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messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by katanita March 17, 12:29PM

Echoing what others have said above and some other thoughts:

- Providing isolating facilities for those who can't isolate at home safely, or who have no home.
- Acting as a source of locally specific information about where to find aid or volunteer
- Being proactively transparent about council activities - I am concerned that there will be less scrutiny on council activities during this time when there are likely to be no in person meetings etc. Instead the council must find a way to demonstrate what it is doing both about COVID and everything else that still allows for accountability and feedback. This is not the time to be pushing through anything controversial. It would be good to see councillors being more active and responsive here, in particular.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?attachment
Posted by first mate March 17, 01:01PM

Attached is the official Southwark 'response' to Covid19. Do we find this reassuring?

Attachments: Coronavirus Plan overview.pdf (346.8KB)  
messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by Blah Blah March 17, 02:00PM

No, because it only addresses the operational considerations of health services. This is not a plan of action for addressing things like food shortage, civil unrest, and all the things that those not in hospital or under a care package may face. I would like to see a dedicated logistic approach and plan for those things. We are only at the beginning of this journey and the shops are already stripped bare. Some vulnerable people are already starting to struggle to just get a normal daily or weekly shop. The time for action on that is now, even if that means talking directly to supermarkets that are not already rationing the quantities people can buy.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by first mate March 17, 02:25PM

It's a vague document in a highly verbose 'officialese' partly given over to explaining what the virus is and then what has been advised nationally, then further waffle about committees and reporting, an organogram that is colourful but explains little. Perhaps we can take heart from the existance of a Council Gold Stick (CEO) a 'Resiliance Forum', some other kind of committee and a hypothetical Borough Emergency Room... 'if necessary' (whatever that means). Not very proactive in my view but perhaps I am way off base.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by first mate March 17, 02:32PM

Soylent Green Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Relax parking restrictions for medical staff so
> that they can get to work safely without risking
> contamination on public transport. With 2 major
> teaching hospital sin the borough, this is really
> important.

This is incredibly important. The Council should approach the organisation that runs car parking for Kings and ensure all staff, at whatever level, are given free parking. Health workers should also park without charge near their homes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 17, 02:32pm by first mate.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by dbboy March 17, 02:53PM

Every council has an emergency planning team/(business continuity).

A Borough Emergency Room is NOT hypothetical, these exist and where the Gold team would work from supported by the emergency planning team. Each borough will have an emergency plan, these should be made publicly available to show how the council will operate in this situation. Used to work in another boroughs team.

[www.southwark.gov.uk]

[www.southwark.gov.uk]

[www.southwark.gov.uk]

Some response from Councillors to this thread would give residents some reassurance, in terms of what they and council officers/staff are being instructed to react to do in these unusual times.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit was march 17, 03:15pm by dbboy.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by paulu197 March 17, 03:03PM

I think whilst it's honourable for the council to ask what they can do? I'd like to know what can they actually do? Supermarket logistics isn't a local issue, it's a global supply chain issue that whilst Southwark council would like to assist, there is little they can do.

What is Southwark council empowered to do?

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by first mate March 17, 03:16PM

Perhaps it’s a matter of the council engaging swiftly with business and advising how shopping behaviour can be channelled to the greater good. Clearly the council cannot control these things but perhaps they can engage and pressure...perhaps they already are. As others have said, we just need more regular communication from our councillors who seem rather quiet at the moment.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by dbboy March 17, 03:23PM

COUNCILLORS - A response to this thread would give residents some reassurance, one that you can be measured on, in terms of what YOU as Elected Representatives and council officers/staff are being instructed to react to do in these unusual times.

Now is Your time to STEP UP and come out of the shadows you so like to operate in. If you don't perform now at this time of need, the electorate will NOT forget or forgive you at the next round of local elections.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by WomblingFree March 17, 06:35PM

Making sure the washing facilities in public toilets are fit for purpose so we can disinfect ourselves while we're out and about. Not a Southwark-specific problem, but I keep coming across sinks that only dispense cold water, automatically shut off after a few seconds or lack soap.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by rollflick March 17, 08:37PM

Bringing in the CPZs as planned is very important. It will free up kerbside space for deliveries to run more smoothly when couriers etc. are hard pressed as it is to cater with the increase in demand for online shopping.

