View from the chamber: We must not let our guard down in the face of coronavirus

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor reminds residents not to become complacent over coronavirus

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor reminds residents not to become complacent over coronavirus - Credit: Archant

A couple of years ago, I was talking to a councillor who had been the leader of his borough for 25 years. I asked him what the secret of his longevity was.

Leadership, he told me, “is being good at making ‘on balance’ decisions, being prepared to take difficult decisions, and not being afraid about making unpopular decisions.

“Just think about the hundreds of thousands of residents that

you represent and be guided by them”.

These thoughts motivated me as I led Haringey through the coronavirus pandemic, which was felt in every home, business and community in our borough.

What began as a public health crisis swiftly became a housing crisis, a food crisis, an economic crisis and an education crisis.

It has affected every aspect of our lives – and every aspect of the council’s work.

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It impacted upon personal relationships, and personal ambitions. It changed the way we work, and our chances of getting work. It impacted on our mental wellbeing and on our physical health.

Then just when we thought that we had seen it off, it reared its ugly head again.

We must not let our guard down. If we do, our family, our friends and our diverse communities will all suffer.

Keep a safe distance from others, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, wear a mask (over your nose and mouth; not under your chin). We cannot forget that this virus is still taking lives.

Haringey Council will continue to challenge Johnson and Jenrick to keep their word; reimburse our council for the money that we’ve spent throughout this pandemic.

Finally, today’s the start of Black History Month, which this year is almost entirely online. I’m excited to announce Black History Haringey 365 – our permanent online resource where visitors can access engaging content and discover more about black history and black history makers. Resources for families, for schools, for education and for fun. Why not download the Black History Quizzes, and share with family or friends. Haringey has a rich, Black cultural legacy which can now be enjoyed all year round. Log on to