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Latest Coronavirus News From Havering Council 19/03/2021

London Borough of Havering Council

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Wednesday 28 April 2021  (Update #210)

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Our latest weekly report brings with it the great news that not one person in Havering died of COVID-19 in the week up to 16 April.

It also shows that now well over half of all adults in our borough have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Please take up the offer of a jab when it comes and if you are aged 42 or over you can now book your vaccination online. 

These pieces of wonderful news must not blind us to the fact that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. The number of infections rose slightly in the borough last week. This coronavirus pandemic has also already killed 921 of our neighbours, work colleagues, friends and loved ones here in Havering.

It is right to remember them. That's why I announced at the Council meeting last night that we will plant trees in a memorial garden in their honour.

It's also why we need to make sure we still follow the "hands, face, space and fresh air" rules to keep safe and take advantage of free, rapid COVID-19 testing that is now available in 50 places across Havering.

Frequent testing means that any outbreaks of infection can be quickly contained. Read more about testing later in this newsletter.

At our Annual Council meeting last month I was delighted to see Cllr John Mylod re-elected as Mayor of Havering. His first term was cut short due to the pandemic. Serving another year will help his chosen charities benefit from more of his brilliant work. There's more on this below.

In addition, as we start to come out of lockdown, economic recovery for the borough is just as important. This is why we also announced Cllr Dilip Patel as a new Assistant Cabinet Member to spearhead business recovery in the borough during this coming year.

Lastly, if you want to contact me directly, you can email me. However, please be patient as there may be a delay in getting back to you due to the volume of messages I am receiving.

Stay safe.

Cllr Damian White

Leader, Havering Council

Joingn the millions thin banner

Latest figures

Weekly COVID infections chart 23 Apr 2021

Every week Havering Council publishes a report on coronavirus in the borough on its website.

It includes data on infection rates and testing, as well as the vaccine roll-out. It also compares the success of that programme in Havering with other parts of London and the rest of the country.

The graph above is taken from the report. It shows the number of Havering residents testing positive for coronavirus each week since 6 March last year. 

There were 46 cases reported in the last week, ten more than the previous week.

This corresponds to an incidence rate on 23 April of 18 new cases per 100,000 population. This is higher than the previous week, but lower than the London (22/100,000) and the whole of England (24/100,000) figures.


In total 921 people in Havering have now died with COVID-19 but, thankfully, there were no deaths due to the virus reported in Havering for the week ending 16 April.

The latest data shows that by 18 April almost 59 per cent of all adults in Havering have had their first dose of the vaccine. This is much higher than the average for East London, or the whole of London.

Over 99 per cent of all adults in Havering aged 60 to 64 have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.


As of 26 April there were 16 inpatients admitted due to COVID-19 occupying beds at our local hospitals.

The trust that runs those hospitals, BHRUT, also publishes weekly data on the number of patients it is treating.

Read our report

On track

Wates building site April 2021

Havering Council’s Deputy Leader paid a visit on Monday to the Napier and New Plymouth House development to check progress - six months after construction began.

Cllr Robert Benham and Neil Stubbings, Director of Regeneration, inspected works at the site in Rainham (pictured) which forms part of the ‘12 Estates’ regeneration programme with Joint Venture partners Wates Residential.

Despite the extra challenges caused by the pandemic, the development is progressing well and in line with its plan to create 197 homes for local people.

Businesses in and around the borough have been key to ensuring the project stays on track.

Read more


Mayor April 2021

Cllr John Mylod (pictured) has been re-elected as Mayor of Havering following the Annual Council meeting last night (27 April).

Cllr Mylod, who represents St Andrews ward, will continue to serve as Mayor for 2021/22.

Disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic has made many of the Mayoral engagements, including fundraising and community events, much more difficult.

After his re-election the Mayor said that he would continue to support and raise money for his chosen charities - Saint Francis Hospice, Clouds In The Sky, and the Rainbow Trust.

Cllr Christine Vickery, who represents Havering Park ward, has also been re-elected as Deputy Mayor.

Read more

Use your vote

London elections May 2021

Next week, on Thursday 6 May, the elections for the Mayor of London and Members of the London Assembly will take place.

