The world will never be the same again following the coronavirus pandemic.

Many people have lost loved ones and the country has been in an unprecedented lockdown for three months. But as we emerge from the crisis there is the chance to recast the world, for the better, around us.

One of the benefits of the lockdown period has been the chance to get out and enjoy nature. The absence of traffic, both on the roads and in the skies, has enabled us all to breathe that cleaner air more easily.

People have heard the birdsong and seen the stars above. It would be a tragedy if these gains were all lost in a mad rush to make up for lost time, with a return to polluting practices.

The pandemic has been a crisis but it has also shown what can be done when disaster strikes.

Another crisis facing the world is climate change and loss of biodiversity. As with the coronavirus, our collective futures depend on taking the measures required to overcome these threats.

The urgency of the response to Covid-19 points the way.

Now, partly due to the coronavirus, we have the chance to address the climate crisis, restructuring our own environment around sustainable practices.

In Redbridge, there is the chance to create better walking and cycling facilities, increase biodiversity and cut pollution.

Redbridge Council is consulting on potential improvements to the living infrastructure.

Maybe you'd like to see more off-road cycle routes, better pedestrian walkways? Perhaps more pedestrianisation of the high street? The creation of a Wanstead Square? More trees, community gardens and planters? The provision of more electric charging points? A reduction in rat runs?

All are up for grabs, so please make sure your voice is heard. It is no good remaining silent, then complaining later over what does or doesn't happen. Have your say at

The power of community has been one of the abiding features of the pandemic period. People coming together to help each other. Neighbours really being neighbours.

Now is the chance to really build on those links looking to act ever more locally and sustainably. Travelling in cleaner ways but also sourcing foods as locally as possible. Remember the air miles.

Many people like the village status that Wanstead has attained, maybe we need to build on those village principles of localism and support for each other.

Now is a real chance to reshape our village in an even more clean, green and sustainable way.