At a January Zoom meeting of representatives of 16 streets in Dulwich Village with Councillors Margy Newens & Richard Leeming street representatives raised widespread concerns that, while many residents were following Government rules on limiting the spread of COVID-19, there were hot spots of flagrancy.
Dulwich Village itself with its coffee outlets is a magnet for residents where they often failed to socially distance and gathered in clusters to wait for and consume their coffees. Councillors countered that they had been in touch with Gail’s head office and that Southwark Council’s health and safety officers had visited and advised it on its responsibilities to operate safely. Responsibility for following the guidelines lie with the shop and customers. With just 100,000 street police officers in the whole country, there are not enough officers to deal with it. Southwark Council will be employing marshals to help remind businesses and the public of the lockdown rules
But there was no getting away from the failure of many residents to take adequate care. This includes the fear of joggers. Residents reported that there are a lot of joggers and they are often in groups especially in Dulwich Park making it difficult to exercise safely. In the street joggers often run straight at pedestrians, making them nervous of the risk of catching the virus.
On the day of the Zoom meeting it was reported that there were 1080:10000 people with Covid in Southwark and 147:10000 across London and rising. With the high numbers of infections and hospital patients in the area it is surprising that residents are not taking more care.
Residents reported that some waste collections have been missed and the street bins are not emptied regularly. It appears takeaway outlets are making greater use of them. The problem arises from waste management services having been disrupted due to a shortage of staff due to illness especially HGV drivers. 30% of staff are absent.
The vaccine rollout was discussed. The Councillors confirmed that this is run by the NHS and the Council is not involved. The Tessa Jowell Centre is vaccinating at a high rate. Residents also reported receiving the vaccine at Kings College Hospital and at Guys Hospital which can be booked on its hotline on 0208 1884 040.
Lambeth Council is supplying Lateral Flow Covid tests in Brockwell Park and Southwark Council is testing asymptomatic people at the Damilola Taylor Centre in Peckham.
Residents reported success in having abandoned cars removed from their street. The procedure is to check the tax status online with the DVLA. If the vehicle is taxed, it can not not be removed. However if untaxed, report it to the Council and its abandoned vehicle team was reported to be quick in making the removal.