When you go to a polling station or receive your postal ballot papers you will have three to fill in: a pink one for the Mayor, a yellow one for your constituency member, and an orange one for the London-wide list.

Watch a video to see how to use your votes.


42 plus

Vaccination centre sign n South Street Romford, 23 March 2021

If you are aged 42 or over, or you are due to turn 42 by 1 July, you can book your COVID-19 vaccination now.

Take up of the vaccine is a key way in helping to get things back to normal and will protect you, your friends and your family.


Still time

Census - not too late 495px

It’s important all of us fill in our census forms. That’s why it’s a legal requirement to take part.

You will not be in any trouble for returning the census now and only households refusing to complete the census run any risk of receiving a fine.

If you have any questions, or concerns about Census 2021, you can contact our local helpline. The number is 01708 432144.

Help is available on this number on Mondays and Thursdays from 1pm to 7pm, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10am and 4pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

Alternatively, visit www.census.gov.uk or call 0800 141 2021.  

Census scam warning

Scam road sign

Please be alert to scam messages arriving by text or email relating to Census 2021.

Some residents have received  messages that claim to be from "HM Government" saying that they had not completed their census correctly or fully.

The bogus messages then say that this needs to be corrected to avoid a thousand pound fine.

As with so many of these scams, if you click on links, or respond, they ask for your bank details. In this case the scam message says you owe them £1.25 for late submission of information. 

Ignore and delete any such messages. There is no charge or penalty for "incorrectly completing the census". 

There is a possible £1,000 penalty if you refuse to do the census but any such fine would only be charged after a court process, and there is no penalty for completing the census late.  

Free and easy

Rapid testing mini poster Apr 2021

Regular, twice-weekly rapid testing for people without COVID-19 symptoms is available for everyone in Havering to help make sure you're not passing on the virus without knowing.

You can order home test kits or pick them up from test centres, some libraries and most pharmacies.

There are over fifty places in Havering and you can find out the nearest testing sites and collection points.

Alternatively, you can order a test kit online. 

You should still use testing even if you have had one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.


Have symptoms?

Of course, it also remains vitally important to book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Holiday on Monday

Eary May refuse collections

See the Hoard

Havering Hoard image

The Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands are set to reopen to the public on 19 May depending on government guidance.

After that opening, you will be able to see the Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery.

Admission is free.

This exhibition has been extended until 22 August 2021.


Still free

Free parking sign on machine

Havering Council is providing free parking to help support our high streets and town centres.

Parking fees in all Council car parks and on-street parking bays are suspended until, and including, 9 May 2021.

For the avoidance of doubt this does not include resident permit parking where the usual permits and restrictions still apply.

The Council also provides a Havering Heroes parking permit for NHS and other key workers. This permit has been extended until 21 June 2021.

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Vaccine News!

The following link advises that some Carers can book an appointment for the COVID vaccine.  




Who can use this service

You can only use this service if any of the following apply:

  • you are aged 55 or over
  • you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • you have a learning disability
  • you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus




Prepare for school next week, setting Council Tax, and picking up on waste in Romford.

Getting vaccinated in a Romford shopping centre, and news on the end of shielding.

London Borough of Havering Council

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Friday 19 March 2021  (Update #195)

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COVID-19 has taken its toll on my family and friends over the past year, so I was glad to receive my vaccine a few days ago.

My family and friends have all had their first dose of the vaccine too and I feel quite relieved – and so do my children – as it means that we all feel better protected for when things open up again and we can go out and about.

Cllr Persaud receiving COVID jab March 2021

The process was nice and simple. I was booked into the new space inside The Liberty in Romford which is easily accessible. The staff were very accommodating and friendly and the venue is nicely laid out.

Before taking the vaccine, I must admit, I was fearful of making a hospital appointment for another matter, but I’ve now booked my appointment.

I know there is some hesitancy among some people in taking the vaccine but I had no fear whatsoever and know how important it is for people from particular communities, including mine (Caribbean Indian), who are more vulnerable to the virus.

The virus is still out there so we should all still continue to follow the government guidance – washing our hands, keeping our distance and only going out if necessary.

