There was major news in Harrow regarding the planning application to cover Stanmore Station’s car park with multiple blocks of flats, including a tower block alongside the station itself on London Road. The good news is that it has been rejected for now, but it is likely the campaign is not yet over!
After a month’s delay, we also finally reached the last stage of the roadmap out of lockdown in July. This will have been a huge relief for many and I hope people have been able to reunite with friends and family. As I discuss, however, while it important to enjoy our freedoms once again, we should still act responsibly with those around us as the virus is still prevalent in the population.
Stanmore Station Car Park
Fortunately, thanks to great work and strong arguments from the Conservative councillors on Harrow’s Planning Committee, Transport for London’s proposals to replace much of Stanmore Station’s car park with a series of blocks of flats have been rejected. Unfortunately, the Labour Councillors were unwilling to adopt an amendment proposed by the Conservatives to make the rejection more robust, leaving the door open for the application to come back.
The London Mayor Sadiq Khan also has the power to proceed with the application over the heads of the Planning Committee. This means that, while it has been rejected for now, this was just the first round in a long battle! I will ensure to continue to raise the concerns of many residents about these plans and campaign against these proposals while they remain a possibility.
If you would like to give your voice in opposition to the proposals, make sure to sign my petition if you have not done so already: https://www.bobblackman.org.uk/campaigns/save-stanmore-station-car-park-sign-my-petition
Easing of Lockdown Restrictions
On 19 July we saw England move to the final step of the roadmap out of lockdown, where we were finally able to remove most legal restrictions to be replaced with personal judgement. This included removing social distancing and social contact restrictions and enabling remaining businesses to reopen.
However, the Government continues to recommend caution, and guidance remains available to help us all act carefully and safely. The vaccines appear to be highly effective and are why most restrictions can be removed but, while prevalence is high, it is important that everybody acts responsibly to protect themselves and others.
This guidance can be found on the Government’s website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Rules on isolation when contacted by test and trace still apply. This has clearly received significant coverage, following the so called ‘pingdemic’, but people must still follow these rules while they apply. The rules will change for fully vaccinated people from 16th August, making it easier for businesses and individuals. However, those not fully vaccinated will still need to isolate if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive, while everyone will still have to isolate if they test positive.
In September, the Government will undertake a review to assess the country’s preparedness for autumn and winter, which will consider whether to continue or strengthen public and business guidance as we approach the winter.
Harrow saw cases increase quickly during the first half of July, like much of the rest of the country. Although cases have fallen nationally towards the end of the month, we still have a high prevalence of the virus circulating, highlighting why it is vital we get our jabs to ensure we have protection from the virus.
Vaccine uptake is strong, but if you have not yet had your jabs please ensure to book and attend your appointment when you are eligible to do so. It is only by vaccinating as many people as possible that we can defeat the virus and avoid further restrictions.
If you are unsure how to book, make sure to check the NHS website here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/
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