One year on from the Parsons Green terror attack

A letter from Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council.

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Terror attack at Parsons Green. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

A letter from Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council:

I’m sure, like me, you will be reflecting on the traumatic events of one year ago today: when a train at Parsons Green became the focus of a terror attack, causing injuries to many people.

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The Leader of H&F, Cllr Stephen Cowan

While much of the outside focus rightly remains on the criminal actions of one individual; I also feel this is a good time for us, as a community, to remember and celebrate the positive aspects of our response on the day, and in the time which followed.

I cannot overstate just how much admiration I have for the way in which people from all parts of our diverse community came together to support one another on 15 September 2017.

Local heroes

That of course means those from the emergency services, who turn up for work every day not knowing what challenges they must face. But it also includes those who, while going about their daily business in the Fulham area, found themselves among the first responders to a major terror attack.

From publican Dave Spoerry, who threw open the doors of the White Horse pub to offer a warm welcome to those unable to return home due to the wide police cordon; to Teo Catino, proprietor of Il Pagliaccio restaurant, who provided free food and drink until late in the evening, for those caught-up in events.

And from all of those connected with Lady Margaret School, who did so much on the day; and Bobby Chana, of Chana Chemist in North End Road, who provided emergency medication as needed by displaced residents; to the many local residents who opened up their homes to offer a cup of tea and a warm welcome.

Stronger together

It is on days like this, among the most challenging that any of us might ever face, that we learn how strong our community can be. And on this day I saw, first hand, evidence of a great community working together as one, for the common good. On today's anniversary we will remember those injured, as well as those who went the extra mile to help others, with the lighting-up of Parsons Green tube station.

Such major events also provide a point of learning: and we have done much in the last year to ensure the borough has the very highest level of preparedness, should we ever need to respond in this way again.

Community resilience

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has drawn together representatives from all parts of our community, to establish plans for how we can best work together to deal with future challenges. We have put in place a community resilience network: cataloguing all the local community organisations and their resources; and creating a local army of first responders, ready to spring into action.

Businesses, schools, groups from all parts of the community: this is our front line, united to protect the borough and community we all know and love.

Sadly, there is no guarantee these kind of events will not happen in the future. But, as was shown a year ago: together we are stronger. I would like to personally thank all of those who, on the day and in the months since, have helped reinforce just how compassionate, resilient and inspirational a place Hammersmith & Fulham can be.

With warm regards

Cllr Stephen Cowan
Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

If you feel affected by the 2017 Parsons Green terror attack, support is available.

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