I was out and about with local councillors on the Kingsmead Estate this Saturday and heard from family after family about their housing situation. Too many people in Hackney live in severely overcrowded accommodation and many more cannot afford local private rents or even think about buying their own home.

I spoke out on this in a debate this week and pressed the Government to urgently increase the supply of affordable homes. See here to watch my speech in full.  

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The Government confirmed plans for the further easing of lockdown restrictions from this Monday 19 July. But, as ever, we got muddled messaging - this time on face masks. On the one hand the Government is encouraging the continued use of face masks in certain settings, but on the other hand it is removing the legal requirement to do so.

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The Prime Minister announced the plan for the further easing of lockdown restrictions on 19 July. Subject to a final review of the data next week, from Monday 19 July face masks will no longer be mandatory, all businesses still closed (such as nightclubs) will be able to reopen, and there'll be no social distancing requirements. See here for further details. 

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The Delta variant is spreading fast with infection rates in Hackney as high as last November. 

If you have not already received your COVID-19 vaccine, please book an appointment now - it's the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones. See here for the latest COVID-19 data in Hackney and see here to book your appointment.

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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.

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If you haven't had your first COVID-19 vaccine then please book here to receive an appointment tomorrow between 10am and 8pm at the London Stadium in the Olympic Park. There are no walk-in appointments available so you do need to book ahead. For more information, see here.

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The Public Accounts Committee pressed Home Office officials on the delays with the Windrush Compensation Scheme, which has paid out only very few claims. It is clear that the scheme was rolled out before it was ready to receive applications – two years later and victims are still facing long waits to receive their final compensation payment.

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The Public Accounts Committee looked again at the supply of PPE and heard from companies that routinely supplied the NHS and the social care sector but who didn't get a look in from the Government in March 2020. We also learnt that there is nearly 10,000 shipping containers worth of PPE on our docks unused. See here to read a transcript of the meeting. 

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I restarted my Hackney doorstep surgeries this week where inadequate and overcrowded housing continues to dominate as a top issue. I’ll keep pressing the Government to build more decent and properly affordable homes.

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The Government set out its legislative agenda in the Queen's Speech this week. I spoke in the debate that followed and challenged the Government for, again, failing to fix the long-term issues it keeps avoiding. 

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