Cllr Angela Mason, cabinet member for best start for children and families, said Covid had brought forth a greater digital divide in schools, something that will be an issue for ‘a very long time’ and which needs a ‘comprehensive answer’. Children are experiencing poverty and overcrowding and the environment outside some of these homes are not conducive to wellbeing, many of the estates in the borough being ‘hostile places’, said Mason, where there is much more emphasis on what you cannot do than what you can. Even the parks are similarly not child-friendly places, and had not been thought of adequately in terms of children’s development. But beyond this gloom, there was also the strength of people in Camden’s communities, she went on, exhibited in voluntary action and mutual aid groups in, particularly, providing food.
Collaboration and compassion were key across the public services to bring the strength of the system to bear to protect children in the borough, Mason added, and to address issues of unemployment likely to be around the corner. ’We have to reshape our public services in a far more compassionate form’, she said.