Whatever fear you have, the benefits far outweigh them. The NHS is well equipped to respond to any concerns and I know some people do have some reaction to the vaccine, but these have tended to be mild and is nothing compared to what could happen without the vaccine.

Finally, don't forget that this Sunday is Census Day. If you haven't already completed it, please do so by Sunday. More on this below.

Have a great, and safe, weekend.

Cllr Viddy Persaud

Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety

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One year on


Tuesday 23 March marks one year since the start of the first UK lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Havering Council will take part in the National Day of Reflection using the opportunity to pause and reflect on the loss and grief we have experienced.

After observing a one-minute silence at 12 noon on Tuesday, a single bell at St Andrew’s Church, Hornchurch will be tolled for five minutes starting at 12.01pm.

The Town Hall will be lit up in yellow on Tuesday to mark the event.

We have also produced a special commemorative online booklet containing messages of hope, thanks, and remembrance.

You will be able to read this via a link in the next edition of this newsletter that will be published on Tuesday, instead of Monday, next week.

Shielding latest

Shielding visual

The Government has announced that Clinicallly Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people are advised that they no longer need to shield from Thursday 1 April.

This is because COVID-19 infection rates continue to fall, and there has been priority access to vaccination for all people who are CEV.

CEV people coming out of shielding will still be subject to the national restrictions alongside the rest of the population, but are advised to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe from COVID-19.

The NHS is sending out letters to all CEV people who are shielding with further advice.

For any CEV people who are registered already for priority access to supermarket delivery slots, they will continue to be able to access these until 21 June 2021. However the process will close to new registrations for priority slots on 31 March.

We know that the ending of shielding will be difficult for many of our residents, so we and our voluntary sector partners will still be here - look out for more information in our Living in Havering bulletins next week.

Meal deal for holidays

School meals in holidaybanner 2

The COVID Winter Grant Scheme has been extended, which means that Havering Council will again be able to support eligible families with school meals during the school holidays.

For the Easter holiday eligible families will receive £30 per child.

There’s no need to re-apply if you have previously received money via the School Meal Holiday Scheme. This will be paid automatically into your account by Monday 22 March. Read more on our website.

If you haven’t previously applied, but need to, please click on the button below.

Applications for new claims will open from 9am next Friday, 26 March, closing on Tuesday 6 April at 9am.


New testing site

rapid testing graphic feb

A new rapid community testing site is coming to Romford High Steet from Monday (22 March). It will provide results within an hour. 

It's at 40 High Street, Romford (RM1 1AN), opposite Havering Museum, so it's convenient for anyone working in essential retail and offices in Romford town centre. 

Appointments can be booked online through Havering's COVID-19 testing page, and drop-in slots will be available throughout the day once the site is open. 

From Monday, there will be a total of five rapid testing sites available across Havering, including one directly opposite Rainham Station for easy access to those working in the south of the borough.

The rapid testing sites in South Hornchurch and Gidea Park libraries will no longer be available from Monday, and Havering Council is searching for suitable replacements in these locations.

See our short video explaining the simple process.

Home testing COVID kit March 2021

You can book tests or place an order online for home test kits (pictured) if you are in a household or support bubble where children are attending, or an adult is working in, a primary or secondary school, or a nursery.

You can also collect your home test kits without an appointment from any of our Local Testing Sites.

You should still be tested even if you have had one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Have symptoms?

Of course, it also remains vitally important to book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms. There is information on booking procedures, and opening hours for all our local testing locations on our website.

Hotline help

COVID-19 helpline

If you, or someone you know, has concerns around care, urgent issues with their health and wellbeing or lack of access to supplies, including food, please call our free to use helpline: 0800 368 5201.

It is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and between 11am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays for emergencies only.

You can also email us if you, or someone you know, needs help.

Census day on Sunday

Census 2021 square ad block

Census 2021 day is this Sunday, 21 March.

By filling in your census, you will help shape Havering for the next 10 years. 

The census is collecting information about us and where we live on Sunday 21 March, but that is not a deadline that you have to meet for returning forms.

