellbeing Board

Do you have questions about the pandemic and its impact on health and wellbeing?

At our next Health and Wellbeing Board (Monday 8 June, 5pm) you’ll have the opportunity to submit questions to our panel, or to join the meeting online and hear from them about:

  • What the council has done as part of its response to the pandemic?
  • How residents can keep themselves and their families safe?
  • How will the council continue to work with health partners as the pandemic continues?

Submit a question >

Pay it Forward

Crowdfunding for local businesses

Businesses that may be struggling due to the impact of coronavirus, are invited to register for a free crowdfunding initiative from the Mayor of London. Pay It Forward helps businesses survive the lockdown by pre-selling vouchers, goods and services.  

People in Tower Hamlets can support the scheme by paying for goods and services in advance to ease cash flow problems for local businesses.   

Find out more >

Bromley by Bow centre directory

Making contact easy at the Bromley by Bow Centre

The team at Bromley by Bow Centre, one of our borough's community organisations, has adapted its services so they can run virtually until the centre is able to reopen.

This includes a directory of phone numbers and email addresses to make contact easier for residents.

Read more >

Coronavirus: useful links

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