Covid-19 level 4

New Covid-19 restrictions will apply in London tomorrow (Sunday 20 December) until further notice:-

  • Stay at home-
  • Non-essential businesses must shut-
  • No household mixing on 23-27 December –
  • You can meet 1 person from another household outdoors

Additionally we recommend that everybody wears face coverings in any socially mixed areas like stair cases, lobbies and great caution is used during lift use.

Tower Hamlets Council advice page.

Communicating with neighbours

We love nothing more than being friends with neighbours. That is what Neighbourhood Watch is all about. A problem shared, is a problem halved.

Neighbours meet each other in stair cases have friendly chats and laugh, brilliant.

Just please, please do so with a facemask on and keep a distance. Covid-19 is ravaging among us and we mustn’t let our guard down in our communal areas.

May I take this opportunity to mention that increasingly neighbours or people pretending to be neighbours ask me to borrow drills. I think it would be unreasonable to expect that one individual should have to pay for the cost of a drill, drill bits and other accessories to help others. Everything is very expensive these days.

Perhaps it would be an idea for the TRA to start an exchange scheme for tools, as long as that is within the Covid-19 regulations. The TRA could purchase the stock needed to run such a scheme from community funds. They could run such a scheme and borrow equipment out on a cost basis.

To be on the safe side I would recommend that people do NOT borrow drills or similar instruments to callers unless they know them very well.

planned community kitchen

The latest Parkview TRA leaflet promises the installation of a community kitchen in the Glasshouse.

I am writing to the Tower Hamlets Homes, Community Partnership Officer as we speak to ascertain that a proper Health and Safety Risk Assessment has been carried out according to HSE requirements.

Also other questions need to be asked

  • Was there a risk assessment according to HSE requirements?
  • who is qualified to staff the kitchen?
  • who is the first aider?
  • who is the fire marshall?
  • is there an accident book to record all accidents?
  • Are the rules of the Food Standards Agency been followed?
  • Was there a consultation off all affected included Gatehouse school?

After careful consideration I do not support but oppose the project because there is an increased fire risk from having a large cooking facility in the immediate vicinity of a school and that cooking facility will not have permanent staff but will be operated by random persons. It is not known what the qualificatoins of those persons will be.

Should any fire break out in the community kitchen it most likely will result in the school having to be evacuated for the sake of the safety of the children.


chef cooking in kitchen
Photo by Rene Asmussen on

I’ve been informed that Tower Hamlets Council supports the installation of the Community Kitchen, I requested that they consult also with the school about this, as it is direclty next door and will be affected by problems with the increased fire risk.

I won’t be complaining about the community kitchen, but I made my reservations known. I will not be using it, I think it’s quite risky. But I suppose everybody will use it at their own peril if they wish.


Support during COVID-19

If you wish to support those affected by Corona Virus please register via the central register  on this webpage. If you have ideas on how to improve things please email:

General council webpage links and advice on

Help for Victims of abuse against women and girls can rely on getting help. If you are in an emergency call 999, if you cannot speak on the phone press 55, which refers your call to a specialist helper who will assist you.

Local support:

  • Tower Hamlets Victim Support IDVA 020 7364 7957/2448 (Monday to Friday 9-5)
  • Victim Support 0808 1689 111 (24 hours)
  • Tower Hamlets Crisis Intervention Service 020 3222 4027 (Monday to Friday 9-5; and weekends 10am-6pm)
  • Legal advice regarding domestic abuse and family law, such as non-molestation orders, child arrangements or divorce – Bowling & Co. Solicitors 020 8221 8000 in emergency 07464 925 083
  • Tower Hamlets VAWG Team 0800 279 5434 (Monday to Friday 9-5) or email
  • Tower Hamlets Housing Options Service Team (HOST) will no longer have a drop-in service. For those at risk of homelessness contact HOST on 020 7364 7474 Monday to Friday 9-5 or after 5pm the emergency number 020 7364 4079
  • Adult Safeguarding team 020 7364 5005
  • Children Safeguarding team 020 7364 3444

National Support

  • National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247; 7 days a week 24 hours
  • LGBT specialist advice on 0800 999 5428 (Monday to Friday 10am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 4pm or email
  • Specific Men’s Advice line 0808 801 0327 Monday – Friday
    • 9am – 8pm Monday & Wednesday
    • 9am – 5pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
    • email
  • Women’s Aid online support service
    • Monday – Friday 10am – 12 pm
  • Hestia provides a free-to-download mobile app, Bright Sky, which hides as a weather app but provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Other VAWG support

  • Girls aged 14+ or woman and have been a victim of sexual assault you can contact
    • Rape Crisis 0808 802 9999; 12pm – 2.30pm and 7pm-9.30pm each day.
    • for victims age 16+ use the Live online Chat helpline Monday – Friday.
  • Beyond the Streets, support for women who are involved in prostitution 0800 133 7870 or email
  • Female Genital Mutilation FGM Engagement Service 020 7377 8725 (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.
  • Forced Marriage Unit 020 7008 0151 or email
  • Stalking and Harrassment 0808 802 0300 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4pm except for Wednesday when it is open 1pm – 4pm.
  • Trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation 08000 121 7000

Perpetrators of abuse who want help

If you are worried how you are treating your partner or family member and want to stop your behaviour, you can contact Respect on 0808 802 4040 or email

vulnerable residents – volunteers

I urge all elderly and vulnerable residents not to open the doors to callers, unless they got an appointment.

