1. HARINGEY & LONDON RESPONSE UPDATE
1.1 Charging to recommence on some TfL buses
From tomorrow (Sat 23rd May) charging will recommence on the 85 routes served by single-door buses and the new Routemaster buses which have card readers located by the middle doors. New signage will appear on bus doors and announcements will be made to notify passengers of the requirement to tap in to travel.
The requirement to touch in will follow on more routes over the coming weeks, as changes are made to the protective screens of driver cabins across the network to increase their protection from coronavirus.
1.2 Changes to the Freedom Pass
In our newsletter last week we confirmed that as part of TfL’s financial support deal with the government, a number of restrictions will be introduced to travel times for Freedom Pass holders, which would mean that people can no longer use their Freedom Passes to travel on the Tube and buses during busy periods (this restriction does not apply to disabled passengers).
The details of this measure have still not been finalised and London Councils is seeking clarification urgently from TfL and the Department for Transport. London Councils will provide further information on this when clarity is received here.
Until clarification is received, Freedom Pass holders can continue to enjoy the full concession and extended concession on local non-TfL buses at the moment. However, we would urge all pass holders to avoid all but essential travel and to avoid travelling at peak commuter times.
The latest government guidance around using public transport can be found here.
1.3 Warning for businesses
Businesses in Haringey are urged to look out for a suspicious email requesting re-submission of application details in order to receive the COVID-19 Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants.
The notice which comes from the NAFN (official organisation that provides data to local authorities) highlights this is a scam designed to acquire the details of eligible grant recipients.
The email has been reported to Action Fraud, but if you would like to report any instances of the above please email them to [email protected]
It is safe to delete the email as soon as you have reported it. Legitimate information on business grants – and how to access them – can be found on the council’s business pages, and any requests for information would come directly from Haringey Council. If you are unsure if an email is legitimate then you can contact us as your local councillors for clarification.
Opening businesses and legionella control
Businesses across Haringey are also encouraged to check their water systems as they return to work following the lockdown period.
Dormant water systems will result in bacterial growth, especially during the warmer weather. Legionella, which is naturally present in water systems, causes Legionnaires’ disease, so it is important that you regularly flush the system and follow the correct advice.
1.4 Schools & nurseries re-opening update
The government has issued guidance about schools and nurseries, which has proven very controversial.
Government guidance says that from the week commencing 1 June, the government is asking:
There are other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) listed here:
- nurseries and other early year providers, including childminders, to begin welcoming back all children
- primary schools to welcome back children in nursery (where they have them), reception, year 1 and year 6
- secondary schools, sixth form, and further education colleges to begin some face to face support with year 10 and 12 pupils, although we do not expect these pupils to return on a full-time basis at this stage
- all schools and childcare providers to continue to offer places to the priority groups – vulnerable children and children of critical workers – they have been supporting since the end of March
- special schools, special post-16 institutions and hospital schools to work towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups and informed by risk assessments
- alternative provision to welcome back children in reception, year 1 and year 6 and begin some face to face support with year 10 and 11 pupils (as they have no year 12)
Haringey Council is still working through the guidance and speaking to schools and nurseries across the borough to confirm the plans for reopening in Haringey, however it is likely many institutions will not follow the government guidance. We would ask all parents to look out for correspondence from their child's school or nursery for the latest updates on their reopening plans.
1.5 Sports & leisure (tennis & basketball court updates)
While the Government confirmed last week that golf, tennis, angling and basketball are among the sports that can resume activity, Haringey Council has taken the view that all tennis courts and ball courts managed by them will remain closed for the foreseeable future. This decision has been made with the primary aim of keeping people safe when using their parks and stopping the virus spreading. However, the community sports organisations that run the courts in Finsbury Park, Albert Road Recreation Ground and Bruce Castle Park have decided to open the tennis courts they manage.
Since the tennis courts and ball courts were first closed in March, there have been a number of regular break-ins by groups of people, in contravention of social distancing regulations. This behaviour puts everyone’s lives at risk. Despite the Council’s Enforcement Teams responding to reported incidents, and the Parks Team removing nets, hoops and putting other security measures in place, groups are still regularly flouting the social distancing regulations.
Therefore all tennis courts, ball courts, outdoor gyms and playgrounds will all remain closed for the foreseeable future. Our group will continue to regularly review this decision by the council.
Please remember while you are using Haringey’s parks you need to:
For those residents who plan to play tennis in courts which are privately leased from the council, or for those playing at private clubs, Government guidance only allows two people per court (except where a group of four players are all from the same household in which case they can play doubles). Please refer to the Lawn Tennis Association guidance https://www.lta.org.uk/about-us/tennis-news/news-and-opinion/general-news/2020/march/coronavirus-covid-19---latest-advice/
- Remain at least two metres away from others while in the park
- Not meeting in groups of three or more, other than those in your households
- Keep your dog on a lead at all times, otherwise you could face a fine of up to £100
- Report any large gatherings in parks to the Police on 101
Personal training on a 121 basis can now take place as long as 2m social distancing is maintained. Personal trainers should register with the council before commencing at [email protected]
1.6 Parking enforcement could be reinstated soon
Since March 26 the Council have not enforced parking bay restrictions in CPZ areas. However as people return to work an increase in traffic and parking pressure is expected which will be unsustainable if parking controls remain unenforced.
