More than 600,000 Covid-19 vaccinations have been given in Croydon since the start of the programme, with over 1,000 people vaccinated yesterday at Centrale alone. This is all thanks to a phenomenal effort from our health partners at hospitals, GPs, pharmacies and clinics across our community. We all owe a huge debt of thanks to all those working so hard to deliver this vital programme, particularly through the festive season. While we are still learning about Omicron, the best way to protect ourselves, and protect our community from becoming seriously ill is to get vaccinated. There are long waits at some walk-in clinics at the moment so you may prefer to book and please do be patient with staff on site – our local NHS are doing everything they can to increase availability. You can book your jab or find a walk-in clinic online.
The pace of vaccination is vital because, like elsewhere, cases in Croydon are rising quickly. We know that 60% of Covid cases in London are now Omicron and this is increasing rapidly. Sadly there are now 69 people being treated for Covid at Croydon University Hospital, and we wish them all a safe recovery.
Even if you are fully vaccinated, the public health advice on hands, face, space and fresh air remains an important defence against the virus, as is using lateral flow tests before meeting others, or daily if you have been in close contact with a positive case – make sure you know the new rules.
With cases rising, I also want to reassure you that we are already mobilising to ensure that we can maintain the essential council services we all depend on in the coming weeks. From protecting from our most vulnerable residents, to collecting your bins and keeping streets clean, we will always prioritise vital services and have robust contingency plans in place to minimise disruption. We keep our webpages updated with any service changes due to Covid-19 and you can find all the information, including how to get support if you need it, here.
Since I became leader last year, we’ve made significant progress tackling our financial challenges and we are on track to deliver a balanced budget this year. As we look ahead and prepare to set our budget for 2022/23, we want to hear your views on our initial proposals and priorities.
Like many local authorities, we have to make significant savings despite demand for our services growing. We also want to plan for our communities’ future needs, particularly as we recover from the pandemic. That’s why our initial proposals prioritise delivering good quality core services while living within our means. That means the majority of our savings coming from making services more efficient, bringing in more external funding and by targeting our resources where they can make the most difference for local people. We want to hear from as many people as possible before we make any decisions so please take our short survey.
Have a good weekend, and stay safe
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council