The vast majority of people will be completing the census online, but if you are using a paper copy you can put that in the post after 21 March. If you’d prefer to complete your questionnaire on paper you can request one to be sent to you.

You can also find guidance in 49 different languages plus other formats, including British Sign Language, Braille and Easy Read.

Help is available if you’re unsure how to complete it or you need further support. You can call our local helpline on 01708 432144 (Monday and Thursdas 1 - 7pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am - 4pm, and Saturday 10am - 2pm) or send us an email

There is a special number that you can call if you are from the Polish or other East European communities: 07869 558880. Alternatively, you can email for help. 


Help in 28 languages

Help to apply to EUSS

The Mayor of London has put together new, translated guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme to help European Londoners.

The guidance is available in 28 languages, including all official EU languages and other languages spoken by EU citizens and their family members in London such as Arabic, Bengali, Russian and Somali. 

Please share this information with any neighbours, friends or family who you think would benefit from help in their first language.

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. You must usually have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. If you have children, you need to apply for them separately.

People who successfully register under the scheme remain eligible for public services, such as healthcare and schools, public funds and pensions, and British citizenship, if applicants wish to apply and meet the requirements.


Support fund

EU and UK flags

Smaller businesses can now apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes.

Small and medium-sized businesses that trade solely with the EU – and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes – are encouraged to apply for the grants.


The Government has delayed the implementation of various import declarations from 30 June 2021 to 31 December 2021. Find out more.

Marking the day

Single Parents' Day Gingerbread image

Apart from being Census Day, this Sunday (21 March) is also National Single Parents' Day.

Single parents have been particularly impacted by the crisis when it comes to losing jobs and income, balancing work and childcare and home schooling.

Gingerbread, the national single parents charity that was founded in 1918 in the midst of the last global pandemic, will be celebrating single parents and what they have achieved.


Learning to cope

Art of being brilliant book cover

Havering Libraries are holding a series of free author events including Andy Cope doing a live Zoom event on wellbeing for adults.

Andy’s books are frequently on the best-sellers list. ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’, ‘Shine’, ‘The Little Book of Emotional Intelligence’ and ‘Zest’ have all topped the personal development charts.

Happiness Route Map’ was nominated as The Independent’s best self-help book of 2018. In this session he will be encouraging people to start loving life, to become their very best self, with tips on how to increase wellbeing and happiness.

You can join Andy on Thursday 25 March from 7 to 8pm.

If you would like to attend, please book in advance by email.

Park life this weekend

Covid Marshalls on patrol in Raphaels Park

This weekend many parks in Havering are likely to be very busy.

If you’re visiting any of them for your permitted daily exercise, or socialising with just one person from outside your household that is now permitted under Step 1 of the Government's lockdown easing roadmap, please avoid busy times, if possible.

Follow social distancing guidelines when walking or jogging on pathways, and use bins for any masks, gloves or empty sanitiser bottles. Littering not only spoils the experience of our parks for others but is damaging to the environment and wildlife.

If you purchase food or drink from any of the takeaway kiosks or cafes in our parks, please maintain social distancing while queueing, and walk away as soon as you have collected it.

COVID Marshals (pictured) will be regularly patrolling our parks over the weekend to make sure that coronavirus lockdown rules and park byelaws are followed.

Roads and rails

Road improvement sign June 2019

From Tuesday 23 to Thursday 25 March road resurfacing work will take place in part of Roseberry Gardens and Waycross Road, Cranham. This work will be carried out between 9.30am and 3pm each day.

From 22 to 26 March road resurfacing works will take place in Gooshays Drive (between Hilldene Avenue and Petersfield Avenue). This work will be carried out between 7.30pm and 6am each night.

The high friction road surfacing around pedestrian crossing points in Rom Valley Way in Romford, close to the junction with Oldchurch Road, will be replaced between 29 and 31 March. Work will take place overnight between 8pm and 6am. 

c2c train at a station

Due to Network Rail undertaking engineering work in connection with the Barking Riverside Project, c2c trains will not run on the Rainham line this weekend (20 and 21 March).

Rail replacement buses will run between Upminster and Grays via Rainham.


