View from the town hall: We must pull together to fight Covid

Council leader Darren Rodwell asks residents to embrace the festive period safely. Picture: Be First

Council leader Darren Rodwell asks residents to embrace the festive period safely. Picture: Be First - Credit: Archant

We find ourselves back under lockdown restrictions across England. The expected ‘second wave’ has cost thousands of lives already, and here in Barking and Dagenham people have lost loved ones.

Recently the council produced a video with Maureen Rose, an incredible lady who very sadly lost her wonderful daughter Sally to coronavirus this year.

She had a clear message for everyone in the borough to follow the rules - that means staying home through lockdown unless you really must leave, observing social distancing when you are out and about, wearing masks in shops, at the school gates, on public transport and in crowded spaces.

We must pull together to reduce transmission and ease pressures on the NHS, and to make sure more people do not have to go through the loss Maureen Rose and others like her have experienced.

It’s important we do this now more than ever as we are on the cusp on seeing a way out of this pandemic. A number of vaccines now look promising and could be coming through in just a few months, but we must all keep doing our bit until that happens.

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I know it is difficult with Christmas coming, and wanting to be with friends and family for the festive period. But the best present we can give each other is being able to spend time with them in 2021 and the years beyond. To do that we must keep each other safe.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t embrace the festive period and spread some Christmas cheer. That’s exactly what the council is doing with our latest campaign.

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We want residents to send in Christmas messages to loved ones, pictures and videos of you putting up your Christmas decs, decorating the tree or switching on your lights, or photos of Christmas memories from years past.

For more details on how you can spread some Christmas cheer this year go to

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