Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visit our dedicated COVID-19 page for the latest Coronavirus information and resources for Haringey residents. Read more

Coronavirus Update (8th May 2020)


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Happy VE day to everyone in Haringey. As well as a special VE Day section at the bottom of this email, today's (8th May) COVID-19 update contains information on:

  1. Haringey Response Update
    1. Pedestrian infrastructure to be improved following Lib Dem campaign
    2. London Mayor announces rapid rollout of cycling and walking initiative
    3. Re-opening of Reuse and Recycling Centres (RRCs)
    4. Libraries Update
    5. Park users this Bank Holiday weekend
    6. Wireless Festival and The 1975 concert both cancelled
    7. Haringey works for you
    8. UCL COVID-19 study
    9. Local Food Banks in urgent need
    10. Volunteering opportunities
    11. Telephone befriending service
  2. How you can contact us
  3. National Response Update
    1. Advice for private renters
    2. Cancer symptoms - please seek help
    3. Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) - registration opens Wednesday 13 May
    4. Bounce back loan scheme now live
    5. Help from Thames Water
    6. Royal Mail - changes to Saturday service
    7. Historic England grants for small heritage groups and workers
  4. Celebrating VE Day
    1. Activities and ideas to celebrate at home
    2. VE Day BBC Schedule

OUR HARINGEY GIVING APPEAL

On the 17th April we launched a fundraising appeal for Haringey Giving, a fund managed by people in the Haringey community and endorsed by Haringey Council, which is supporting the borough’s most vulnerable people and community initiatives in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Within just 10 days we smashed our initial fundraising target of £1,500 thanks to the incredibly generous support of people like you.
 
We are therefore boldly increasing our target to £5,000. If you haven’t yet donated or are able to donate again please do so here: https://www.haringeygiving.org.uk/Fundraisers/haringeylibdems

So far Haringey Giving have raised over £103,000 for 23 different projects and are also looking to raise more money through business and corporate sponsors.

Click here to donate whatever you can to our fundraiser appeal


1. HARINGEY RESPONSE UPDATE


1.1 Pedestrian infrastructure to be improved following Lib Dem campaign

Last week we provided an update on our request to Haringey Council for more space in Haringey to be allocated to pedestrians and cyclists to aid social distancing. Following the Council's response that they would look into how this could be carried out, we are pleased to confirm that three streets in the borough now have temporary measures in place to widen footways in high footfall areas – Green Lanes, Hornsey High Street and West Green Road.

And we have received a further update that the same measures are looking to be rolled out further in coming days and weeks on Crouch End Broadway, Muswell Hill Broadway, Fortis Green, Highgate High Street Lordship Lane and Turnpike Lane.

We will continue to press the council for more pavement widening at pinch points and, where appropriate, for these measures to be made semi-permanent so they can remain in place for the coming months. We continue to push for temporary cycle lanes and for making some residential streets pedestrian and cycle prioritised to aid the transition as we come out of lockdown and ease the pressure on what will likely be a severely reduced public transport system. Recent modelling has predicted a sizeable increase in private vehicle use once we come out of lockdown which would dramatically increase air pollution in Haringey, so we must do all we can quickly to avoid this.

We have submitted a number of requests to Haringey Council from our residents for measures in their local area – and we will keep you updated on this matter.


1.2 London Mayor announces rapid rollout of cycling and walking initiative
 
The Mayor of London this week published a new Streetscape plan to overhaul London’s Streets in line with our requests to Haringey above, which will look to rapidly transform streets London-wide to accommodate an expected ten-fold increase in cycling and five-fold increase in walking.

Pre-lockdown, 50% of London's 4.6million daily car trips were under 1.7miles, and this scheme aims to help transition a large number of these to walking and cycling. Initial focus appears to be on TfL operated roads, but we hope the initiative will extend to Haringey controlled roads and support the temporary works that have now commenced in the borough.

More info here: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayors-bold-plan-will-overhaul-capitals-streets


1.3 Re-opening of Reuse and Recycling Centres (RRCs)

In line with updated Government guidance North London Waste Authority (NLWA), who operate Reuse and Recycling Centres (RRCs) across North London is planning to reopen some of its RRC sites from Wednesday 13 May. This will be a restricted service for those at risk of harm from waste stored in their home. Anyone who needs to visit an RRC must book beforehand. Information about how to book and the restrictions in place will be available here from Monday 11 May.

