2020 has been a difficult year for our city and its residents in so many ways and Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council has put together this A-Z review of the last twelve months. Stay safe everyone and celebrate as best you can at home. Our city and county councillors will continue to support you into 2021, and we all look forward to a better year as we move forward together.
THANK YOU for all your efforts in 2020 and for supporting others in our community. If you can do more in 2021, or make a donation, please do as it will still make a vital difference.
Wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR
A – thanking all the staff at ADDENBROOKE’S and Royal PAPWORTH hospitals. Thinking of you and your families over the holidays. Thank you for putting yourselves on the line against an unknown threat in March and through 2020, and without clear national guidance or full PPE to start with. And our thoughts are with your current patients and their kin.
B – local BUSINESSES needing support, and supporting each other, with over £25,000,000 in funding and relief shared on by the City Council, including to protect jobs. Employers who need far more national support in 2021 too. And BREXIT where Cambridge badly needs NO DEAL avoided. When the economy and jobs are climbing out of one hole we must not fall into another.
C – our city’s tremendous COMMUNITY spirit for pulling us through 2020, all our dedicated, committed COUNCIL staff, CAMBRIDGE and the RIVER CAM because we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful city, and the CLIMATE EMERGENCY still a central priority through recovery, including severely cutting future CAR use.
D – DONATIONS from so many of you in food, cash and time through 2020. These are still desperately needed by our Food Poverty Alliance, coordinated by Cambridge Sustainable Food, and the FOOD HUBS and HOMELESS charities across the city.
E – Our EMERGENCY SERVICES and ambulance crews.
F – CAMBRIDGE FOODBANK/FOOD HUBS still in need of food donations, and FURLOUGH which protected BUSINESSES and JOBS.
G – GP practices, and all doctors and staff.
H – The City Council HOMELESS team at work now with partners including Jimmy’s, Winter Comfort, It Takes A City, Cambridge Cyrenians and many more. Providing warm accommodation for 200 in 2020 and through the winter, and a fresh start for many including some newly built homes.
I – Tackling Cambridge INEQUALITY which sadly grew in 2020 with 2000 more residents now out of a job compared to Christmas 2019, people needing support in 2021. And ending ISOLATION where we can.
J – Protecting and creating JOBS in 2021, and JUNETEENTH for the days when we could maybe name the month but not necessarily the day.
K – KEY WORKERS including shop and transport workers and too many more to list. And the increased KINDNESS people showed, a great habit for the 2020s not just for 2020.
L – is for LOCKDOWN. We need to stay safe, stick to the rules and protect the NHS locally.
M– MASKS which our Chinese community told us were essential and which Government eventually supported after campaigns by the Cambridge Independent and others won public backing. And our 14 wonderful Cambridge MUTUAL AID NETWORKS – and not forgetting to protect our MENTAL HEALTH.
N – Our beloved NHS and all its staff (and our hospitals where I started). NEIGHBOURS who shopped, ran many errands and cared for our more vulnerable and isolated.
O – Protecting OLDER PEOPLE at home and in Care Homes until they’re VACCINATED, and ONLINE where we spent too much 2020 time, and money.
P – PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which is now well provided, and PHARMACY staff who have been there for us.
Q – QUARANTINE and SELF-ISOLATION, which we need to follow to the letter when required, to protect others.
R – RELATIVES and SUPPORT BUBBLES, and the all-important R NUMBER.
S – SAFE DISTANCING and not breaking rules limiting home mixing. Our SCHOOLS and all TEACHERS and staff. Including a plea that Government listen to them in making decisions on reopening timings and safety.
T – TIERS, preferably with prior local consultation and proper notice. TESTING and TRACING that have to be local and work far better. And not forgetting our wondrous TREES across Cambridge.
U – Our two UNIVERSITIES because both did a great job of protecting their people, and also us. And “Can you UNMUTE John?” on so many ONLINE calls.
V – VACCINES which will take most of 2021 to roll out. Hundreds of VANS a day that prompt the need for a new effort on integrated Last Mile Delivery including by bike, and VIRTUAL reunions, choirs, dances, happy hours, quizzes – and, of course, council meetings.
W – WALKING and getting healthier, including to counter the temptation of the very short walk to the homeworking “canteen”. City Council WILDFLOWER MEADOWS and countryside and nature on our walks.
X – XMAS which this year has been like no other, precious time to share one way or other with those we love.
Y – Our YOUNG PEOPLE for responding and caring through 2020, YES for all who volunteered when asked, and YEAST for all those extra home bakers.
Z – ZOOMING with a gallery grid of faces on rare occasions looking a little like the Muppet gallery. And last but definitely not least, ASTRA ZENECA for discovering their vaccine in partnership with Oxford University, and for agreeing to provide it worldwide at cost.