Rapid testing jome kits graphic 17 March 2021
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Monday 1 March 2021  (Update #187)

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This financial year has been a year none of us could have predicted. 2020 brought COVID-19 and with it changes and challenges on a scale most of us have never seen in our lifetimes.

As we do every year, we set our budget with a clear plan for the year. However, the pandemic changed all our lives and re-wrote those plans.

When we first became aware of the awful coronavirus  pandemic, we quickly responded to the needs of our residents. This included supporting the shielded scheme – delivering food to those who needed it most.

I asked for £1.5m of funding to be put aside for our Havering Helps scheme to help those residents most in need. Following this, in November, I was pleased that we could go even further with the COVID-19 Winter Support Grant. This funding has enabled us to help those of our residents who have been so badly affected by the impact of the pandemic.

The Havering Helps scheme has now helped over 4,000 residents with more than half a million pounds in cash grants and payments to replace and repair white goods, help with utility bills, assist with isolation and put food on the table.

You can read more on our plans for the next financial year in the article below about Wednesday's night's Council Tax setting meeting.

Today I want to reassure parents and pupils that schools have been working hard to prepare for the safe return to school or college from next Monday (8 March).

When they open fully for all pupils we will need everyone - teachers, pupils and parents or carers - to continue following the Government guidance in order to keep everyone safe. The hands, face and space message remains crucial and all adults and secondary school or college students must wear a face covering while on school or college premises where they can’t social distance. Also, please don’t hang about near school gates when dropping off or collecting children. Go straight home to help keep COVID-19 infection rates in Havering down. Read more on this later in this bulletin.

If you want to contact me directly, you can email me. However, please be patient as there may be a delay of a day or two in getting back to you due to the volume of messages I am receiving.

Cllr Damian White

Leader, Havering Council

Stay home after vaccine cartoon graphic

Council Tax setting

Town Hall March 2019

This Wednesday night (3 March) at 7.30pm Havering Council holds its annual Council Tax setting meeting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will be a virtual meeting with Councillors joining the meeting from home via Zoom.

The meeting will approve the Council's budget for 2021/22 and set the Council Tax applicable from April.

You can read the documents the councillors will be discussing and, if you wish, watch the meeting via a webcast.

Watch webcast

Positive Possibilities

Positivity event March 2021 495px

Our mental health awareness campaign, BeNiceToYourNoggin, and local youth charity Lifeline Projects are putting on a free online concert this Friday (5 March) to help raise awareness of mental health support.  

The event – headlined by MOBO winner Guvna B - will be exclusively for young people in Havering and hopes to provide a place for them to discuss mental health issues and learn more about the local help available.  

If you are aged 11 - 25, or know someone who is, click on the button below to join the event.


Next steps

Here's a summary of the first two steps the Government has outlined as it begins to relax COVID-19 restrictions:

Steps 1 and 2 revised


Cast your vote

Polling station sign

The Government has announced that door-to-door campaigning for England's local elections will be allowed from 8 March.

Activists will be permitted to canvas and leaflet as long as they work alone, with groups of six allowed from 29 March. But guidance says hustings and public meetings over this limit will still have to take place online.

Elections for the Mayor of London and London Assembly will be held across London on Thursday 6 May.

You must be on the electoral register to vote in Mayor of London and London Assembly elections - and indeed any UK elections and referenda. You can register to vote online in just a few minutes using a simple form. You'll need to provide your National Insurance number, your date of birth and your address.


Testing, vaccines and help

Stay at home after vaccine couple image 495px

If you have any doubts about taking a COVID-19 vaccine when it is offered to you, or you know that a friend or relative has concerns, see this video.

If you are 64 or over, an eligible frontline health or care worker, or eligible for carer’s allowance, and have not yet had, or been booked, for your first COVID-19 vaccination you can book online or call 119.

From today (1 March) a new COVID-19 vaccination centre will be open in the Liberty Shopping Centre in Romford. It has been set up by North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT). Attendance will be by appointment only and the centre will be open from 8am - 8pm, seven days a week. 


One in three people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, and can pass it on to others without realising. If you cannot work from home please test twice weekly at one of Havering's five lateral flow testing centres.

