Unmesh Desai: 'Bleak' 10% unemployment rate predicted for east London

Floral tributes left at the bandstand in Clapham Common, London, for murdered Sarah Everard. Picture

Floral tributes left at the bandstand in Clapham Common for murdered Sarah Everard - Credit: PA Images

Following the tragic death of Sarah Everard, we must all take a hard look at what more we need to do to keep women and girls safe on London’s streets. The onus must be on men to change their behaviours and on society as a whole to ensure that they do.

I was also very concerned at the way the Met policed the Clapham Common vigil for Sarah, and questioned the deputy commissioner at the Assembly Police and Crime Committee about it.

There will now be a full investigation but we must be clear that protests and vigils are a right, albeit that has to be balanced against the need to protect public health during the pandemic.

Unmesh Desa will be monitoring the implementation of the new Policing Action Plan.

Unmesh Desai says reports show east London will suffer the worst employment rate in London by the end of the year - Credit: City Hall

Elsewhere, recent reports suggest that east London will suffer a 10 per cent unemployment rate by the end of the year – the worst in London. Government figures also show that more than two-thirds of those who have lost jobs during the pandemic are under the age of 25.

This is a bleak picture and there must be a solid plan for recovery as we emerge from the pandemic. We need more resources to address the health inequalities that east London suffers from, as well as building back greener and addressing poverty.

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But we must also invest in the future and continue to push for a bridge at Beckton and an extension of the DLR to Barking Riverside as well as Thamesmead, as key infrastructure that will help us create new, good jobs for our local communities.

I also attended virtual events to mark the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence on March 26. The British Bangladeshi community enriches east London and I look forward to another 50 years and more of friendship between Bangladesh and the UK.

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I’m sure everyone is aware that the London elections for the assembly and the mayor of London will take place on May 6.

I would encourage everyone to register for a postal vote, so you can be sure of voting, wherever things are with Covid-19 in May. You can do that through the council website. Please make sure you have your say on how London is governed after the Covid pandemic. 

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