There can be no return to ‘business as usual’ as Hackney continues to support its communities through coronavirus and rebuilds a fairer economy and greener borough, a new Council report sets out.
The Rebuilding a Better Hackney report makes 43 commitments to residents, businesses and voluntary groups about how the Council will manage the next phase of responding to the pandemic, reinvent some of its services and take advantage of a historic opportunity to tackle inequality and the climate emergency.
The Government must also do more to help the borough get back on its feet, the report details, devolving power and funding to councils rather than taking centralised decisions with little local input.
225 Hackney residents have died with coronavirus, although the rate of deaths has drastically reduced since a peak in early April. The Council’s response has focussed on providing emergency support – including delivering more than 14,000 food parcels, helping 170 rough sleepers off the streets and distributing more than £62million in business grants.
The Council’s commitments for the next phase of the response include:
- Ending rough sleeping, with no rough sleepers asked to leave emergency accommodation
- Delivering on our commitment to tackle structural inequality and systemic racism
- Boosting digital infrastructure, volunteering and befriending projects to ensure social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation
- Dedicated jobs, skills and training support for those who have lost work or are coming off furlough – including those wanting to start their own business
- Fighting for fair pay and employment rights, and working with businesses to encourage apprenticeships and a living wage
- Publishing a radical post-lockdown transport plan that makes Hackney’s neighbourhoods places for people, not cars
More details on the measures will be set out in the coming weeks and months.
The report also sets out the Council’s demands of the Government – including urgently establishing a coronavirus public inquiry, changing our welfare system to support those most in need, further financial and furlough support for businesses unable to reopen fully, and radical programmes to retrofit homes and meet air quality targets.
For more information about the Council’s response so far and its new pledges and priorities, read the full Rebuilding a Better Hackney report.