Opinion: Work together, get through it together

PUBLISHED: 08:30 03 May 2020

Unmesh Desai AM has joined East Ham MP Stephen Timms in supporting your Newham Recorder.

Unmesh Desai AM has joined East Ham MP Stephen Timms in supporting your Newham Recorder.


I am keeping in regular touch with the mayor, councillors and the borough’s MPs during the Covid-19 crisis.

Alongside their excellent work, the efforts undertaken by community and mutual aid support groups have also been a fantastic example of the best of our society coming together at a very difficult time. It’s heartening to see Newham residents doing their utmost to support one another.

We know some people are unhappy with the closure of exercise equipment in parks and there have been some incidents of people using open spaces to party in the sunshine, but the vast majority of residents are following the rules and helping to protect themselves and others.

These temporary inconveniences benefit us all, and by working together we will get through this together. I have been pleased to hear, when talking to the borough’s police commander, that there has not been a rise in hate crimes.

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As I have said elsewhere, this is not a time for racism and scapegoating. Our frontline NHS staff come from all around the globe. They are saving lives every day and in some cases have tragically given their own lives to do so.

I will continue to call on the government to look at how it can better support NHS key workers once we get through the present situation.

Sadly, domestic violence is reported to be on the increase and I urge everyone to report any incidents to the police. Please do not suffer in silence. Help and advice is available via the council website and the police have said to ring 999 in urgent cases.

If you are unable to speak to an operator, if you dial 55 after calling 999 from a mobile, it will put you through to the police, who will ask questions that can be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses, through tapping the handset.

Finally, I have also joined Stephen Timms MP in calling for support for our local newspapers, which are immensely valuable to the community. Right now, they need all the help they can get, with newspaper sales dropping nationally.

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