Weekly email bulletin from Newham Council 30 July 2020

Newham Council is issuing regular e-bulletins to residents about what’s happening at the Council and in the borough, including the latest information about how we are responding to Covid-19.

You can read the latest message from Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz below:

Hello Everyone,

I hope you continue to keep well and safe and to those celebrating the auspicious religious date of Eid Al-Adha from tomorrow, I wish you a safe and blessed Eid Mubarak from all of us here at the Council.

Eid Al-Adha is a very special time for all members of our Muslim community in Newham and is the most significant of all the Holy festivals celebrated as it symbolises the willingness of sacrifice to God. As with every significant occasion for all our faith communities in the borough, such an important religious date is ordinarily spent celebrating with family, friends and loved ones; but as with all things in this extraordinary year our faith communities are having to adapt to very different way of life because of Covid-19.

Since the pandemic reached the UK, we’ve been liaising with all members of our faith communities in Newham to ensure that they are able to recommence with their acts of worship as restrictions started to be lifted. We’ve been providing them support and public health guidance for the re-opening of their places of worship, which has been led by our Cabinet member for Communities, Cllr Charlene McLean, and her Deputy, Cllr Muzibar Rahman, along with our Commissioner for Interfaith and Inter-religious Dialogue, Rev Canon Cllr Ann Easter.

They’ve been working with local councillors and the representatives of all the mosques in Newham to enable a limited number of our parks to be made available for safe outdoor Eid prayers tomorrow morning. But as with our overall approach to the reality of Covid-19 living, mitigating the risk of Covid-19 transmission has been our utmost priority, with rigorous safety and infection control measures required by all the organiser. Each application submitted has been subject to a full risk assessment along with other requirements as part of our regular event management process; so that they can ensure the safety for all those attending the prayer sessions as well as other park users. You can read more information here.

As with all events and permitted gatherings, if you are celebrating Eid Al-Adha please do so safely, because all of us have a responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus here in Newham.

At the moment, the number of residents who have tested positive with Covid-19 currently stands at 1,327 according to Public Health England data published today, but sadly 307 people in Newham have died from the virus. Across the UK, there have been 302,301 cases of Covid-19 confirmed and 45,999 deaths. My condolences to all families affected.

That’s why it’s important that we remain vigilant about Covid-19, and please make sure you adhere to the mandatory guidance of wearing face coverings when you head into a shop or café, and other places designated including on public transport.

Since it came into force last Friday, the Government’s now saying that it’s really concerned about an imminent second wave here in the UK because of the spikes in cases in Europe, such as Spain, France and Germany. Already, the Government has said that anyone returning from Spain will have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return from the country, and this evening Luxembourg was added to the list of countries requiring self-isolation by the Government, if a British resident visiting returns back to the UK.

Many experts fear that soon other popular destinations may be added to the quarantine list, with Belgium and Croatia likely to be next.

So as we progress through the summer, with the real possibility of a second spike here in the UK, the uncertainty is bound to have a real impact on how we plan our summer breaks and what happens in the autumn. It’s an important reminder that the virus has not gone away, as it is very much still out there, infecting and tragically causing deaths.

With the summer holidays now here, we understand that a number of parents and carers will want the assurance that any activities that we have organised for our young people in the borough are safe. That’s why this year’s summer programme of fun activities we’ve organised for everyone under the age of 25, will be delivered in a safe, socially distanced way outdoors, or virtually - using platforms such as Zoom. I know it won’t be the same as getting out and about across the borough in the usual way, but our key priority is for everyone to stay safe and healthy so that we reduce the risk of an increase in Covid-19 cases in Newham.

All activities are free and range from street dance, roller-skating, boxing, rowing and football coaching to arts and music, creative writing, completing a reading challenge, discussions and debates, games nights and music production. You can find out about the summer programme here. Don’t forget, you’ll need to book your place in advance for activities that involve you physically attending.

As we approach the weekend, it looks as temperatures may reach really hot levels – with 30 degrees Celsius even anticipated! If you are outside, remember to drink plenty of water, don’t forget your sunscreen, avoid the hours 11am to 3pm when the sun will be at it hottest and please look out for those who may be shielding or unable to care for themselves.

Most of all please keep safe.

Best wishes.
Rokhsana Fiaz OBE
Mayor of Newham

Read more Covid-19 updates from Mayor Fiaz or follow her on Twitter @rokhsanafiaz

Published: 30 Jul 2020