These centres are open from 7am to 7pm on weekdays and 10am to 7pm on weekends. Find your nearest rapid testing site.

See our short video that explains the simple process.

From today (1 March), you can also book tests or place an order online for home test kits if you are in a household where children will be attending primary or secondary school from next week.

Of course, it also remains vitally important to book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms. There is information on booking procedures, and opening hours for all our local testing locations on our website.


If you, or someone you know, has concerns around care, urgent issues with their health and wellbeing or lack of access to supplies, including food, please call our free to use helpline: 0800 368 5201.

It is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and between 11am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays for emergencies only.

You can also email us if you, or someone you know, needs help.

Picking up on waste

Brooklands waste poster March 2021

Havering Council in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, is launching a campaign to help our borough get rid of its waste responsibly.

It will begin in Brooklands ward, Romford, where last year, £35,933 was spent by the Council clearing up fly-tipping.

For the next four weeks in the ward, the campaign will look at where fly-tipping takes place in the area, with Keep Britain Tidy monitoring the number of fly-tipping incidents and reports.

The campaign will also look into residents’ awareness, attitudes and perceptions of fly-tipping and see what can be done to help people who do fly-tip understand the impact it has on their communities.

Report a fly-tip

Fostering for loving parents

Fostering heart image Feb 2021

Havering Council believes that any loving person or couple can make wonderful foster parents.

Today (Monday 1 March) is the start of LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week. 

We consider applications from anyone over 25 years, with a spare bedroom and also applications from people who are working, but you’ll need to have some flexibility to meet all the needs of any child in your care.

To find out more about fostering, join the Havering Council team this Wednesday, 3 March, at 11 am for a special information session.


Safe return to school

Back to school graphic March 2021

The Government announced last month that all schools would fully open next Monday, 8 March.

Returning to school is compulsory, unless there are specific medical reasons for a child not being able to attend. Non-attendance could result in a penalty notice being issued.

Havering Council wants to reassure parents and pupils that everything that can be done is being done to ensure their safe return to school and why it is important for pupils to return – for their own wellbeing and their long-term learning and future.

If you or your child feels unwell, please don’t come to school, but isolate and get tested. If your child tests positive, arrangements will be made so they can study at home. From today (1 March) parents or carers can book tests or place an order online for home test kits if you are in a household where children will be attending primary or secondary school from next week.

Walk to school where possible. If you’re travelling by bus, please remember to wear a face covering.

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. Please head home straight after school to help stop the spread of the virus.

Quit moaning

Diary of a brilliant teenager book cover image

This Thursday (4 March) is World Book Day.

Havering Libraries is holding a number of special online events to celebrate the day, including author Andy Cope doing a live Zoom between 7 and 8pm aimed at anyone aged 11 or over.

Amongst other things, he will be discussing his book ‘The Art of Being a Brilliant Teenager’ and encouraging teens to quit the moaning and start loving life, to become their very best self, with tips on how to stay cool under pressure and be determined and most importantly ‘happy’.

Register in advance by sending an email. 


Once every 10 years

Census pack photo

Very soon you will receive a letter that will tell you everything you need to know about how to complete Census 2021 online.

Paper copies of the census will be available if required.

Census 2021 takes place on Sunday 21 March.

By filling in your census, you will help shape Havering for the next 10 years.


Deadline day in June

EUSS Polish version Feb 2021

Up until the end of January more than five million people have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

So far there have been 22,850 applications to the scheme from Havering residents.

The largest number of applications were from Romanian citizens, followed by Lithuanians, Poles, Bulgarians, Italians and Portuguese. 

If you are a European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, or a family member, you should apply now to secure your rights in UK law.

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.  


Time to give up

Stop smoking campaign image 1 March 2021 495px

This year No Smoking Day is on Wednesday 10 March. Make this day your time to quit for good.

The pandemic may have you thinking more about smoking and your health.

Click below to to keep motivated to quit for better health, as well as the other top reasons Londoners have for kicking the habit.

Help to kick the habit

Step up

Step up to social work graphic

Step Up to Social Work is a Department for Education initiative which aims to increase the number of social workers by supporting graduates and career changers to start a new career in social work, working with vulnerable children, young people and families.