Restrictions will be in place at the following sites:
  • Summers Lane, Barnet
  • Western Road, Haringey
  • Hornsey Street, Islington
  • King’s Road, Waltham Forest
  • South Access Road, Waltham Forest
  • Gateway Road, Waltham Forest
Regis Road RRC in Camden will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

All RRC sites were closed at the beginning of the Government-ordered lockdown. The sites will be operating a restricted service to allow people to dispose of any household or garden waste items that are putting them at risk of harm in their home. Restrictions will be in place to ensure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to and to make sure that residents at risk of harm are able to dispose of their waste safely.

More information and further updates will be available here on Monday 11 May. In the meantime, NLWA is encouraging residents to:
  • make the most of their household waste and recycling collections;
  • use any bulky waste and hazardous waste collections offered by their local borough;
  • store other items safely at home; and
  • try and reduce the amount of waste they produce.

1.4 Libraries Update

We have had a number of enquiries regarding when libraries may reopen, and can confirm that at present the Council has no plans to reopen libraries in the immediate future. Government guidance is expected in the coming days regarding returning to work for all industries, and this will help inform the strategy for how the council can reopen libraries safely for both staff and users. As soon as there is a further update we will let you know.


1.5 Park use this Bank Holiday weekend

Despite an expected announcement on Sunday from the Prime Minister regarding a change in the lockdown restrictions, for the time being the Government guidance remains the same: Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

Residents should only be leaving their homes if they are shopping for basic necessities, to perform one form of exercise a day, for medical need (including helping another vulnerable person), or for traveling to work (but only when absolutely necessary).

Enforcement of the above will continue to be carried out by Haringey Council and the Police throughout the weekend right across the borough, including at all of our parks. We would like to remind residents not to use parks for social gatherings, bbqs/picnics, sunbathing or other leisure activities.
 
 
1.6 Wireless Festival and The 1975 concert

The Wireless Festival (July 3 – 5 ) and The 1975 Concert (July 11) both in Finsbury Park, have been cancelled.

There is a provisional plan to host the Wireless Festival from July 2-4 next year. All tickets bought for this summer will remain valid in 2021, while refunds are also available. To find out more, including refund information click here.

The 1975 are also looking into plans to reschedule their concert for 2021. More info here.


1.7 Haringey Works for you

Haringey Works provides free employment and skills support exclusively for Haringey residents. If you have recently become unemployed due to COVID-19 then Haringey Works can help.

Experienced advisors put your needs first, with no limits to the number of hours you can spend with an advisor. There are also no set ‘criteria’ for accessing and using their service other than being a Haringey resident, looking for work. There is no limit to the number of hours you can spend with one of our advisors and there are no set ‘criteria’ to access and use our service other than; being a Haringey resident, looking for work.

There are jobs available in the Health and Social Care sector, NHS, supermarkets, Metropolitan Police, some local councils, logistics companies and cleaning companies.

If you would like to register, call 020 8489 2969 and speak to an advisor or complete our online expression of interest form.
 

1.8 UCL COVID-19 study

University College London is running a study into the psychological and social effects of COVID-19 in the UK. The results are being used to understand the effects of the virus and social distancing measures on mental health and loneliness in the UK and to inform government advice and decisions.
 
The university is looking for adults in the UK who are happy to take part. Participation involves completing a 10-minute online survey now and then answering a shorter follow-up questionnaire once a week whilst social isolation measures are in place.
 
All information provided is analysed anonymously. If you’re willing to take part, please visit the COVID-19 study sign-up website. Your help is much appreciated.
 

1.9 Local Food Banks are in urgent need of supplies & monetary 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)
  1. 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.
  2. The foodbank urgently needs donations

The Holy Trinity Food Bank Stroud Green
  • 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
If you would like to make a monetary donation please email: htfoodbank@gmail.com and for more information visit: http://www.holytrinityfoodbank.org.uk/

The Gospel Centre Food Bank corner of Raleigh Road / Wightman Road, N8 OLT
  • 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
Enquiries to gospelcfoodbank@gmail.com


Other Local Foodbanks
1.10 Volunteering opportunities for local residents

Our voluntary organisations are working under huge pressure and looking for more help from the community:
1.11 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
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2. HOW YOU CAN CONTACT US


We continue to operate our surgeries via telephone, and not in-person. To find you local councillor, their surgery details, and details on how to contact them any time by email, please refer to our Councillors webpage.

Alternatively if you have any questions about COVID-19, or need to get in touch for support on any other issue and are not represented by a Lib Dem councillor where you live but would like for us to assist you, please email me directly at liz.morris@haringeylibdems.org

3. NATIONAL RESPONSE UPDATE

       
3.1 Advice for private renters

We have received a number of queries from Haringey residents on whether the government is providing any support to private renters that are finding themselves in financial difficulties due to the pandemic. The latest information on support for private renting is as follows.

In March, the government brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) that meant no renter in either social or private accommodation could be forced out of their home. From 26 March 2020 new legislation means landlords have had to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) – this means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period. This extended buffer period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and both the end point, and the 3 month notice period could be further extended by the government if needed. This protection covers most tenants in the private and social rented sectors in England and Wales, and all grounds of evictions.

From 27 March 2020 the court service suspended all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the system or any that were about to go into it can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days, but this could also be extended if needed. This measure protects all private and social renters, as well as those with mortgages and those with licenses covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This will apply to both England and Wales.

Tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay this as usual. If any tenant faces financial hardship and struggle to pay this they should in the first instance speak to the landlord if they think they will have difficulty meeting a rental payment Tenants and landlords are encouraged to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme - although there is no legal obligation for a landlord to offer a rent reduction or rent deferral.


3.2 Cancer symptoms – please seek help

This week NHS England’s national clinical director for cancer has urged people not to hesitate to get worrying symptoms checked out, as new research revealed that nearly half of the public have concerns about seeking medical help during the coronavirus pandemic. Detecting cancer early gives the best chance of successful treatment, so it’s incredibly important that early possible cancer symptoms are investigated so that people’s minds can be put at rest, or treatment started as soon as possible.

NHS staff are working hard to make sure people can get cancer checks and treatment safely and in COVID-free areas. Online and telephone consultations mean people do not necessarily need to go to GP surgeries for appointments, while COVID-free treatment hubs in NHS and private hospitals have been established. If you know of family members or friends who are worried about symptoms that might be caused by cancer, please ask them to pick up the phone to their GP.


3.3 Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – registration opens Wednesday 13 May
 
The claims service for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme opens on Wednesday 13th May with payments reaching bank accounts by 25th May, or six working days after the claim is made.  
    
The scheme will benefit self-employed individuals or those in a partnership whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, covering most people who receive at least half of their income from self-employment. SEISS is a temporary scheme that will enable those eligible to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits) in a single instalment. 
 
HMRC is using information that individuals have provided in their 2018-19 tax return – and returns for 2016-17 and 2017-18 where needed – to determine their eligibility and is contacting customers who may be eligible via email, SMS or letter. An online checker went live on Monday allowing individuals to check their eligibility for themselves, as well as giving them a date on which they can apply. 
 
Individuals are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in 2019-20, intend to continue trading and they:   
  • Earn at least half of their income through self-employment;​    
  • Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year; and​    
  • Traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year​.     
 Where individuals are ineligible for the scheme, HMRC will direct them to guidance setting out the conditions to help them understand why they are ineligible, and advice about other support that might be available to them such as: income tax deferrals, rental support, Universal Credit, access to mortgage holidays and the various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses during this time.    
 
As phone lines will be very busy over the next few weeks individuals are encouraged to only call if they can’t find what they need on GOV.UK, from their tax agent or via the webchat service. 
 
Further guidance can be found at this link. Applicants can also consult this tool to check if they are eligible.


3.4 Bounce back loan scheme now live

The government's bounce back loan scheme is now live and has approved over 69,000 loans on its first day. We would encourage any rent-paying businesses facing financial hardship, particularly those ineligible for the grant scheme, or where the grant was not sufficient, to look into how they might use the scheme for support. Loans offered are between £2,000-£50,000 and are interest and fee free for the first year.

