I know the government decision to delay the relaxing of restrictions will have come as a disappointment to many, particularly our businesses. We continue to do all we can to support them, from distributing more than £70m in grants since the start of the pandemic to celebrating our high streets with our Love Croydon, shop local campaign. It’s also been great to see our Covid-19 information officers out and about helping local businesses. Visit our business webpages for information about all the support available.
However with the numbers of Covid cases continuing to rise in Croydon and elsewhere in the country, safety must come first. If we want to see the further easing of restrictions, we must all play our part in helping to beat the virus so that we can reopen safely and start to do more of the things we love. More than 320,000 Croydon residents have now been vaccinated, which is fantastic, and I urge anyone who hasn’t yet had their jab to come forward and join them as soon as possible. The vaccine is now available to all over 18s – you can book your appointment online, call 119 or to make it even easier, our NHS partners have set up walk-in clinics across the borough, with no pre-booking required. Details are available here, with more walk-in sites to come. When you go for your jab, why not bring family members who are eligible but haven’t yet had their vaccine with you?
It’s also really important that you go for your second jab, as this will ensure you have the best possible protection. If you’re over 40, book your second jab on the national booking system from eight weeks after your first dose.
It was great to see one of our local heroes recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. My congratulations to Croydon-born Roy Hodgson, former England Manager, who received a CBE for services to football in the latest honours list. Back in 2018, we awarded Roy Freedom of the Borough when he was Crystal Palace manager, in recognition of his contribution to Croydon and to football, both home and abroad.
I’s also like to congratulate Tony McArdle, chair of our Improvement and Assurance Panel, who has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to local government. Tony has worked for the government in improvement related roles for many years and we’re very pleased to have him working with us as we continue to deliver our renewal plans here in Croydon. Congratulations to both Tony and Roy, and all Croydon residents who have been recognised.
If you’re planning to watch the football later, enjoy the match safely. Remember the rule of six or two households indoors, or if you’re heading out to meet friends, protect yourself and others by following hands, face, space and take a rapid Covid test before you go. Our testing centres are open and you could have the results in 30 minutes – find your nearest one here. We all need to work together to keep Croydon safe.
Have a great weekend,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council