Like all of us, I have looked on in despair at the situation unfolding in Afghanistan and the humanitarian crisis now facing the Afghan people. Women and girls have faced almost certain loss of their freedom overnight along with Afghanistan’s hard-won self-determination and democracy.
Croydon has a proud history of welcoming refugees, and we stand ready to play our part in the UK’s response. Government must ensure that councils are fully funded to provide the support that will enable Afghani refugees to rebuild their lives in the months and years ahead.
As the national rollout of Covid-19 vaccines reaches more people, this week we hit two more encouraging milestones. People with both Covid jabs no longer have to self-isolate, and vaccines are now available for teenagers aged between 16 and 17 years.
This means even more local people can get protected from Covid-19, and you can also visit a walk-in clinic, including one at Centrale shopping centre. Anyone who wants to book their jab can find their nearest vaccination site here or Freephone 119.
Croydon’s creative sector is one of our strengths – which will be showcased in 2023 when we will be London Borough of Culture. This will be a chance for our arts scene to shine like never before and inspire new talent.
So I am pleased that our very own Poet Laureate for Croydon, Shaniqua Benjamin, is starting her first online exhibition to encourage the creativity of local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young people aged 18-25 through their own poetry and spoken word. To find out more, visit the Museum of Croydon website.
Have a good weekend,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council