The first of Croydon’s mass Covid-19 vaccination centres opened at Selhurst Park on Monday and it was great to see some of our social workers, who continue to be on the frontline of the pandemic, among the first to be vaccinated. This will provide them with the best possible protection against the virus as they provide a vital service for our communities. Marcia, who looks after some of our most vulnerable older residents, shared her story about working through the pandemic, what it was like getting the vaccine and what it means to her here.
The opening of the mass vaccination centre is another fantastic achievement by our local NHS team and partners Crystal Palace Football Club and will accelerate the vaccine programme that is already being delivered at pace across Croydon. Remember not to contact the NHS for your vaccine or arrive at vaccination centres without an appointment – they will get in touch with you by letter, phone or text when it is your turn. You can find out more about Croydon’s Covid-19 vaccine programme and how it is being delivered on our local NHS website. They are doing an amazing job in getting the vaccine to those most at risk first, and we all need to support them in this. If you are feeling hesitant about accepting your vaccine or have questions about how it works, please find out more from trusted sources like the NHS’s vaccine webpages.
While vaccination is our best chance of beating this pandemic, we must all remember it is only one part of our defence against the virus. Everyone, including those who have received the vaccine, must continue to limit their social contact to protect themselves, their friends and family. Stay at home apart from essential journeys and when you do go out, always keep your distance from others and remember hands, face, space. Everyone’s hard work is paying off and we are thankfully starting to see infection rates fall, but we cannot relax yet. Infection rates are still very high and there are still many people seriously ill in our hospital, so it is vital that we all keep going. You can find Croydon’s latest data on infection rates here.
If you are struggling with lockdown or feeling anxious, worried or low, do seek help. You can find ideas and tips to boost your mental health at Thrive Ldn or visit our health and wellbeing webpage to find more information on mental health support services.
Croydon’s renewal plans
I want to update you on the latest development with our plans to get Croydon’s finances back on track. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has now published the findings of their non-statutory rapid review they carried out in October 2020, to assess our financial situation and our renewal plans. You can read the report on our website at www.croydon.gov.uk/rapidreview.
As leader of the council I fully accept the serious concerns it raises about the council’s financial situation and want to reaffirm to you once again, my absolute determination to put things right. I’m encouraged that MHCLG’s reviewing team recognised our ‘strong commitment’ and energy with which my new administration and myself, together with officers across the council, are working to mount an effective recovery. Since the review was carried out in November, we have continued to make strong progress and it is positive that MHCLG are content that we continue to lead our improvement, challenged and advised by the Improvement and Assurance Panel, who will report regularly to government and provide them with confidence that we remain on the right track. I really welcome the role of the panel who have already begun their work with us and look forward to continuing to work with them. I will keep you updated on our progress.
Have a good weekend, and stay safe
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council