Published Friday, 22nd May 2020
Councillor Ruth Dombey's column from our Sutton Scene newsletter, Friday 22 May.
I was heartened to see NHS data indicating that the rate of infection in London is declining. It's still early days of course but, if the downward trend continues, we may be heading for better times. It is clear though that there has been a real impact on some people emotionally and you can see in this weeks Sutton Scene, the help available as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Until scientists are able to develop an effective vaccine, we know that we are reliant on an increase in the availability and speed of national testing programmes, as well as the ability to quickly detect and isolate new clusters of infection cases. So we still need to be cautious and vigilant as we start to ease some of the lockdown restrictions.
We've opened up the Kimpton recycling centre again with limited hours and pre-booked slots and if all continues to go well, we plan to increase the number of slots available for residents. Our bulky waste and garden waste collections from home are also operating normally. Our parks are open along with our tennis courts so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this lovely weather - please do take your litter home with you or dispose of it sensibly as reduced numbers of parks staff make it harder to keep the parks clean and tidy. We're also working closely with our local schools to help them decide when it is best to open for more children and how to make sure they are ready to do so. The Government has suggested that schools should prepare to open for more children from 1 June. We all understand the concerns of parents and school staff, and we will support the Headteachers to open when they are ready and it is safe to do so.
All of our schools have been open over the last ten weeks for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. On behalf of us all, I'd like to thank our Headteachers and all school staff - from teachers and teaching assistants to school business managers, site service officers and cleaners – for their continued dedication, compassion and care provided across our borough. They have been working tirelessly to look after the children of people working in essential frontline services who in turn look after us. We are very grateful to you all.