THE newly established House of Lords COVID-19 Committee agreed today that its first piece of work would be to collect views on what will be, or should be, different for people’s home and working lives, and for UK society, several years from now.
Issuing its call for evidence, the Committee set out plans for a significant public engagement exercise to ask individuals and organisations about their long-term hopes and fears. The Committee will bring together current thinking from academia, business and civic society with views from the public about how life will be different 2-5 years from now.
To achieve this, Committee members will be taking an innovative approach to how they collect ‘evidence’ over the coming months. The Committee is particularly keen to hear from people whose voices are not often heard in Parliament and want people to be able to contribute in ways that feel most comfortable to them. This could include sharing video, photos and audio clips via social media, taking part in video chats with Committee members or feeding in their views via community groups that the Committee is partnering with.
Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, the Chair of the COVID-19 Committee, said:
“Our remit is to consider the impact of the pandemic for society and the economy in the long-term. Systematic inequalities in society have been highlighted and deepened due to the pandemic. We are going to start our work by asking people to look into the future. What is it that people are most worried about? Are there any positives we can take from the pandemic? What do people hope can change for the better?
“As a committee, we want to bring together people’s views on this; to take the temperature of how the nation is thinking about the future. We will use this to identify some key concerns and opportunities that will be the subject of our future inquiries.”