I want to update you on our latest response to the COVID-19 pandemic and important changes we have made to continue to deliver vital public services at this most difficult time.
As the nation went into lockdown this week, I want to thank all the Croydon residents who have followed Government advice to stay at home to save lives, and protect our NHS. We are all in this together and we must do all we can to avoid putting ourselves and others at risk.
As a council we have we have swiftly implemented a major shift in how we operate, enabling us to prioritise critical frontline services that keep everyone safe and protect our most vulnerable.
This means collecting your bins, keeping your streets clean, and caring for children, families and the elderly – all more important than ever with so with many in need.
We are working as a whole council to respond to this challenge, joining forces to strengthen these all-important service areas by redeploying staff to support those on the frontline.
And today we have launched the new COVID-19 hubs. Delivered by the council with our partners and volunteers, these will provide vital support for the most vulnerable, delivering food and medical supplies, and signposting them to services.
We also continue to build on our package of support for residents during this time – including the option for those experiencing difficulties to defer council tax payments.
And through our partnership with Croydon Voluntary Action, and with organisations across the community, together we continue to coordinate the fantastic effort from Croydon’s army of volunteers. Once again I must thank you all, for all you are doing.
In line with Government guidance to stay home, we have now closed most council buildings to protect staff and the public. But as I said last week, we are very much still here and behind the scenes our officers are working day and night to keep our services running.
Please do stay in touch – subscribe to this newsletter for our updates and join our #CroydonTogether campaign – more on that and other services below.
Together, Croydon will come through this.
Help with council tax
With so many people’s financial circumstances impacted by COVID-19, we want to do all we can to help. We will be shortly be introducing a council tax support scheme so residents can apply to defer council tax payments for up to two months – keep an eye on our website and social media for updates.
You can also find out more about our package of support for those experiencing hardship here.
As we increase capacity on our vital services, we have made some important changes to others. You can find out the latest status of all our services on the COVID-19 pages of our website, which are constantly updated.
Our waste and recycling collections are still operating, thanks to our hard-working crews, although we have temporarily suspended our bulky waste services.
We have also relaxed our parking restrictions which I hope will make things easier for everyone in these difficult times. We are still carrying out some enforcement to keep our streets safe and protect emergency services access.
You can see more details on these and all of our services here.
Our COVID-19 hubs are in operation from today.
Announced by the Government last week, the hubs will be led and delivered by local councils, and will play a vital role in protecting our community’s most vulnerable residents at this time. These people have been identified by the Government working with the NHS, and they should have received a letter this week. With council staff working with our partners and volunteers, the hubs will deliver food parcels, medical supplies and other essential services to this group.
Have you received a letter from the NHS? Available from Monday our helpline number for those residents who have been identified for hub support is 020 8604 7787 or email email@example.com
If you are not in this group, but are in need of support or are struggling to access food or essential supplies, please ask – there are volunteers ready and willing to help. Details at www.croydon.gov.uk/cva.
Just a reminder that although our parks are still open, the facilities – playgrounds, toilets and outdoor gyms within them are closed and should not be used. If you do go to the park for a run, or walk, to get your daily exercise, then please do still follow the Government guidance on social distancing – that means staying at least two metres away from anyone who is not from your household.
If we can all stick to these rules, parks will remain open but your safety must come first so if people are gathering in groups, we may have to close them.
We continue to work in close partnership with Croydon Vountary Action (CVA) to coordinate the voluntary response locally. Hundreds more joined this army of volunteers this week, with many thousands more working at a local level in their streets and neighbourhoods to deliver food and other essential supplies. On behalf of everyone in Croydon, I want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved – you are fantastic. You can sign up here www.croydon.gov.uk/cva.
As Croydon comes together to care for, help and support each other right across our community, we want to hear from you about the many ways you are doing this.
Whether you are a nurse or doctor in the NHS; a teacher; a council worker supporting children or the elderly, collecting bins or cleaning streets; a community volunteer – or simply, a being good friend or neighbour – you are all making an incredible difference.
We’ll be sharing some of our pictures and stories with you on social media and we want you to do the same. Use the #CroydonTogether hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and tag in @YourCroydon so we can show our support and appreciation for all that you do.
I hope this will encourage and inspire everyone, to see how we are all coming together, and learn about the wonderful things happening throughout their borough every single day.