From Monday, anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will only have to isolate for five full days instead of seven, as long as they test negative on days five and six. This is a positive step in terms of relieving staffing pressures on our public services, and it means that lateral testing remains a really important part of how we manage the virus. If you have questions about testing, you can visit our team of Covid-19 Champions. Since last February, they have conducted over 16,500 supervised lateral flow tests, distributed over 77,000 home test kits, had over 46,000 conversations with people about testing and 41,000 conversations about vaccines. The team pop up in locations throughout the borough – find out more here
The good news is that in Croydon the Covid-19 incidence rate is coming down, although it is still high. The vaccination rate is going up – on one day in December we had 4,700 residents getting a dose of vaccination in a single day which is really fantastic – and thankfully we are seeing less people seriously ill in our hospital. Getting double-jabbed and a booster provides us with the best possible protection against Omicron, so we must keep going – book your vaccine online or find a walk-in clinic.
A huge thank you to our street champions
Last year, over 2,800 volunteers participated in litter picks and community clean-ups in our streets, parks and public spaces, while our network of dedicated Street Champions grew to 654. This demonstrates the huge amount of pride Croydon residents take in their neighbourhoods, and I want to say a huge thank you to all those involved. Clean, safe streets are a council priority – we ensure hundreds of miles of highway is cleansed and swept weekly, and we take littering and fly-tipping extremely seriously. We respond to around 2,000 fly-tips every month, and do not hesitate to prosecute individuals and businesses involved. Our street cleansing teams work hard to tackle issues as they arise – you can help them by reporting littering or flytipping through the Love Clean Streets App. If you are interested in becoming a Street Champion, visit our webpages.
£30m council tax support for residents most in need
We recently consulted residents on proposals to change our council tax support scheme, to make it easier for those in need to apply and ensure that our most vulnerable residents continue to be protected from paying any council tax. Thank you to all those who took the time to give their views – your feedback was invaluable. We have listened and made some changes to the proposals as a result. Later this month the council will consider the final proposals for a new scheme – which if agreed will come into effect in April. The new proposals were backed by over 80% of Croydon residents and will see the council continue to invest over £30m in supporting those least able to pay – find out more.
Tamil Heritage Month
January is Tamil Heritage Month, and today (14 January) marks the start of the Harvest and Thanksgiving Festival of Thai Pongal. On behalf of everyone in Croydon, I want to recognise the important contribution our Tamil community have made to life our borough, and also wish those celebrating a very happy Thai Pongal.
Have a good weekend,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council