Happy Diwali, Idea Stores update, Ask the Mayor and more

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Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali! Please celebrate safely

Due to the current national restrictions, those celebrating Diwali unfortunately won’t be able to meet up with friends and extended families in person this year. We hope residents can instead enjoy celebrations online at home and by using video calls to wish their loved ones a happy Diwali. There are also ways to mark the occasion safely in Tower Hamlets...

Gurdwara Sikh Sangat (Sikh Temple) will be offering free vegetarian food for collection for those who live in the area, from 4pm - 6pm on Saturday 14 November. Information about the ingredients, recipe and a pre-recorded demonstration of the food that will be on offer can be found online for those wishing to try it themselves at home. (Please note, there will be no firework display this year.)

A beautiful Diwali flower installation will take over the fountains in Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf until Sunday 15 November. The floating flower installations, in a selection of sizes and colours, will each have a flickering battery-operated candle lit up throughout the week of celebrations.  

Careful steps have been taken to ensure the installation can be enjoyed outdoors, at a distance and in a covid-secure manner, allowing visitors to respect the current restrictions and stay safe.

More on Diwali installation >

Ask the Mayor

Ask the Mayor online: Tuesday 24 November

Mayor John Biggs is hosting an online edition of his regular Ask the Mayor question and answer sessions.

Join online on Tuesday 24 November from 7pm - 8pm to ask your questions and get a live response from Mayor Biggs.

The event will focus on the tough financial challenges ahead for the council and we want to find out from you what services matter the most to you.

You'll need to register to attend, where you can also ask a question in advance if you wish.

Register now > 

November 5 guidelines

Stay home, stay safe

A reminder that national restrictions are in place to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Schools, colleges and children's centres remain open as do our parks and open spaces.

Shops and market stalls selling food can operate with some businesses offering takeaway and 'click-and-collect' services.

Bin collections are continuing and our reuse and recycling centre remains open.

Please remember that the NHS is still open – please attend your existing medical appointments and contact your GP or NHS 111 as normal if you need support.

If you do have to leave home, remember to wash your hands regularly, cover your face and make space for others.

Finally, please look after your mental health and wellbeing at this challenging time and don't forget to check in on family and friends. 

Local updates >

Idea Store

Update on library services

In line with the restrictions, our Idea Stores are offering a limited service to enable people to order and collect books or access a computer.

You can either order books online or ring up and collect them from a choice of the three Idea Stores:

If you don't have access to a computer or internet at home but need to use essential online public services, you can also call to arrange to use a computer at these three locations.

Adult learning classes are continuing either online or in store at their regular time. All fitness and dance classes will either move online or stop.

Other Idea Stores and libraries are closed, but our online services continue. 

More on Idea Stores >

NHS open for business

The NHS is open for business

Health leaders are reminding residents that it is safe to attend appointments, surgery and accident and emergency services (A&E). For urgent care, your first port of call should be NHS 111, unless it's a life-changing emergency.

Hospitals including the Royal London and Mile End have adapted to continue to care for patients safely while Covid-19 remains a threat to everyone’s health.

For information about accessing hospital services during the pandemic, please visit the Barts Health website. The advice is available in a number of languages.

Barts Health advice >

Brick Lane

Share your views on temporary road closures

As Covid-19 restrictions changed in August, we created temporary space for dining outdoors, and for cyclists and pedestrians in the iconic Brick Lane restaurant district.

These temporary changes to the road layout came to an end last week (except between Buxton Street and Pedley Street) and we want to know what you thought about them.

Fill in our survey >

BAME Commission

Commissioners want your views on education

Last week our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission met to discuss health inequalities and heard from a number of expert witnesses. You can view the meeting online.

On Wednesday 18 November at 11am, the commission will be looking to education, with a special focus on what challenges school, college and university leavers face when entering the jobs market. You can share your views and experiences with commissioners on education, as well as health inequalities and community leadership, online.

Get in touch >

Alcohol awareness week

Get involved in Alcohol Awareness Week

We’re supporting #AlcoholAwarenessWeek, run by Alcohol Change UK, from 16 - 22 November. This year is all about the link between mental health and alcohol. Sometimes drinking can be used as a way to handle stress, particularly during such a difficult year, and can catch up with us before we know it.

  • Read personal stories from those who’ve struggled and how they managed to change their life for the better.
  • Find out where to get local support if you are concerned about your own drinking or someone else’s alcohol use.

Alcohol Awareness Week >

SEND consultation

Reorganisation of SLS and SEND service

We are consulting on proposed changes to our support for learning (SLS) and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) service.

Take a look at our online consultation page for further information on proposals, meetings and how to respond.

The consultation opened on Wednesday 11 November and will close at 5pm on Wednesday 6 January 2021.

 Find out more > 

And don't forget...

Have your say on our budget

This year, we’re spending £1.2 billion gross expenditure (£354.5 million net expenditure budget) on public services to support people and improve lives. We’ve worked hard to save £200m since 2010 and extra pressures including dealing with Covid-19, means that we need save a further £30m by 2024.

This is your chance to help us shape the future for all.

Budget consultation 2020

New mum? Share your views

Are you a new mum living in Tower Hamlets? The East London Maternity Voice Partnership wants your feedback on the care you received while pregnant, during delivery and shortly after having your baby within the last year.

The survey aims to give new mums a voice and improve services.

New mum?

Nominate projects for infrastructure funding

Tower Hamlets is one of the fastest growing boroughs in the country. We know that every new development increases the pressure on things like your GP surgery or local schools.

That’s why we require developers to contribute to the Local Infrastructure Fund (LIF), a pot of money that is used to pay for projects in the communities where development is taking place. 

We want your views on what we should spend our LIF money on in each area through our survey.

Local Infrastucture Fund

Useful links

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