People in our borough are blighted by ‘cost of living’ debt

New east London Covid-19 test centre opens in Shadwell. Picture: PA/Wire

Haringey has three rapid-testing centres - Credit: PA/Wire

With the roll out of the Covid vaccine, I think we can be reassured that there is actually daylight at the end of the tunnel, not another train approaching.

Nevertheless, it remains important that we do not lose focus, stick to the rules, continue to protect the capacity of the NHS and when our time comes, get vaccinated against this terrible virus.

Until then, I urge everyone who cannot work from home to help protect their families and themselves by getting a Covid test at least once a week. Haringey has three rapid testing centres; at 48 Station Road, Wood Green; Tottenham Community Sports Centre and Alexandra Palace. They are open every day. Remember these are tests for people without symptoms to confirm whether they remain virus free. Anyone with Covid symptoms should urgently get tested via the NHS national testing system. 

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor reminds residents to shop local. Picture: Sam Volpe

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor says Haringey Council is developing a new debt strategy - Credit: Sam Volpe

With schools not reopening now until at least March 8, we’re continuing to support children and young people in our borough who are struggling to access their remote education. The council has launched our Haringey Digital Divide Appeal, which aims to help support pupils and students who don’t have regular access to laptops and WiFi at home.

It’s been a real collective effort so far, supported by residents and partners and topped up with a contribution of £200,000 from the council. This means that together we will be able to provide our children and young people with 2,500 computers and laptops.

Haringey Council continues our focus on supporting our residents and businesses in these tough times as we move towards recovery. 

We know how financially difficult lockdown has been for many families. We are developing a new debt strategy because we know the lives of too many people in our borough are blighted by problem ‘cost of living’ debt. Contrary to popular belief, debt is not caused by bad choices or overspending but when the rising cost of living outstrips people’s incomes. 

We are going to redouble our efforts to help our residents avoid falling into debt and make sure they have the information and support they need to manage the debts they have.

I know this past year has been difficult, but the resilience and unity of our community has shone through. Be reassured, that we are listening to, and working with our residents and partners so that we can recover post Covid as soon as possible.

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  • Cllr Joseph Ejiofor is leader of Haringey Council.