A message from the Leader of the Council

Published Friday, 4 December 2020

The following open letter is the lead article in Bromley Council’s Update e-newsletter.

Dear Residents,

Good news - but don’t drop your guard!

I write at the end of the week where we have emerged from ‘lockdown’ and have since received confirmation that a long-awaited vaccine has passed its tests and is now ready to go.

Both represent absolutely fantastic news and offer cause for celebration that we are now fast approaching the end of the most depressing period most of us have ever had to endure, even if being placed into ‘Tier 2’ wasn’t perhaps what many of us were hoping for or might have preferred.

As we enter the weekend and run up to Christmas buoyed by both, there will be an understandable natural temptation to relax in the belief the worst has passed.

Please, whatever you do, do not fall into that trap because it very sadly hasn't necessarily done so.

I regret to have to inform you that the situation locally is still looking far less rosy than any of us would prefer, as well, that in recent days, our infection numbers have returned to and remain stubbornly stuck at their highest levels yet.

This is not all bad news, nor cause for panic, given that we are testing more people, as well that our comparative infection rate per 100,000 continues to compare reasonably well to other boroughs (although there has been some slippage of late) but the message is extremely clear.

Covid isn't beaten yet, not by a very long stretch, and every single one of us remains a key player with personal responsibility to prevent its spread, in a very deadly race against time until the vaccine has been supplied to those most at risk and are protected from its ravages.

I have been asked by Bromley’s Director of Public Health to briefly mention two groups of people causing them a degree of concern at present, as they appear to be contributing to the ongoing number of cases being recorded.

Firstly, parents at the school gate.

I’m sure that most of you do already, but if you could think more about ‘social distancing’ at all times, it would really be helpful please.

Secondly, to those self-isolating, as tough and unpleasant an experience as it may be, it means, with every due respect, self-isolate.

Nipping round the corner to do a bit of shopping for example, is not self-isolating and defeats the whole object of the exercise.

Please also use the council’s website or call our Assistance Team on: 020 8313 4484 and we will be able to assist you, without you needing to leave your home and by so doing putting others at risk.

Bromley residents, we’ve come a very long way together as a borough these past nine months at considerable cost and sacrifice. Lost lives, lost jobs, lost businesses, lives changed forever through no fault of anyone and we are now finally in sight of the finishing line.

Please, let’s stick at this resolutely together until the very bitter end and do the right thing by those who need us most.

If we continue to follow basic hygiene rules, wear a mask where requested to, keep a safe distance from others outside of our ‘bubble’ in a few months’ time the current hardship and cycle of restrictions will be over and our recovery to whatever passes as the new normal underway.

Thank you for everything you’ve done so far, thank you in anticipation for staying the course.

One more shove and we’re there.

With my kindest regards and very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Councillor Colin P. Smith,

Leader of the Council

London Borough of Bromley

More information about coronavirus is at www.bromley.gov.uk/covid-19

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For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7911 or email susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk