The community is stepping in where the government is failing
- Credit: Anton Georgiou
The past year has been one of the toughest our community has ever faced.
The pandemic hit Brent hard and things will continue to be difficult for a long time. But I am equally fearful of the long term consequences of Covid that stretch beyond the public health crisis into a major socioeconomic depression that will no doubt continue to disproportionately affect our most vulnerable residents.
In the last week the Alperton community have stepped up to assist two residents in desperate need of emergency financial aid to pay for gas and electricity.
Without our help, they wouldn’t have been able to heat their homes, take a hot shower or cook a meal. I was particularly proud to be an Alperton councillor last week, when within minutes, residents stepped forward to contribute – but things should not be this way.
The Conservative government have a lot to answer for regarding their handling of this crisis.
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I am glad Ed Davey has pushed the PM into committing to a full public enquiry, to understand their failings.
But they also need to be held to account for their progressive dismantling of our social welfare system. The last year has highlighted the poverty that exists in Brent which will undoubtedly only get worse.
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In a post-Covid Britain, we need to think big and radical about addressing imbalances and inequalities that exist in society, one way is by implementing a universal basic income, as Liberal Democrats are calling for.
I hope the government and Labour Party come around to the idea.
- Cllr Anton Georgiou is the Lib Dem representative for Alperton.