Fraudsters are urging the elderly to let them help with shopping and ask them for bank details. Do not give your bank details to anybody.

About 1.5 Million vulnerable residents are about to get letters from the government urging them to stay at home for about 12 weeks.

Local councillors are setting up groups to help local, vulnerable residents. You will be contacted or can contact your councillor Eve McQuillan for Bethnal Green.

Mobile:  07594 828420

Other local councillors will be available in each ward.

I understand that the government will guarantee food deliveries for vulnerable residents during the isolation period.

Anybody who can volunteer to help please sign up at the Tower Hamlets volunteer bank.

I want to urge all to stop stock-piling. Accumulating lots of paper or cooking oil can increase your fire risks and dry foods can get infected with pests. Also clearing shelves and buying as much as possible doesn’t help those who need to find things in our shops, please only buy what you need.

Emergency measures needed over failure to collect rubbish

th-rubbishNot only have bin collectors gone on strike but also an action of vandalism of our bin lorries, stops rubbish being collected.

Whilst many are asked to self-isolate, not travel unless absolutely necessary, the only journey many will make is to deposit rubbish and recycling into bins.

How can this be allowed to go on when we have a pandemic forcing school closures and the cancellation of social gatherings?

We need the hygiene to also extent to our streets and not only our homes. Alhtough this picture is not from our estate, it is a general situation throughout the borough. I understand our own caretaker does his utmost to distribute rubbish through empty bin chambers, there is only so much room available.

Mayor, do something now.

Corona Virus

Some sensible advice.

Clean all frequently used and shared surfaces, especially

  • front door
  • floors
  • doors and handles
  • letter box
  • light switches
  • fridge and cupboard handles

Wash your hands when you get home, after bathroom use and before you eat and try to wash your hands at least every hour.

Do not touch your face when in public spaces whilst you touch surfaces. Only touch your face after you washed your hands thoroughly. If in public and you need to sneeze, have a tissue to sneeze into or sneeze into your sleeves.

ration20Please stop panic shopping. Supermarkets run out of essentials like nappies or toilet paper. Some people cannot be at the shops first thing in the morning, so please leave some supplies for others.

The Competition and Markets Authority wants to enforce that traders do not exploit the situation by charging excessive prices. See full article.

Symptoms of Corona virus mainly are

fever, cough and breathing problems. If that occurs ring 111. The general advice is to self-isolate for about 2 weeks. In some cases 111 cannot get back to you fast. Corona virus may be fatal for people with other severe health problems. The NHS will give those patients preference.

Most residents know their elderly neighbours, keep an eye on them, especially if they are not looked after regularly. I still would urge people not to open the door to strangers unless they have an appointment.

Only help others if you are healthy yourself and remember that you can only get infected if you are within 2 meters of a person.

For NHS advice click here




New NHS app

Got this message from my surgery that there is a new NHS app. I downloaded and registered. In order to do that, you need to

  1. take a photo of your passport
  2. record a video of yourself.

Once all this has been verified they accept you as user.

But if you are worried that the police use facial recognition, think NHS. Facial recognition becomes more used by various organisations. Even if you enter the UK, you may have to scan your passport, which compares against you as you stand in front of the booth.

This reminds me of the previous attempts to get more CCTV in the estate. We are lucky insofar that the entrance to our estate from the West is covered by the CCTV cameras placed at the entry of Victoria Park.

fruit tree planting

yellow wasp on blueberry
Photo by fotografierende on

Whilst the Residents Association was one of the major opposition voices against the new housing development at the former Chest Hospital site, they are also the ones who act in contradiction of their own policies.

Petitions and callers came around our block to collect signatures because the proposed Chest Hospital housing development will reduce the light in our flats. But, at the same time the Residents Association proceeds to plant large fruit trees in front of people’s living rooms.

Two on a lawn outside Rosebery House, another one on a lawn behind Sankey House. Those trees don’t look like much now, but they will get pretty big and cut out all the light for the flat behind them. I have not been around the estate to see them all.

There are some great urban gardening schemes in the area because some areas have been parcelled off into smaller container- holding allotments. But on our estate we get this fruit tree all over concept.

The idea of our estate, which is land-scaped is to provide light for flats by creating that space of lawn in front of houses. If that lawn gets planted with lower trees, the light in flats will diminish considerably.

I don’t think it has been thought through properly and this also can affect the value of properties and the enjoyment people have from their flats.

People can make their opinions known about this by contacting Tower Hamlets Homes. Apparently the fruit trees have not been provided by Tower Hamlets Homes but the Residents Association and I think it will considerable increase the workload of our caretakers when the fruit starts to grow on those trees and will fall onto the ground.

The Residents Association cannot guarantee a long-term maintenance program for those fruit trees either.

Whilst bees and wasps are attracted to fallen and rotting fruit, which is good in a natural environment, on a housing estate it is likely to lead to a nuisance. We all know how hard it is to sit down and have a meal when wasps and bees swarm around food left-overs. We will get swarms of bees around the fallen fruit on our lawns, near our walkways and windows and children can easily pick those up and get stung. The planned beehive will guarantee it and it will also attract more wasps. I remember having been stung by a wasp, whilst trying to pick up an apple and my hand was swollen to twice the size for a week.

Perhaps it would be a better idea to have fruit orchards planted in designated areas, properly maintained by trained staff in local parks.

I think the whole concept is flawed and should urgently be re-considered.