Step Up to Social Work is a 14 month full-time, fully funded programme, starting in January 2022 that leads to a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work.

The programme is delivered locally by the University of East London in partnership with local authorities including Havering Council.

Applications for places close on 7 April 2021.

A series of online information sessions are being held, starting tomorrow (Tuesday 2 March). Book your place at one of these sessions.


Films from the Fanns

Harold Wood running club

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme has worked with local people to create ten short films that reveal some of the wonderful places and characters in the Land of the Fanns - an area that includes Havering.

The ten films evoke memories, record developments and showcase some of the interesting and beautiful places to be found in the Fanns area that runs from east London to Basildon.

Locations in Havering featured in these films include Bedfords Park Walled Garden in Havering-atte-Bower, the Rainham Hall Community Garden, and the Harold Wood Running Club training in Pages Wood (pictured).

Each film is available to watch on the Land of the Fanns websiteYouTube channel and on its Facebook page.


Better days graphic Jan 2021


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Monday 25 January 2021  (Update #172)

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By the time you read this it is likely that the COVID-19 vaccination programme will have passed the seven million mark nationally and better days are ahead.

But we must remember that coronavirus vaccines may not fully prevent people from passing the virus on to others so people who have had the jab should still continue to abide by lockdown restrictions.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said at the weekend that if those who have been vaccinated begin easing off because they are protected, they are potentially putting at risk those further down the priority list who still need inoculation. He also said that it is possible to contract the virus in the two to three week period after receiving a jab.

Therefore, continue to act as if you have the virus whether you have been vaccinated or not.

Encourage everyone to take up a vaccination when it is offered as that will reduce the pressure on the NHS. Join our online public meeting this Thursday if you have questions about the vaccine. Read more on this below.

If you want to contact me directly, email me. However, please be patient as there may be a delay of a day or two in getting back to you due to the volume of messages I am receiving.

Cllr Damian White

Leader, Havering Council

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Questions answered

Better days ahead graphic with Zoom meeting date Jan 2021

Over the coming weeks, there will be information available to help answer any concerns and questions about the vaccine.

This includes an online public meeting organised by Havering Council with local health professionals on Thursday, 28 January, from 4pm.

Find out about the vaccination roll-out and what is happening locally to help reduce COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations.

Information on the vaccine is available in a variety of languages including Gujarati, Urdu and Punjabi to help explain the coronavirus vaccine and the importance of having it to protect yourself, and reduce the potential of spreading the virus in your community.

The COVID-19 vaccinations used in the UK have been endorsed by the British Islamic Medical Association.

The NHS's East London Health and Care Partnership also have a website with information on the coronavirus vaccine, including answers to many frequently asked questions.

Attend the meeting

Help when you need it

Hotline call handler

If you, or someone you know, has concerns around care, urgent issues with their health and wellbeing or lack of access to supplies, including food, please call our free to use helpline: 0800 368 5201.

It is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and between 11am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays for emergencies only.

You can also email us if you, or someone you know, needs help.

Testing remains vital

Testing explainer Jan 13 2021 700px

It remains vitally important to book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Click for details of all types of local testing locations and opening hours.


More testing capacity

testing graphic

Dorrington Gardens car park in Hornchurch, will be the site for a new permanent COVID-19 local testing site. 

This will be a walk-through facility, designed to allow local people to access testing and will be on the upper tier of the car park.

The lower tier will continue to be available for parking.

It will be open 8am to 8pm from next Monday, 1 February, seven days a week.

If you need testing now, see the information on our website.

Stay safe in parks

Kids on play equipment in Bedfords Park Nov 2020

Parks are crucial for exercise and mental wellbeing, particularly during the pandemic when permitted activities are limited.

Therefore, it's vital that residents respect these spaces and behave appropriately so that they can be enjoyed by everyone.  

To stop the spread of COVID-19, you must continue to follow the Government’s rules and only leave home for permitted reasons.