The suggestion that volunteers making essential deliveries are at risk of parking tickets is at best spurious. Deliveries count as loading, so are not affected by the CPZs and since they are advised not to go into properties where people are self-isolating to reduce the risk of infection, wardens can see what's going on and vice versa.

Public transport is increasingly empty so there's no need to provide car parking for medics, in any event the cancellation of routine operations etc. will free up spaces at hospitals.

Wider measures are urgently needed to reduce motor traffic, given the evidence that air pollution increases the death rate: [www.theguardian.com]

This would also cater for people who need to social distance and avoid public transport, gyms, congested pavements etc. but who need to exercise, as recommended by public health experts: [docs.google.com]

Let's see Southwark moving quickly to follow cities elsewhere by installing road closures and cycle lanes with temporary materials.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by Spartacus March 17, 09:00PM

Rollflick your logic is a bit flawed on cpz there
The idea of the cpz is to deter commuters and as only a very few are commuting at the moment then it will be mostly residents parking so delaying it's roll out won't impact delivery drivers as the commuters will be parked outside their own homes...

As for parking for medics a friend is one and they aren't working normal shifts and he gets exhausted wearing all the protective gear (he's on the covid positive unit) so if he could drive thus saving half an hour each way on his journey means he could have an extra hour of previous sleep, and what happens when bus drivers or train drivers go sick thus reducing services ? Do you envision medics not getting to work at all. If you were in the covid positive ward you would want them to be well rested and available to get to work to look after you I'm sure.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by Pugwash March 18, 12:03AM

Get Trading Standards more involved in some shop keepers who are purchasing in bulk from Supermarkets and then selling them at inflated prices in their own shops. I picked up liquid soap - Cien ( which I normally get at Lidl for between £1- £1.50) and was charged £3.50 for this. Having heard from one of the official briefings that it was illegal to profit from inflated prices, I refused to have the product. Shop keeper then stated that Cash and Carry had doubled their prices so he had to pass it on to his customers.

Telling this story to a friend this morning, she reported that she went into the same shop today and picked up a bag of frozen peas which the manufacturer has blazoned over it's bag 'Special Offer £1.00'. Same shopkeeper tried to sell it for £2.20. My friend stood her ground (she also works in retail) and paid only £1.00.

I have been in Lidl many a time in the past ,and see people load up a trolley full of only 3 or 4 items which obviously they are going to sell on at their own shops. I counted one item- 50 large bars of chocolate !

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by KalamityKel March 18, 09:55AM

dbboy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> COUNCILLORS - A response to this thread would give
> residents some reassurance, one that you can be
> measured on, in terms of what YOU as Elected
> Representatives and council officers/staff are
> being instructed to react to do in these unusual
> times.
>
> Now is Your time to STEP UP and come out of the
> shadows you so like to operate in. If you don't
> perform now at this time of need, the electorate
> will NOT forget or forgive you at the next round
> of local elections.

I'm sure the Council are busy at... let me guess... the council. The EDF is NOT the full representation of the borough and is not the only means of communication. There are many things to consider and get in motion before being able to inform people with the correction information (just look at the situation/confusion caused with last weeks' PM announcement).
This is not the time to lecture on politics so take a step back. The council will share any information as and when they are able to.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by katanita March 18, 12:45PM

Walked past the councillors noticeboard by Karavan, on Lordship Lane, looks like it hasn't been updated in a while. These boards should be good places to put latest community information, where to get help etc.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by jamesmcash March 18, 01:03PM

Hi all,

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I am passing these on and trying to make sure the council does everything it can.

Here is the central place for the council’s guidance: [www.southwark.gov.uk]

And here is information about things you can do to help, including links to the fantastic Mutual Aid Group that have been created all over the country (and referenced in this thread!): [www.southwark.gov.uk]

I am sorry that people feel like I have not been adequately attentive to this thread. I hope you can understand that there is a huge amount going on in the council at the moment and that I am being contacted through lots of different forms with this Forum being only one of many. Moreover, being a councillor is not my full time job: I juggle it around my day job as a primary school teacher. Like most others, my school has not been closed so I have a huge amount on there as well. I assure you that I am doing everything I can during this crisis, as I know that so many others on this thread are too.

As always, if you need a response it is always best to contact by email. Thanks again for all the great suggestions on this thread.

