The Covid-19 pandemic has provided the greatest challenge to local government in the sector’s history, and especially in high density, diverse urban areas like Hackney. This year has seen all our certainties overturned; the way we work, how we interact with our residents and colleagues, how we provide services, how our local economies function.
This year has given us new challenges, but more than anything, it has intensified our existing challenges, and our focus on them. Before Covid, we were working to make Hackney fairer, safer and more sustainable. Now those things are even more important, and more urgent. The global spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement, and the disproportionality of Covid-19 on certain parts of our communities, has given a fresh urgency and impetus to our already well developed work around equalities and inclusive leadership for our staff.
We have big ambitions around green transport, liveable streets, and decarbonisation. We want a fairer and more sustainable local economy, and we are leading the way through our commitments to insourcing, local recruitment, our award-winning apprenticeship programme, and our sustainable procurement strategy.
Covid-19 has further strengthened our health partnerships with the NHS and with our communities, and our mutual resolve to tackle the health inequalities that continue to blight the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents. We are rightly proud of our outstanding schools, and of our social care for both children and adults, and are working hard to ensure that they can adapt to meet the needs of every child, family and individual who uses them.
There can be no return to ‘business as usual’ as Hackney continues to support its communities through coronavirus and rebuilds a fairer economy and greener borough.
The Rebuilding a Better Hackney report makes 43 commitments to residents, businesses and voluntary groups about how the Council will manage the next phase of responding to the pandemic, reinvent some of its services and take advantage of a historic opportunity to tackle inequality and the climate emergency.
Hackney Council has always been positive, ambitious, and pioneering, and remains so today. We are determined that out of this uniquely challenging set of circumstances, we will renew ourselves as an organisation, and our commitment to our underpinning values. We will rebuild a better Hackney than the one we saw at the start of 2020.