Plans to manage London’s recovery from the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic have been unveiled.
A new strategy has been set out by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Robert Jenrick, the UK’s Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary.
It includes the establishment of a new London Transition Board, co-chaired by Mr Khan and Mr Jenrick, which will co-ordinate the capital’s response to issues and risks arising from lockdown being lifted.
The board will comprise of senior leaders from across the city who will help to provide strategic direction for the next phase of response and restart, remaining in place until the end of 2020.
Key issues for the group will include controlling the infection, the phasing in and out of various levels of lockdown, and assessing the impact on public services including transport.
Mr Khan pledged that “nobody is left behind” in the city’s recovery from the pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is the most significant public health crisis in living memory,” said Mr Khan.
“We are not being complacent about the continued threat from coronavirus, but the economic, health and social challenges arising from both the virus itself and from the lockdown are far-reaching, and London’s recovery will be a long and complex road that will take many months, if not years.
“As mayor, I am committed to securing a better future for Londoners.
“The city’s recovery from Covid-19 must ensure that nobody is left behind, and no one organisation or sector can tackle these challenges alone.
“The measures announced today plan to bring together local government, civil and civic society, faith organisations, business, unions and Londoners themselves to reshape London as a city that remains open, safe and attractive for Londoners, visitors and investors.”
Mr Jenrick said that it is right to focus on the safe reopening of London.
He said: “I want to thank all of those across London who have worked in partnership with the Government since the start of the pandemic to protect Londoners and keep essential services running.
“Now we are past the peak it is right that we focus on safely reopening the capital, taking the necessary steps to control the virus.
“Through this new Transition Board, we will carefully build on the extensive planning already underway to get life and business in London – the most dynamic capital city in the world – safely back on track.”
Downing Street did not rule out London emerging from the lockdown sooner than other parts of the nation.
Asked whether the capital could see measures eased quicker, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “As we are able to gather more data and have better surveillance of a rate of infection in different parts of the country, then we will be able to potentially lift measures quicker in some parts of the country than in others.
“And equally we will be able to put the brakes on in some parts of the country while not having to do so in other parts.”
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