I remain concerned about the slow broadband in parts of Hackney. With more people working from home, I am pressing Openreach about the not-spots. The average download speed in London is 78.3 Mbps, however in Hackney Central it is as low as 47.4 Mbps, putting it in the worst 30 per cent of areas across the UK. Shoreditch is also in the worst 10 per cent of areas in the UK for people unable to receive good speeds.

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Hackney Community Champions are doing excellent work communicating key public health messages to family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

 

Find out more and apply for grant funding here.

 

Deadline for this round of grants is tomorrow.

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I have been working hard to press the Government to ensure that every child has access to regular, nutritious, healthy food. Last month, I signed Emma Lewell-Buck MP's letter to the Minister for Children and Families to urge the Government to scale up school breakfast funding and make support to schools permanent. See more here.

We have now received this response from the minister. Read the letter in full by clicking the pdf attachment below. 

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If you, or anyone you know, needs to use the Foodbank, please note that vouchers must be acquired through referral agencies. Many of these organisations have moved their services online.

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The Government announced a further £3.5 billion to help with the removal of cladding for buildings over 18m. This is a welcome step, but it does not go far enough to protect all leaseholders impacted by the cladding scandal. There also remains a lot of unanswered questions surrounding how the money will be allocated and how the loan scheme for low-rise buildings will work. I am pursuing the details on this.

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The Craftivist Collective, established and run by Haggerston local Sarah Corbett, is a form of ‘gentle protest’ that combines activism with creating carefully crafted pieces of work.

Most recently, Sarah has been spearheading the climate craftivist project, which encourages sewers to create beautiful hand-sewn badges for MPs to wear and express solidarity with tackling the climate emergency in advance of COP26.

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Business and workers in the creative industries have been hit with the double whammy of COVID-19 and Brexit.

It is vital the March 2021 Budget does not act as a cliff-edge with the large-scale withdrawal of all support for workers and businesses in this industry. I’ll continue working with my frontbench Labour colleagues to urge the Government to ensure support is targeted for those businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.

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Creative industry workers and businesses have been hit with the double whammy of Brexit and COVID-19.

Thank you to Alison McGovern MP, Shadow Minister for the Creative Industries, and all the Hackney creatives who joined today's roundtable on the impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on the creative industries.

Real life examples can make a difference in pressing the Government - please email me to continue feeding in your experience.

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I remain hugely concerned about the impact on children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, of a loss of face-to-face teaching. In Hackney we had seen the gap in attainment narrowing significantly; the pandemic is reversing this progress. Students who study practical and artistic subjects at school are also particularly disadvantaged when forced to learn from home.

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