Please remember:

  • Do not visit a park if you have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Don't enter a park if it is crowded and you cannot safely stay two metres from others
  • To ensure you can continue socially distancing, use all areas of the park that remain open, not just the paths
  • Be respectful of others and give them space
  • Avoid touching surfaces (such as gates or handrails) and if children use any play equipment use hand sanitiser afterwards
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • To use bins provided or take litter home with you
  • If you purchase food or drink from any of the takeaway kiosks or cafes in our parks, please buy your snacks and then walk away to continue your exercise. 

If you believe that social distancing rules are being broken you can report that online.


Small business support

Rapid testing 700px banner Jan 2021

One in three people get COVID-19 and have no symptoms, passing it on to others without realising.

It is now more important than ever to get tested regularly, especially if you have to enter other people’s homes as part of your job.

Havering Council understands that self-employed people and sole traders, especially tradespeople, are worried about the financial impact of testing positive, and so we have launched our new SafeTrade grant support scheme.

Tradespeople who are registered with the scheme can claim a £500 grant to help with ongoing business costs if they test positive and have to isolate. All we ask is that you get tested twice per week at one of our rapid testing sites.

Eligible businesses might include:

  • building trades
  • domestic cleaners
  • suppliers routinely entering a home to measure or estimate for work
  • tutors.

The grant is intended to support single-handed businesses – sole traders and owner-managed limited liability companies with a single employee.


Schooling at home

Child with laptop

Schools will continue to provide remote education until February half-term at the earliest, and the key message for parents is that you are not alone, and you should keep in touch with your school and seek help if you need it.

When being taught remotely, your child’s school will set work each day in several different subjects, which will include either recorded or live direct teaching, and should be similar in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school.

As a guide, this will be:

3 hours a day for Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2, pupils aged between 5 and 7)

4 hours a day for KS2 (years 3 - 6 with children aged between 7 and 11)

5 hours a day for KS3 and KS4 (secondary school up to age 16)

Those hours include both direct teaching and time for pupils to complete tasks or assignments independently.

Read more

Text scam alert

Scam text message Jan 2021

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has provided many opportunities for fraudsters to prey on people at times of stress.

We are aware of text messages (an example of a scam text is pictured) pretending to come from the Government telling people they are entitled to money under a "lockdown support plan". 

Official UK Government websites begin with www.gov.uk, so any addresses you see on texts like this one pictured are bogus and you should not click on any link provided. 

Vaccine fact graphic

Taking care of ourselves

BeNiceToYourNoggin campaign blue cartoon

Experiencing mental health issues can feel isolating, but it's important to reach out if you feel like you're struggling.

The pandemic has affected us all in different ways, and it is only normal to feel uncertain about what the future holds.

The stress of this uncertainty and the new challenges we have had to face has had an impact on the mental health of many.

With limited contact with our friends, family, community and colleagues, taking care of our mental health and wellbeing has never been more important.

Local support services can help you.


Memorial Day

HMD candle

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place this Wednesday, 27 January.

Tributes to commemorate the day will be posted on our Facebook page.

The theme of this year’s Memorial Day is ‘Be The Light In The Darkness’.

This theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.

Meeting this week

Cabinet March 2019

Havering Council's Cabinet (pictured pre-COVID) meets on Wednesday night (27 January).

On the day you can view the proceedings via our website and a live video stream.

The meeting will be a virtual one to ensure appropriate social distancing with most members joining the meeting via video link.

The agenda for the meeting, which starts at 7:30pm, includes a decision on proposals to spend £1.5million to make better use of Council buildings and land in order to make ongoing savings of £900,000 per year. This includes space in the Town Hall and surrounding grounds being prioritised for those services that cannot be delivered remotely, with remaining capacity serving as space for staff working predominately at home or elsewhere. 

Also on the agenda is the next phase of the Council's Smart Working programme.



Time to count

Let's Count Census 2021 graphic Jan 2021

Let's Count is a way for primary school pupils to get involved with the next census. 

Census 2021 will take place on Sunday 21 March.

The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. This helps to plan and fund public services across the country and provides invaluable data to Havering Council.

There’s no other survey that gives as much detail about us and the society we live in.

The Let's Count programme will include a special live stream lesson on equality and representation, delivered by British historian, Professor David Olusoga.


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Face coverings NHS Dec 2020
London Borough of Havering council

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