Covid-19 latest + dawn raids crack down on crime, new homes & it's getting HOT! 🌞

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Hot weather

Get ready for hot weather

Temperatures are set to soar in London from now until Sunday, and are expected to exceed 30 degrees on Friday and Saturday.

While many people enjoy the hot weather, high temperatures can lead to serious health consequences, especially for people in vulnerable groups. There’s also an extra challenge of keeping cool indoors for those who are staying home more than usual as a result of the pandemic. 

The NHS advises that you should:

  • Stay out of the heat between 11am and 3pm, when temperatures will be hottest.
  • Cool yourself down by having plenty of cold drinks, wearing loose clothes or taking a cool shower or bath.
  • Look out for others who may be more vulnerable in the hot weather. Please ensure you are doing this safely and following Covid-19 guidance, including maintaining a safe distance. If someone is unwell, call a doctor as they could be suffering from heatstroke.
  • Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day – mix up your routine by exercising early in the morning or later in the evening if it's a little cooler.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.

We also want you to enjoy the sunshine safely and responsibly: 

  • Do not swim in the Shadwell Basin – it is prohibited and extremely dangerous.
  • Enjoy our parks – but protect yourself from the sun, stay hydrated and put your litter in a bin or take it home with you, do not toss it on the floor. 

Hot weather tips >

Face coverings

Play your part, cover up

When you are out and about, please make sure you continue to follow the government's Covid-19 guidance.

While it might be slightly less comfortable in hot weather, it's vital you wear a face covering when required. This includes on public transport, in shops and while visiting a hospital, and from Saturday 8 August the list of places where you'll need to wear a face covering will grow. It will include cinemas, places of worship, museums, salons, libraries, community centres and many other indoor public spaces and venues. Please check the latest advice to ensure you're playing your part to prevent the spread of the virus.

Washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds as soon as you get home and maintaining social distancing when you're out are both still crucial. Read more about what you can and cannot do.

Cover up >

Park playgrounds

Park playgrounds and outdoor gyms are open 

We're pleased to let you know our playgrounds and outdoor gyms are now open following our annual safety inspections, with the exception of Bartlett Park in Poplar and Mile End Children’s Play Park. 

We hope families and children enjoy getting back out for playtime! Please follow the safety advice when using the playgrounds and equipment, and support your children to do the same. 

Visit your local park > 

New homes

Car park transformed into new council homes 

Great news! We have transformed a former car park that was once a magnet for antisocial behaviour into 24 new council homes in Stepney Green.

Levitas House, in Jubilee Street, is the latest development to be completed as part of our pledge to deliver 2,000 new council homes. It is the first of three sites due to be completed this summer, providing 77 new council homes between them.

The building boasts a very large play area with a climbing frame, swings, seesaws and trampolines as well as a sizeable open area. Mayor John Biggs and Deputy Mayor Councillor Sirajul Islam have already checked it out!

Find out more >

Play Street

Host a play street in your neighbourhood

As part of London Car Free Day, we're offering you and your neighbours the opportunity to host a play street in residential roads.

It’s a great chance to get to know your community and create space for little ones to kick a ball around, play hopskotch or just have fun outside without worrying about traffic.

Car Free Day takes place on Sunday 20 September but you’ll need to speak to your neighbours and apply soon to get permission in time.

Read more >

Keep London Safe Test and Trace image

Book a Covid-19 test if you have symptoms

NHS Test and Trace is a national programme working to make sure that anyone who develops Covid-19 symptoms can be tested quickly. It also helps trace recent contacts of anyone who tests positive and if necessary, notify them so that they can stay at home and help stop the spread of the virus.

It is an essential feature of efforts to keep Tower Hamlets safe and drive down the rates of infection and transmission.

Mobile testing units are operating in the borough and are another way to get tested, alongside ordering a home testing kit. The next mobile testing dates are 7,13 and 16 August.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19, please book a test immediately. 

Book a test >

Operation Continuum

Operation Continuum: Six arrested and drugs seized

The pandemic has not stopped efforts to tackle crime in Tower Hamlets.

In a series of dawn raids executed across ten residential addresses in Tower Hamlets this week, six people have been arrested and a quantity of suspected Class A drugs seized.

The warrants form part of Operation Continuum, a partnership initiative between the council, the Met Police and housing associations, established to crack down on drug dealing and make neighbourhoods cleaner and safer. 

Find out more >

Black History Month 2019

Send us your Black History Month images!

We are delighted to announce that submissions are now open for our Black History Month Photo-Open Exhibition 2020.

This is an opportunity for anyone and everyone to submit their photographs on the theme of Black History Month, whether they cover key events of 2020 or were taken in previous years.

Selected entries will be showcased as part of an online exhibition this October, but must be submitted by 21 August.

We also want to know about any events (online or in real life!) that you may be planning for October.

Share your plans > 


Government urged to honour its Covid-19 promise

The high and ongoing cost of dealing with Covid-19 has created a £30 million financial black hole in our budget. Mayor John Biggs has issued a stark warning that unless the government sticks to its promise to do “whatever it takes” to support local councils, there will be some very tough funding decisions ahead.

The serious financial situation was laid out at our recent Cabinet meeting. Figures from the first four full months of lockdown show that due to increased essential spending and loss of income, the council has had to spend an extra £60 million, with the government only committing to provide half that amount so far.

Read more >

Play day

A great play day celebrating daily freedoms and adventures

This week, children at our Holiday Childcare Scheme celebrated Play Day 2020, an annual event which started in 1987 and is now marked around the nation. 

They took part in a range of sports and activities including scooter races, egg and spoon, and a balancing game that involved walking with a beanbag on your head!

Holiday childcare >

Free family meals

All mapped out for family Healthy Holidays 

An update on our Healthy Holidays food programme! You can now collect free meals and food bags from two new locations – in Whitechapel and Shadwell.

If your family is eligible, you will be able to collect meals from any of six locations in the borough until Friday 28 August. You will also be able to collect activity packs full of ideas, advice and inspiration to keep active and eating well this summer.

Map of locations >

Citizenship ceremonies resumes

Celebrating the return of citizenship ceremonies

We were delighted this week to resume our group citizenship ceremonies following approval from the Home Office. We have so far welcomed almost 100 new UK citizens at special Covid-secure ceremonies held in our council chamber.

The ceremonies aren't quite back to normal given the need to maintain safety and social distancing. People have to wear a face covering, seating is spaced out across the chamber and unfortunately citizens aren't able to invite groups of friends and families.

Despite the changes, we're very much looking forward to welcoming many new UK citizens in the coming weeks.

Citizenship latest >

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