The lockdowns that followed the arrival of Covid-19 in the UK in March 2020, has seen the whole country suffer. From mid 2020 I joined calls for more thought of the impact lockdowns had on people's well being, jobs and business. I supported a number of initiatives in the City to help businesses recover, and I hope we will not return to more severe restrictions. We need to find acceptance that this virus is with us and avoid more lockdowns.
- Behave with humanity
Curbing the liberty and essential freedoms must be avoided, we must always act with humanity.
- Give equal regard to all illnesses
We need balanced policy on Covid-19 alongside healthcare for other ailments, or we risk backlogs of other treatments.
- Public review and inquiry to learn lessons
We need to examine every aspect of the response to Covid-19. That includes the huge impact on other aspects of health care, such as cancer; the economic impact, and the impact on education.
- Safeguard all that makes life worth living
We need balance of the risk from Covid-19 with safeguarding all that makes life worth living.
- Get the economy moving
There is much talk of choosing between saving lives and a healthy economy, but the truth is that lives depend on a healthy economy. We need to avoid restrictions wherever we can.
I also supported the creation of a Covid recovery fund for small business, putting my name to the motion and helping frame it. This has resulted in the creation of at fund for City SME Businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The scheme is designed to support businesses which contribute to the City’s vibrancy at street level and directly provide services to returning City workers, visitors, and residents. The necessary infrastructure for a successful City has been affected by enforced closure or low footfall and this scheme will seek to support those businesses that can evidence, through the grant application process, a likelihood that with support they have a reasonable chance to survive beyond the short term. You can read more about it here - City of London Recovery Grant Fund - City of London
As Chairman of the wholesale food markets for most of the crisis period I supported the work of our traders in donating food, and supporting concessions for those suffering economic hardship so their businesses as our tenants could survive.
The work of recovery from Covid will take some time, but I hope to see the City come back stronger.