Kingston update: Leader of the Council holds Q&A with Borough Commander at the Metropolitan Police

The latest from Kingston Council on COVID-19.

Q&A with Sally Benatar, Kingston Borough Commander at the Metropolitan Police

We asked residents to share their questions about community safety with us and last week, Council Leader, Caroline Kerr put them to Kingston Borough Commander, Sally Benatar in a live Q and A session. Issues covered included domestic abuse, social distancing and doorstep theft.

Watch the Q&A session on YouTube


Air quality

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has released information showing an improvement in air quality on the capital’s roads as a result of a huge decrease in traffic levels during lockdown. 

The lockdown enforced by the government as a result of COVID-19 has seen levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) reduce by half than before lockdown. You can find more information on that here.

Kingston is on par with this, having seen a 47% decrease in NO2 between the control period and lockdown, again largely due to the major fall in traffic, with Cromwell Road specifically falling by 57%.

It is important Kingston residents continue to only make essential journeys, which will help further improve the quality of air across the borough.

The levels of PM10 - particulate matter used in measuring air pollution - are still high in some places in Kingston due to the following reasons:

  • Emissions from agriculture (the spreading of fertilisers), 

  • Winds from the east are common at this time of year, blowing particles across from Europe and resulting in levels of pollution being higher in spring than at other times of the year.

  • The recent spell of good weather means dust deposits have not been not washed away by the rain - although this will have improved due to the unsettled weather of the last few days.

  • Bonfires. While they are not strictly banned by the Government, they do let off large amounts of particulate matter, as well as posing a risk to people with underlying health risks such as asthma, as well as potentially making it harder for people who have COVID-19 to recover, so we are advising residents to not have garden bonfires at all during this period. More information on bonfire guidance is available here.


Volunteer help request form for organisations during COVID-19 

As a part of Kingston Stronger Together partnership, Kingston Council, Volunteering Kingston and Kingston Voluntary Action are working together to match volunteers into roles established to support shielded, vulnerable and other residents in self-isolation. 

We are seeking to understand what further volunteering support organisations require in their response to COVID-19. This can also include support to manage capacity within your organisation. If you are an organisation and would like to request support, please complete this short form and we can source volunteers for you.


Business support sessions 

Kingston Council’s package of support for businesses includes a series of free workshop sessions on different topics. On the 6th May the focus will be on how to repurpose your marketing message and position your brand post-Covid, followed by a session on 13th May on managing cash flow through challenging times. You can find out more about the programme and book your place on this eventbrite session here.

If you are looking at your options, the council's Libraries Service is providing an online start-up surgery on 12 May to help you explore the pros and cons of being your own boss.