Pictured: Cllr Lucy Mowatt, Cllr Clare Salier and Cllr Paul Ellis.
Welcome to Your Essential Balham & Clapham South Update: April 2020
We know that this is a challenging time for many residents and so as your local councillors we wanted to share information about how we can best protect ourselves and support each other. We also want to add our thanks to all those local people across Balham and Wandsworth who are working in the NHS and other critical roles, and to those volunteering to help others as we unite to fight this pandemic.
Please contact us by clicking on our names below if you have any queries or anything we can help with.
Stay safe and best wishes
Lucy, Clare and Paul.
Stay at Home – Protect the NHS – Save Lives
The expert advice is clear, we all need to stay at home and minimise our social interaction for the next few weeks in order to reduce the spread of the virus. The Government has said people should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
- Shopping for basic necessities for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Helping Vulnerable People
The Council has created a Community Hub for residents, particularly those people who are elderly and/or vulnerable without support networks, who need support to access medical/care services and food supplies. It is designed to help those most in need to stay safe and well while they self-isolate at home.
You can call our Community Hub on 020 8871 6555 or click here to e-mail our Community Hub.
You can see a short video of the Council’s work with Wandsworth's AgeUK to deliver food parcels across the borough here.
If you want to help
If you are an individual, business or organisation that is interested in helping, we would encourage you to visit our webpage and complete our online form in the ‘how your organisation can help’ section.
If you are an existing voluntary or community group in the borough, or one who has been formed in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, you can contact the Wandsworth Voluntary Sector Co-ordination Project (part of the Care Alliance) to liaise with the Council.
Helping Businesses, Employees, and the Self-Employed
In response to the economic impact of the virus, the Chancellor has announced an unprecedented package of financial measures. The measures include business rate relief, grants and loans to keep businesses and the economy going during these difficult times.
The Council has already paid out over £20 million of grants, helping hundreds of local businesses. So please do visit the website and see what your business can apply for.
Update on Council Services
The Council has had to reduce or change a number of services across the borough as part of the emergency response, here are some of services that are affected:
- All libraries and leisure centres are currently closed.
- Parks and green spaces remain open but signs have been placed on playgrounds and equipment reminding residents of the need to maintain social distancing measures.
- Rubbish and Recycling collections are running to schedule.
But we have had to postpone the collection of garden waste and we urge people not to dispose of bulky items at this time. The waste crews are doing a tremendous job keeping the service running with reduced staffing levels due to the virus. We have also had to close the tip at Smugglers Way for the time being.
Schools and Children
- School attendance in Wandsworth has been very low, which means local people are staying home to protect the NHS.
- We know it’s difficult having children unable to go out at this difficult time. The Council has put together a page with fun digital activities for young people, including yoga, audiobooks, boxing and cooking. There’s a section specifically on SEND, too: https://shar.es/aHhRZG
- Some key workers have been in touch because they need to work but their children’s private nurseries have closed. If you need help, please contact your ward councillors, who will try to help you find a place.
This will ensure you receive the latest information on combatting COVID-19 and any changes to Council services like waste and recycling, libraries, schools, and leisure centres as part of the emergency response.
We hope you find this e-bulletin useful. Please do feel free to share it with your friends, neighbourhood and community groups.