Sutton Scene - Leader of the Council Column 03/07/2020

Published Friday, 3rd July 2020

Councillor Ruth Dombey's column from our Sutton Scene newsletter, Friday 3 July

This weekend is an important anniversary for the NHS and gives us all an opportunity to say thank you for their staff’s extraordinary commitment and hard work during this terrible crisis. I know we all have stories to tell about the compassion and dedication of everyone working for the NHS in so many different jobs, how they have looked after us and continue to save lives.

The website has lots of great ideas about ways we can show our appreciation with personal thank you’s and artwork we can display in our windows for tomorrow when we remember those we have lost. National landmarks will also be lit up in blue as part of our collective memorial. Then on Sunday at 5pm there will be a one-off clap for carers - the biggest one ever as we say thank you to everybody in every walk of life who is helping us through these difficult times, as well as celebrating the 72nd birthday of our wonderful NHS and social care system. There will also be local events (please see Sutton Scene) to mark these important events.

This weekend also sees the re-opening of some pubs, cafes and restaurants and Sutton Council has been working closely with our licensing team, local police officers and our licensed premises to ensure that everyone is well prepared. Both the Council and the police will be working over the weekend to support local people and respond quickly where needed. Outdoor gyms, children's playgrounds and some libraries will also be reopening. I know many of us are looking forward to getting our hair cut again!

As the Government begins to ease restrictions, we need your support to ensure everyone stays safe. The events in Leicester this week remind us that we are not out of this crisis yet. While the number of new cases in Sutton and across London remains very low, it's important to remember that the virus is still among us and we still don't have a vaccine. Everyone is looking forward to enjoying themselves, being able to spend time with friends and family, and getting out and about again. But we need to be responsible, maintain social distancing, protect ourselves and each other, and ensure that we don't - by our individual actions - put extra pressure on the NHS and push our borough back into total lockdown again.

Everyone has made huge sacrifices over the last 100 days. We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to each other and we owe it to the NHS to be responsible and stay safe.