As of this week, l am back at City Hall as an Assembly Member (AM) in the London Assembly again for a year, till the end of this extended term. During this coronavirus pandemic, l just hope l can be of some use to Londoners!
As someone who up and till recently was themselves self-employed, l will be making sure those Londoners who are similarly self-employed are well represented in the government financial support packages. It is a critical part of the London economy and they should not have to choose between getting going out and getting a wage or staying in for their health and ours. The self-employed deserve support like the rest of the economy during these very difficult times.
It is noticeable that rough sleepers in my neighbourhood are getting support through the initiative of the Mayor with hoteliers during the pandemic emergency. In the long run we need to also accommodate rough sleepers in empty public buildings like Paddington Green Police Station for the many rough sleepers on the Gateway to the West End along the Edgware Rd.
And of course as a regular pub, gym, theatre goer in the West End l would like to see them back on their feet as soon as possible. Mixed messages from the PM have not helped the shut down during this emergency and they should be able to claim fully under their insurance cover. Also they should be special consideration of these small businesses when abolishing business rates with the threshold set higher, as there is a severe downturn in footfall with the lack of tourists in London.
Finally we need to take a firm stand against the raise of prejudice and attacks aimed at East Asians like the Chinese. So we need to say no to sinophobia during this pandemic as their businesses and community get socially isolated by this tide of prejudice coming from across the pond.
So get in touch with myself on London matters for our London. We live in momentous times, so let us shape them.