Coronavirus: Camden Council Leader Georgia Gould's message to Camden’s communities

In a wide-ranging response to the coronavirus pandemic, Camden Council will aim to act as a community leader, mobilising all organisations and, together with key partners, will do the following:

  • We will keep vital services running – even if they have to be delivered in a different way
  • We will ensure no Council tenant loses their home because they are affected by COVID19
  • We will ensure that those who work for care providers don’t have to choose between their wage, their health and the health of those they support
  • We will help to ensure everyone has access to food whether they are unwell, isolating or caring
  • We will support, encourage and mobilise the huge community spirit which exists in Camden - sign up to volunteer

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said:

“The Prime Minister’s announcement this evening stresses again that we all need to listen to public health advice to keep ourselves, our families, our neighbours and our communities safe. New guidance means everyone should be minimising their social contact, reducing unnecessary travel and staying at home if they or anyone in their household has any symptoms. Please follow the daily guidance coming from the government and take extra care if you are over 70, if you are pregnant or have underlying health conditions.

“It is now clear that the coronavirus pandemic is set to challenge us all in ways the like of which many of us have never experienced before. Amid the uncertainty one thing is for sure: we will need to work together and help each other out over the coming months. Our day to day aim in Camden is that no-one should get left behind – and this will focus our efforts as we face up to the crisis.

“I want to speak to everyone who has worries and concerns. I feel these too - and we do not know exactly what the coming months will bring. But we can control what we do, what actions we take on a personal and collective level. And today, I set out five initial commitments we are making to respond to this crisis.

“Firstly – we have robust plans in place to keep vital services running during this period, in particular care for older people and those with disabilities. We will be managing our workforce in a sensible way, and according to national guidance, to ensure we remain resilient. We will be flexible and are prepared to work differently if necessary to support our residents. We will also be introducing services in direct response to the virus including rigorous cleaning of our leisure centres, libraries and public facilities.

“We will not allow any evictions from our council housing if there is clear evidence that the resident has been unable to pay rent as a direct result of the coronavirus. We urge Government to give clear guidance on evictions and ensure that no-one is deprived of a home and shelter at this time because of their health. We urge other landlords to do the same. Nobody should have to choose between their home and their health.

“Equally, no-one should choose between a wage and their health. We understand for employers and small businesses this is a really difficult time. We are speaking with our Business Board and the Federation of Small Businesses about the support they need. We will support those working for our care providers by ensuring they are no worse off. We urge businesses and Government to follow this lead.

“Today we met with community groups and businesses to talk about the issue of food accessibility and how we can ensure everyone has access to food whether they are unwell, isolating or caring. This week we will share the outcome of this work we are doing to get food to people’s homes, particularly those who are vulnerable or those with families.

“Finally, we will support, encourage and mobilise the huge community spirit which exists in Camden. I have received many emails over the last few days asking how you can help your neighbours to keep them safe and supported at this time. Camden already has so many voluntary and community organisations, faith groups and tenant and resident associations with long-standing community relationships and experience of getting things done. We are working closely with them to support mutual aid networks in communities. Anyone who feels they can help can sign up to volunteer - join the effort.

“This is going to be a tough period and things will change every day – but we can get through it by thinking of each other with every action, and taking care of our neighbours along with ourselves. Our communities make Camden – and will help us through this.”

For information:

Camden Council have set up a dedicated webpage on the coronavirus linking to a range of information for schools and care homes, right down to information for what to do if you are pregnant or a new parent.