On this important day normally I meet with others in Hackney and have the privilege of hearing from survivors of the Holocaust. This year, due to COVID-19, I attended a virtual memorial event and filmed a video on this year’s theme “be the light in the darkness.”

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On the 31 December 2020, the Government announced that Hackney primary schools were excluded from the list of boroughs whose school terms were due to be delayed on public health grounds.

This decision did not reflect the advice for London from public health experts. I joined colleagues to call on the Secretary of State for Educaton to urgently reconsider this decision. See the full text of the letter below. 

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My office will be shut over the Christmas period and will re-open on Monday 4th January. During that time my emails and phones will not be monitored daily. 
For urgent assistance, please see below for a list of services that should be able to offer assistance.
I hope you all have a safe festive period.

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I met with Royal Mail to raise concerns about local postal delays and press for a better service.

Staff and agency shortages as a result of COVID and the additional volume of post are contributing to the delays and missed post. Please let me know of your own experience. A number of households are receiving post on alternate days when there are staff shortages.

Please open the pdf attachment below to read the response in full.  

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Due to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chancellor abandoned plans for a long-term Comprehensive Spending Review (which would have allocated departmental spending for the next three years) in favour on a one-year spending review, allocating funding to government departments for the year from March 2021. The economic forecast, produced by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, made for grim reading. The UK is facing a 11.3 per cent economic contraction – the largest for three hundred years and the worst hit of the G7 (the seven largest economies).

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The hidden homeless crisis is also a public health crisis.

 

I'm working with Karen Buck, the MP for Westminster North, to press the Government for a new Housing Market Package. This would create a Government-backed fund for local authorities and housing associations to buy up unsold private homes.

 

I'll keep pressing the case. 

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Today at the Public Accounts Committee I pressed the most senior civil servant at the Department for Transport on free travel for under-18s.

 

Free travel is a lifeline for cash-strapped families. Paying for travel is a cost many simply can't afford to backfill.

 

I am also clear there are safety considerations that must be taken into account; many parents specifically choose bus routes so their children will be safe from gangs.

 

If you agree, sign the petition by clicking here.

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The removal of dangerous cladding and delays in obtaining an EWS1 form is an issue that continues to affect thousands of leaseholders in Hackney.

The Public Accounts Committee, which I chair, published a report on this issue that calls out the Government’s unacceptably slow progress in resolving this issue. Read that report here.

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