Best wishes,
James

--------------------
James McAsh - Labour Councillor for Goose Green ward
James.McAsh@Southwark.gov.uk
[www.jamesmcash.com] [twitter.com]

Surgeries: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7pm, East Dulwich Community Centre on Darrell Road

Sign up to the Goose Green councillor newsletter: [www.jamesmcash.com]

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by JohnL March 18, 05:09PM

Just got this email

"Coronavirus (Covid-19): an update for residents
These are unprecedented and concerning times for Southwark and the wider world, and I would like to reassure you that the council is working hard to protect residents, staff and services from the impact of Covid-19. I have agreed to stay in post as Leader of Southwark Council beyond my planned departure date of 25 March to offer stability and continuity, ensure our plans to respond to the crisis are robust and working, and that our communities are safe.

We are taking every step to prepare for an increase in confirmed cases of the virus. At the moment most key council services are still running as normal. We have strong and tested plans in place to keep delivering services during this difficult period and we will ensure our most vulnerable residents keep getting the support they need. To support this we may stop doing some non-essential work to support frontline services and redeploy staff as necessary.

We will continue to provide up-to-date information about our services and the support available through all our communications channels.

Thank you for your ongoing support through this challenging time."

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by R U IN ED March 22, 10:46PM

As previouly mentioned, Southwark should postpone CPZ implementation.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by Rockets March 23, 07:16PM

I heard a really wonderful idea this morning that I think the council should be helping with.

A care home reached out to its local community asking for old ipads so their residents could keep in contact with loved ones as they were in lockdown. The response from the local community was fantastic and the residents can now get comfort from still being able to communicate with their loved ones. Is there anything the council could do to help facilitate this?

Cllr McAsh - as someone who has been involved in a fair bit of crisis comms in my time it might be a good idea to be a little more present on here - your constituents have responded to your request for ideas and yet we hear little, if anything, from you. Ex-councillors are being far more proactive in communicating and assisting your constituents over Corona-virus than you are. At a time of crisis people look to their elected representatives to be present and engaged.

A little less time on Twitter perhaps? And use the time saved to spend just a few minutes being present on here wouldn't go a miss....you can just as easily access this as you can twitter from your phone - which you seem to be able to find the time to do on a very regular basis winking smiley

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by kate7 March 23, 07:32PM

Please lift car parking charges for NHS staff in hospitals!!!!

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by R U IN ED March 23, 10:18PM

"Please lift car parking charges for NHS staff in hospitals!!!!"

I totally agree with you Kate7. I can't believe NHS staff has to pay car parking with the hard work they are doing...

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by Spartacus March 24, 10:15AM

James
Something simple you can do is make sure that the refuse collectors put bins back inside people's gates when they empty them

Today they emptied mine then left it in the middle of the foot path thus forcing me to leave my house contrary to the instructions from the government last night to stay in and not leave your house

Please make this action a priority to protect people

For information the refuse collectors are doing a good valid role but this is a an addition measure they can do to help us all

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by Pootle March 24, 11:31AM

Please stop construction work in residential areas. Why is demolition going ahead at the old PO site on Silvester/Pellatt Roads, while neighbours are stuck at home, many of them NHS staff on shifts?

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by seenbeen March 24, 01:56PM

Pootle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Please stop construction work in residential
> areas. Why is demolition going ahead at the old PO
> site on Silvester/Pellatt Roads, while neighbours
> are stuck at home, many of them NHS staff on
> shifts?

Yes, I went past on my daily walk and they had a large pneumatic drill in action on the roof - you can hear it several hundred yards away. We have builders next door doing a major project and I was in the garden and they turned the cement mixer off for their 30 minute lunch break....peace at last- BUT someone else in their garden nearby decided to turn their stereo up loud...selfish people in this neck of the 'woods'- we can all do that

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by jamesmcash March 24, 04:25PM

Dear all,

Thanks for your comments and questions. Apologies for the lateness in replying – everything at school has been very hectic but now we are operating a skeleton staff I will able to respond quicker.

Please note, I check my emails much more frequently than I check on here so if you need a response it’s always best to email

Onto your comments

R U IN ED - I agree. We need as much stability as possible for the moment. I have pushed for the East Dulwich CPZ to be postponed and Cllr Livingstone is looking into it. I will let you know.