The Council are therefore working on plans to resume full enforcement shortly. They will give notice of enforcement restarting via street notices as well as communications through the Council website and on their social media channels. There will be a staggered approach, with warning notices only issued to vehicles found in contravention during the first week.
We expect further information on this next week, but in the meantime please look out for notices on your street. We will continue to update residents as and when we have further updates.
1.7 Update on improving walking & cycling infrastructure
Last week we provided information on how we were pushing Haringey Council for emergency pedestrian and cycling infrastructure to aid social distancing and to provide safer routes for commuting to work as an alternative to public transport or driving. We thank everyone that wrote to us offering their support, as well as all the suggestions for areas that could do with improvements.
Sadly we have yet to receive confirmation from Labour councillors that our requests will be acted on, but have been told in a written response that they are looking into it. Some of our requests, such as to reduce all remaining 30mph down to 20mph to make them safer were rejected, and we have responded in the strongest terms that this is not acceptable, and reiterated our request for the speed limit reduction.
We have also written to Will Norman (London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner) and Heidi Alexander (Deputy Mayor of London for Transport) asking them to intervene and request Haringey brings in safer street measures as an absolute priority.
We will keep you updated on developments.
1.8 Celebrating Haringey’s unsung Heroes
Do you know someone making a difference in the community during the coronavirus pandemic?
The Mayor of Haringey, Sheila Peacock has announced a new ‘Haringey Heroes Awards’ to celebrate Haringey’s unsung heroes. To find out more or make your nomination, click here.
1.9 Support for those with learning disabilities during COVID-19
The coronavirus outbreak can be confusing and difficult to understand. The outbreak can also cause increased stress and anxiety at this difficult time.
Haringey Council has an easy read guide to support those with learning difficulties in our community: Advice for Groups with Learning Disabilties and Autism - COVID-19. The guide has useful information about the coronavirus, what symptoms to look out for and how to get help if someone becomes unwell.
NHS England has released new guidance on Looking After Your Feelings and Your Body, which provides useful information to help support mental health and wellbeing.
Mencap is also able to provide accessible support and resources for the people in our community who have a learning disability.
If you have a learning disability, and you’re worried about paying your bills, get in touch with the Haringey Learning Disabilities Team who can offer support and advice to help you. They can be reached on 0208 489 1384 - the line is open Monday - Friday, 9am - 4.30pm. Find out more on Haringey Council's Adult Social Care Support and Services page.
1.10 Local Food Banks still require urgent donations
Food banks continue to support residents across the borough and are seeing supplies running desperately low. If you are able to support them please consider doing so.
Muswell Hill Foodbank (The Trussell Trust)
If you need food
- The Muswell Hill Foodbank on Pembroke Road is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You will need to get a voucher from one of the Referral Agencies (Citizens Advice, Social Services, Job Centres, some schools and doctors surgeries and other local charities) before going to the foodbank. Strict social distancing is in place to ensure the safety of clients and volunteers.
The foodbank urgently needs donations
The Holy Trinity Food Bank Stroud Green
If you would like to make a monetary donation please email: [email protected] and for more information visit: http://www.holytrinityfoodbank.org.uk/
- Open every Sunday from 1.30pm – 3.30pm.
- Please drop off donations at the food bank between 1.30pm - 3.30pm on Sundays. Alternatively there are dedicated collection bins at:
- Sainsbury’s, 175-179 Stroud Green Road, N4 3PZ
- Londis, 9-11 Ferme Park Road, N4 4DS
The Gospel Centre Food Bank corner of Raleigh Road / Wightman Road, N8 OLT
Enquiries to [email protected]
- Open Tuesday 6.30-8.30pm or Sunday 11.30-1pm.
- Requires donations of non perishable food
- Supporting those in need, especially from N8, N4 and N22 – no referral required
Other Local Foodbanks
1.11 Volunteering opportunities for local residents
Our voluntary organisations are working under huge pressure and looking for more help from the community:
1.12 Telephone befriending service
Staying at home can be lonely and it can be difficult to connect socially. As the lockdown continues this become ever more difficult for some of our residents.
Haringey Reach and Connect offer free calls to people in Haringey who would like to receive regular weekly calls from a friendly and supportive volunteer. The calls last approximately 30 minutes, and take place on the same day, at the same time, each week.
They match older people and volunteers carefully, to ensure they have some common interests and friendships are reviewed regularly, to ensure that both parties find them enjoyable.
If you would be interested in becoming or having a telephone befriender, please contact Reach and Connect who are running a special expanded service to respond to COVID-19, using this link: https://reachandconnect.net/get-support/telephone-friendship