View from City Hall: 'We need another push on vaccination programme'

Two vaccination walk-in centres - at Raphael House in the Victoria Centre and at Hornchurch Library

Around half of all adults in Barking and Dagenham have had their second jab - Credit: PA

Formal meetings of the London Assembly have stopped during August, but this has given me more opportunity to get out and about meeting community organisations across the constituency. This is the part of the job that I enjoy the most.

It’s good to see life getting slowly back to normal, but things will only continue to head in the right direction if vaccination rates increase.

As things stand, only half of all adults in the borough have had their second jab. It has been a remarkable achievement of the council and local NHS teams to get us to this point, but we need another push from the government on the vaccination programme. Barking and Dagenham must not be left behind.

London Assembly member for City and East, Unmesh Desai 

Unmesh Desai is looking at ways London can retain and create jobs and investment - Credit: City Hall

One of my key priorities for this mayoral term is to look at ways London can retain and create jobs and investment.

Right now, the focus should be on softening the impact of the closure of the furlough scheme at the end of next month.

Figures show that at the end of May, over 10,000 workers in the borough were still on furlough.

This figure is likely to have dropped with the economy having come largely back to life since July, but there are many sectors still struggling, such as the arts and culture and travel and tourism industries.

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The government must urgently consider implementing a tailored extension for businesses unable to fully reopen.

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