This week has seen the historic moment when the first people were given the COVID-19 vaccine, (says Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council in his latest video above). Nobody in Ealing is yet to receive the vaccine, but that should happen hopefully in the next week.
As I said last week, this mass vaccination process will take months not weeks. With positive COVID-19 cases going up again in Ealing and across London, now, with a long winter ahead of us, is the most dangerous moment.
The case numbers in Ealing for the week ending 6 December are 174.7 per 100,000 (of population), that is a 2.2% increase on the week before. That puts us in twentieth place in London because cases are higher and rising faster in other parts of the capital, particularly in the north east.
You will have seen on the news the secretary of state for health, Matt Hancock’s announcement that the government are sending additional mobile testing resources to schools in the north east, following a meeting with London Council leaders and the Mayor, earlier this week.
Tipping point for London
London is at a tipping point. Cases are now higher in London than anywhere else in the country and next Wednesday, 16 December, the government will review whether London should be moved from tier 2 to tier 3 restrictions.
In order to save lives and livelihoods I am pleading with everyone, to follow the rules with exactness and especially be careful this weekend.
Please wear a face covering, try extra hard to stay two metres away from people not in your household and thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially when you return home from going outside.
If you have symptoms get a test and isolate. If you have financial difficulties because of self-isolating please contact the council. Also, please follow the rule to not mix with other households indoors either in your own home or in restaurants and cafes.
This week we made two decisions at our council cabinet meeting that I want to inform you of, as part of our interim assessment of low traffic neighbourhoods.
Firstly, that we would replace all bollards with fixed or mobile cameras to help give better access to low traffic neighbourhoods, for our emergency services and secondly, that we would allow blue badge holders, within their own LTNs to go through barriers in their LTN.
Chair of the independent race equality commission
Finally, it is a real pleasure and we are incredibly honoured for me to announce that Lord Simon Woolley has accepted our invitation to be the chair of our independent race equality commission.
Lord Woolley is the director and one of the founder members of Operation Black Vote and has immense experience of working for greater equality in all spheres, and will be an enormous contributor to making Ealing a fairer place through this work as chair and with the commission.
We look forward to working with him and sharing more information about the commission shortly.