As we head into Christmas, I want to thank all those who will be working over the festive season to keep Croydon safe. From our NHS partners rolling out the life-saving Covid-19 vaccination programme, to the police, fire services, volunteers, and our own waste and recycling crews, and council staff protecting our most vulnerable residents – we are so grateful to you all. As a council, we are working hard to minimise any disruption to vital services due to Covid-19 and have contingency plans in place. You can check our Christmas opening hours, including how to get help and support, here and get all the latest information on council services on our website.
Our public health team continues to work closely with our local NHS to monitor the situation around Covid-19. The local incidence rate continues to rise rapidly, and the numbers of people in hospital are also increasing. The most important advice remains to get your vaccination and booster. If you haven’t already, please, book your appointment online or find a walk-in. If you are seeing family and friends over the holiday period, stay safe by using lateral flow tests before meeting up, letting in plenty of fresh air if you are indoors, and following the hands, face, space, advice. The Omicron variant is much more transmissible than other variants, so this advice is more important than ever.
I also want to thank each and every one of our residents for everything they are doing to keep our community safe from Covid-19. I know that sadly, many will not be celebrating the festive season in the way they had hoped due to the uncertainty around the Omicron variant. Difficult as these restrictions are, the most important thing is that we all stay safe and well, so thank you for the personal sacrifices you are making. Now as ever, Croydon continues to demonstrate the strength, resilience, compassion and community spirit of which we are rightly proud. Christmas can be a difficult time of year, and if you are struggling, our mental health and wellbeing pages have advice and local support.
Backing Croydon’s businesses
The Covid-19 uncertainty in the run up to their busiest time of year has been really tough on our businesses, which is why we have acted swiftly to reprioritise funding and announced a local package of support for those hardest hit. On Monday my cabinet colleague and I wrote to the Chancellor asking him to urgently look at more support for our businesses, so I welcome Tuesday’s announcement of more funding for the leisure and hospitality industry. However, we must be sure it goes far enough and we await further details, including of how we can support our businesses to access this funding. We will also continue to lobby government to reintroduce business rate relief for these sectors. In the meantime, we are doing all we can to support Croydon’s businesses – find out more about our Love Croydon, shop local campaign, and how you can help.
Finally and most importantly, I want to wish all of our residents, businesses and partners, a healthy and happy Christmas, and a peaceful New Year. I hope that even in these challenging times, you can manage to have some time with loved ones, and a rest. Stay safe, stay well and look after yourselves.
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council