The global pandemic has affected everyone and every area of our lives. Nothing has stayed normal and no one has escaped the impact.
The recovery process needs planning and discussion and Labour councillors stand ready to help.
Children have missed out on their education. In some of the more disadvantaged areas, there was already a significant attainment gap when compared to the wealthier parts of our city.
We will need radical action to ensure that children growing up in these areas don’t suffer a lifetime of disadvantage because of the public health crisis.
We have seen businesses struggle and sadly some go under. At a time when the retail market was already rapidly changing, the pandemic has accelerated the shift to online shopping.
Our independent shops in The Lanes and North Laine area represent the essence of a unique and quirky Brighton that attracts visitors to our great city.
Rather than have shops lie empty for years, why not support our entrepreneurs who set up co-operatives, community interest companies and community businesses with cheaper rents and rates.
We could see this as an opportunity to plan our shopping centre away from large, corporate chains towards smaller retailers.
Many people are struggling to afford the basics and are living in food poverty. I applaud the massive volunteer effort that has arisen to address this problem but we need the council to talk to those working on the ground to find a more sustainable solution.
I want council officers to visit every food bank and food hub, to talk to volunteers and hear their ideas about how we can ensure we keep our city fed.
Labour councillors suggested we keep that local knowledge by paying the existing volunteer organisers of food banks.
We don’t want people parachuted in to manage or co-ordinate. We want to keep the people who already know what they are doing and understand their communities.
Clearly there is much to discuss and we all need to be involved in planning the recovery of our city.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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