See my weekly round-up below for an update on my advice surgeries in Hackney. I am piloting Town Hall surgeries but prioritising personal cases, particularly those who have struggled to contact me and other services online during the pandemic.

Also, a reminder that the deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is Wednesday 30th June. It is important to apply for settled status if you are an EU citizen and want to continue living in the UK. If you don’t apply, your right to live, work and receive benefits in the UK will be affected. See more information for EU citizens in London above:

This week the Public Accounts Committee published a report on the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport’s (DCMS) fund to help over 5,000 organisations survive after they had to close their doors on 23 March 2020. Museums, galleries, cinemas, music venues, nightclubs, theatres, arts centres and heritage sites in Hackney and around the UK closed their doors to visitors on 23 March 2020 when the UK entered the first national lockdown. Many organisations in the sector remained entirely or mostly closed for a year and some still are.
In July 2020 the Culture Secretary announced a £1.57 billion support package, the Culture Recovery Fund, with a primary objective of rescuing up to 75% of arts, culture and heritage institutions and organisations at risk of financial ruin following the national lockdown. But the pandemic has exposed just how poorly departments across Government understand the sectors that they oversee. DCMS was clear that it ‘would not save every organisation’ but the Committee is concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on those organisations and freelancers vital to the culture sector - sound engineers, lighting and technical support. Festivals are making difficult decisions about whether to risk their survival by going ahead this summer, but DCMS has not modelled the cost of underwriting festival indemnity insurance. The Government must urgently consider other support, such as insurance indemnity, or parts of the sector risk a second summer of forced inactivity with all the devastating consequences to their survival. See more here.