During the health and jobs crises created by Coronavirus, it’s odd perhaps to write an article on planning. However, I must. As your MP, I have to alert you to this Government’s reforms to planning laws which could seriously damage your road, your neighbourhood and our Borough.
Earlier today, the Prime Minister announced new measures for England that will come into force next week and last for the next six months in response to the growing rate of coronavirus infections.
Along with many others, most of my focus during this awful pandemic has been trying to help people in our community. People who needed food. People stranded abroad. People whose businesses are being hit. People who have lost their job.
As we mark National Carers Week, I want to recognise the important role of carers in our society – and call on the Government to give them a better deal.
The coronavirus pandemic has helped us recognise the true heroes of our community. In that group of unsung heroes, this week we should focus on Britain’s 6.5 million carers without whom our NHS and social care system would have been overwhelmed.
National Carers Week is especially poignant for me, as much of my life has been spent caring for close relatives.
The murder of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers in Minneapolis has sparked protests across the US, and across the world.
We should not be surprised. Black people the world over face discrimination, harassment and racism, sometimes on a daily basis. No wonder people are angry. And while there’s been some progress over the years to tackle such racism, there’s still gaping racial inequality in our society, which shames us all. And should anger us all.
So I hope we will all show our personal solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaigns – and not dismiss it as something only relevant for the US. Here in the UK, in recent times, remember Windrush. Stephen Lawrence. Grenfell. Mark Duggan. There’s still so much to do to tackle the scourge of racism in the UK.