In cities and villages alike, community life has long depended on key buildings. But how many of these beloved edifices will survive the pandemic?
We’re on high alert now − but government failings have made the race against the virus more desperate
Nine months after contracting COVID-19, Sophie Wilson has still not recovered from the disease and is enduring a range of physical and mental symptoms on a daily basis. She describes the debilitating impact that Long COVID is having on her health and her life.
Political certainties have been jettisoned by a combination of Covid and Brexit. Tories traditionally hold the purse strings tight while Labour demonstrates a greater tendency to spend on public services but today, we’re seeing unprecedented levels of public spending increasing. Tom Serpell explores the implications for political loyalties.
Vivienne Griffiths turns the spotlight on the government’s decisions on re-opening schools. She exposes a predictable pattern of delays, U-turns and threats of legal action that jeopardise teachers’ and students’ safety, and cause anxiety and uncertainty among parents.
On Saturday 12 December, shoppers in Lewes responded to the problem of food poverty by donating an astonishing 7,002 items of food and household products, up from the 5,661 items collected at Halloween. Organised by Mark Perryman, the 12-hour effort included entertainment from many of the town’s gifted performers.
Theatre maker Tamsin Shasha is passionate about the power of story-telling through live performance. Here she talks about two theatrical adventures during lockdown, in Brighton and in Berlin.
As the UK braces itself for round two of the coronavirus pandemic, the conversation has reverted back to subjects from earlier in the year. Perhaps to reassure the public that the second wave may not be as bad, the media touts the gains in hospital beds (or hospitals for that matter), and the amount of […]
University cities are becoming hotbeds of Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, over two million students from all over the UK were encouraged to move into accommodation after six months of being told not to mingle. We are putting ourselves and those around us at risk, only to receive the vast majority of our teaching […]
When Make Votes Matter Lewes began forming in early 2020, we knew we’d need to work hard to build connections in a time of painful political division – but not that we’d have to do so while social distancing. Yet the Covid-19 restrictions forced us to find new ways to connect – across parties, our […]
As many children in the UK come to the end of their first few weeks of schooling after the first Covid-19 lockdown, we are reminded of a very different time a year ago. Children and young people in Sussex, and across the world, were marching out of school and making their voices heard for action […]
During lockdown, I narrowly missed being run down by a speeding van on an otherwise empty road, its driver giving me two fingers as I tried to slow him down. My angry reaction was: us older people are dispensable now. The feeling has been growing – fed by the enveloping Covid crisis. And I’m not […]
The gaps in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are pushing an estimated two million people in this country towards financial hardship. A large proportion of those missing out on government support are women – and that’s no accident. There is deeply rooted misogyny at the heart of SEISS. The cost of caring The SEISS […]
Small firms are indispensable to the creation of jobs and of wealth Margaret Thatcher, speech to small business conference in 1984 Thatcher’s Britain claimed to be about creating a nation of entrepreneurs starting small businesses and thereby generating wealth and jobs. In her 1984 speech to the Small Business Conference she said, “you will see […]
When the government announced the furlough scheme for workers hit by the coronavirus lockdown, they initially forgot about the estimated five million self-employed people in the UK. After campaigning from several MPs and lobbying groups, they did announce a scheme for the self-employed, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), on 26 March. This caused temporary […]
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you should get tested immediately and self-isolate until you’re given the all-clear. Although it’s not quite that simple. Getting your results is quite a testing process in itself. According to the WHO, 80% of Covid-19 cases are mild or entirely asymptomatic. I’ve had no cough, no fever, and my […]
When President Macron introduced lockdown in March, with barely 48 hours’ notice, the spring sun was hot, the boulevards of Paris overflowing. Many may have expected discord, the return of rioting gilets jaunes. But it was just a weekend of disobedience. And in the days and weeks that followed the message got across. In France, […]
Let me share a state secret with you. Somewhere in Mayfair is a six-star hotel where once a month a group of middle-aged men along with a couple of token women gather in its basement. They wear silk and ermine robes, eat exquisite food and sip the finest wine. This Body of Souls (BOS) consults […]
Women have been hit hardest by the pandemic, and largely excluded from decision-making.
It is possible that these two facts are connected
‘The UK is a world-leader in preparing for and managing disease outbreaks and I have every confidence in our nation’s ability to respond to the threat of COVID-19,’ declared health secretary Matt Hancock on 4 March. Four months on, it seems clear that if we want a world-beating response to the virus, we should be […]
So are we, as Boris Johnson claims, ‘all in this together’? When our prime minister contracted coronavirus he was able to quarantine in a flat, have meals brought to his door, before being rushed to hospital when his symptoms got worse. The same options were not available to Kayla Williams, mother of three children, who […]
Brighton has always had a flourishing arts scene and cultural history. Including the Fringe, Brighton Festival is second only to Edinburgh Festival in terms of scope, size and ambition, and is the largest and most established annual curated multi-arts festival in England. This year the Festival was due to celebrate its 53rd birthday with poet […]
It seems strange looking back on the first half of 2020 now. As the New Year fireworks popped, the atmosphere for most of us was one of celebration. Yes, there were undoubted obstacles to face, not least the definitive date for Brexit a month later, but a new year, let alone a new decade, symbolised a fresh start. At that point […]
As an erstwhile stand-up comedian, used to noting down ideas for my set, I’d never have imagined trying to write, instead, a comparison between real life and its substitute. In common with many other performance arts, live comedy has been totally shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic and possibly will remain so until next year. […]
What’s the ‘new normal’ at uni? Going back for me and thousands of other students will be different, the environment strange, and the higher-ups will muddle through as usual. But inevitably our tuition fees will stay at an all-time high while our employability plummets to a likely all-time low. The coming months could be disastrous, […]
Dyeing, sewing, foraging, preserving, baking – and connecting… Despite all the worry and frustrations of those long lonely weeks, lockdown gave me an opportunity to get creative in ways that I hadn’t been in a long time. It just so happened that immediately before lockdown I temporarily moved from a town-centre flat to housesit for […]
Brighton & Hove City Council’s website says that “Active, outdoor play is an important part of children’s development and health”. If they think this is the case, it seems odd that at the time of writing nearly a quarter of the city’s playgrounds are still closed, leaving children locked out of these vital facilities. The […]
Dramatic cuts in income have left councils with big budget shortfalls, and no way to get the money they need to provide day-to-day services. Had the Covid-19 crisis happened back in 2010, there wouldn’t have been such a problem. Ten years of austerity have left councils in no fit state to cope. The government has […]