'Decency and respect are in Haringey's DNA'

Cllr Adam Jogee

Cllr Adam Jogee - Credit: Cllr Adam Jogee

As 2021 draws to a close, let’s all take the opportunity to reflect on the last year, and to recommit ourselves anew to the values of decency and respect that is in the Haringey DNA.

It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as mayor of Haringey – my home and my community. As the youngest mayor in London (I was 30 on December 15), I have been inspired and motivated by the many young people I have met along the way.

In our schools, on zoom, in our youth clubs and volunteering with many community organisations – Haringey’s young people continue to shine, achieve and succeed. They make me feel so proud.

On January 1, 2021, nobody would have thought we would, now, be looking down the lense of further restrictions in the fight against the coronavirus. That we are, shows the severity of the challenge we face and the need for us all to do our bit to keep Haringey safe. You can do this, as I have, by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask.

Haringey’s greatest strength is its diversity. I  am grateful to all those in the community who have welcomed Alison and I with open arms.

From celebrating Hanukkah in Priory Park to enjoying Eid at Clyde Road Mosque, and from mourning the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at Holy Innocents in Hornsey to marking Remembrance Sunday in Wood Green; we have met people of all faiths, from all communities, in all parts of our borough. It has been an honour and a privilege to listen, learn and meet them all.

Our local vaccination effort has shown the best of Haringey and our NHS staff and volunteers deserve our thanks and praise. I am proud to have played a small part in Haringey’s vaccination effort as a volunteer. So, thank you to all local people who have had their vaccine and done their bit to keep us all safe. Our local businesses and independent shops have been on the front line too and so I urge Haringey residents to Live. Shop. Local and back our local businesses.

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Christmas is a time of deep religious significance to many local people and a source of joy to all. 2021 has seen our community come together in a way not seen since the second world war – neighbours have helped each other and strangers have helped each other too. I hope all local people will maintain that care and compassion in the months ahead. It is right that we focus on our shared pain but we must focus on our shared traditions too. And, whilst we all crave the company of family and friends, I hope all local people will be careful and wise at this time.

The last year has been like no other in living memory, so to all those who have found it tough, we see you and we hear you. Let us all hope – and work – for better days ahead that are focused on what brings us together – in good times and bad. 

From my family to yours, I wish you all a peaceful, joyful and healthy 2022.

Adam Jogee (Lab) is mayor of Haringey and councillor for Hornsey.