It is also open to sole-traders and directors that are ineligible for SEISS support, and importantly for this cohort, can be used to support your income. Credit ratings (business or personal) won't impact your eligibility, you don't need to prove the viability of your business and you don't need a business bank account (though you must have been an established business before 1st March and only some of the banks offering these loans don't require you to have a business account with them).

Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) writes:

"The Treasury have confirmed there are no strict rules on what these loans may be spent on, as long as it is under the banner of working capital or investment – ie, things to keep the lights on, like debt service, bills, running costs and crucially wages. And more so, again it has confirmed you can apply for this loan even if the only reason is to support your income.

"Bounce back loans are therefore a channel for help. The lack of repayments and interest in the first year makes these loans far more attractive for a struggling business or struggling business owner than normal finance. If things improve within a year, you can clear the loan before there's any actual cost – and if it takes longer and there is a cost, it's pretty cheap.

"In fact, it's so cheap compared to standard commercial lending, it is worth considering using this loan to pay off existing finance, to give yourself a year-long payment and interest holiday, followed by reduced cost in the longer term.


For more information and to apply click here.


3.5 Help from Thames Water

Below is a link to a letter sent from Thames Water to GLA Assembly Members which outlines the increasing help available for customers most in need, which includes: Read the letter in full here.
 

3.6 Royal Mail – changes to Saturday service

Our postmen and postwomen are working very hard across the UK in challenging conditions and the Royal Mail warned that at some point there could be some disruption to services. Relevant factors include high levels of coronavirus-related absences and necessary social distancing measures. 

From 2 May the Royal Mail temporarily stopped delivering letters on a Saturday. They will continue to provide a letter delivery service from Monday to Friday as normal. The majority of parcel services will be delivered on a Saturday including 1st and 2nd Class Parcels, Royal Mail Tracked 24 and 48, Royal Mail Tracked Returns, Special Delivery Guaranteed and International tracked services.

Customers should continue to post both letters and parcels as usual on Saturday, and Saturday collections will continue from businesses, post offices and post boxes as normal. The six-day-a-week delivery service of letters and parcels will be resumed from June 13.


3.7 Historic England grants for small heritage groups and workers

Historic England is inviting applications from heritage organisations, self-employed contractors, third-sector organisations and voluntary groups that have been severely affected by the impact of Coronavirus and which need additional short-term emergency financial support to ensure their survival. Information about applying for the fund can be found here:  https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/fund/            

Historic England also says: “We are still gathering intelligence on the impact of Coronavirus on the heritage sector. If any of your constituents would like to share how they have been affected, please ask them to email us at heritage.counts@historicengland.org.uk

4. CELEBRATING VE DAY

         
4.1 Activities and ideas to celebrate at home

While street parties and group gatherings can no longer go ahead English Heritage has come up with a number of activities to do at home to get into the spirit.

The government has also created a toolkit to help you print off your own bunting and window posters.

Find out more on the VE Day 75 website and on GOV.UK.


4.2 VE Day BBC Schedule for the rest of today
  • 14:45 - in a special programme on BBC One, extracts from Churchill's victory speech to the nation announcing the end of the war in Europe will be broadcast
  • 14:55 - solo buglers, trumpeters and cornet players will be invited to play the Last Post from their homes
  • 15:00 - as Churchill's speech is broadcast, people will be invited to stand up and raise a glass in a national toast, saying: "To those who gave so much, we thank you"
  • 20:00 - Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins, actor Adrian Lester and singer Beverley Knight will be performing some well-known songs from the 1930s and 40s. The programme will culminate in the nation being invited to sing along to a rendition of wartime classic We'll Meet Again
  • 21:00 - the Queen's pre-recorded address will be broadcast on BBC One at the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address 75 years ago. It will be her second televised message during the coronavirus outbreak 
  • 21:30 - Spotlights will light up the sky in Portsmouth to recall the experience of blackouts during the war. The local council says the lights are also to remind people "that lighter times will come again"

Finally we wanted to remind you that should you require any support, have any questions, or for any other matter we can assist with then you can contact me any time by email at liz.morris@haringeylibdems.org

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