Rockets – Good idea about the ipad for those in care homes. We are looking into this and similar ideas to ensure that older people can use digital connectivity to tackle isolation and loneliness.

kate7 – a very good point. At the moment I do not think that much enforcement is happening – it cannot exactly be described as ‘essential’ – but I have raised the issue for when things become a bit more normal.

Spartacus – if the refuse collectors are leaving bins in the wrong place then please email me with your address and I will look into it. But if the issue is regarding the bins being left in the normal place then this is trickier: asking the refuse collectors to do more work than they would usually is going to be hard when the workforce is reduced due to sickness and self-isolation.

Pootle – I agree. I do not see why non-essential construction work should continue. However, the government guidance is that it should, so long as social-distancing is enforced, so there is not a lot the council can do. I am staying on top of the issue though – I have had a fair few emails about this.

I hope everyone is keeping safe in this difficult time.

Best wishes
James

--------------------
James McAsh - Labour Councillor for Goose Green ward
James.McAsh@Southwark.gov.uk
[www.jamesmcash.com] [twitter.com]

Surgeries: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7pm, East Dulwich Community Centre on Darrell Road

Sign up to the Goose Green councillor newsletter: [www.jamesmcash.com]

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by yorksgirl March 25, 06:45PM

Hello James

Please may I suggest that the Council makes sure the best use is being made of the allotment sites it owns and leases out.

There are many people on low incomes (or indeed no incomes) at the moment who could hugely benefit from being able to grow their own fresh healthy produce. And who really need it at the moment. However, anyone applying for an allotment in Southwark will be told that there are enormous waiting lists and the process by which people get allotments can seem truly mysterious.

Two key things the Council can do. Tell the allotment managing committees that they must:
1. Stop the long standing situation where a number of individuals have multiple allotments, both on the same site and across different sites in the borough. (E.g the wheeze where one individual works more than one plot, but claims the second one is actually held by their brother / mother, etc).
2. Stop the long standing abuse by quite a few allotment holders wbo regularly sell produce from their allotments at farmer's markets. The law is, clearly, that allotments are for growing food for personal use only, not for profit. These people obviously don't need the allotments to feed themselves and their families, which is what allotments are (legally) provided for.

If the Council insisted that the local allotment sites are properly run, they would benefit a lot more people! (I realise it is not an easy task, the mafia cannot hold a candle to the machinations and territoriality of many an allotment holder).

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by KidKruger March 25, 09:27PM

Wow, I'm flabbergasted that people either use their plots to make money or take more than one plot fraudulently, how selfish is that ?!
Not the community-spirited allotment-holder-mindset I'd envisaged (admittedly, with no prior knowledge or experience).

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by jamesmcash March 25, 09:36PM

Hi both

Thanks for raising this. Allotments are such an important part of our social infrastructure and it makes me sad to think that they are being misused in this way.

It's difficult to police the use of allotments though, the council does not monitor who is using them. However, if you have reason to believe that a particular allotment is being misused then please let me know and I will flag it up. Best to drop me an email on James.McAsh@southwark.gov.uk

That said, it is unlikely that anything will happen while the crisis is ongoing. The council is increasingly moving to only delivering urgent services as these have picked up dramatically while staff availability has fallen.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes
James

--------------------
James McAsh - Labour Councillor for Goose Green ward
James.McAsh@Southwark.gov.uk
[www.jamesmcash.com] [twitter.com]

Surgeries: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7pm, East Dulwich Community Centre on Darrell Road

Sign up to the Goose Green councillor newsletter: [www.jamesmcash.com]

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by monica March 26, 09:36AM

Hi
The retailers on Lordship lane and Northcross Rd have emailed the councillors at Southwark council and have asked if they could postpone the CPZ. So far we have received responses indicating they are looking into the postponement.
James is also Ccd on the email.
We have also formed a business group and are working together in this current situation and other ED related business issues.
Shoplifting and the circulation of fake notes have increased in the last 6 months, we are working with the local neighbourhood police and our local councillors Victoria and Charlie, to try and deal with this and other anti social behaviour.
Hopefully you would have seen the police in and around East Dulwich.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 26, 11:47am by monica.

messageRe: What can the council do to make things easier during COVID-19?
Posted by Paulo March 26, 10:48AM

Lots of useful information on the council website, including a link to Southwark’s Emergency Support Scheme, accessing food banks and organisations to volunteer with.

Best wishes all

[www.southwark.gov.uk]

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