CORONAVIRUS has prompted many of us to think more deeply about the kind of world we want to live in when we emerge from the pandemic.

I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting a more equal society with access to high-quality education, decent healthcare and good jobs for our children and, in turn, their families.

According to Jennifer Wallace, head of policy at the Carnegie Trust, Scotland and Wales are already global leaders in seeking to bring about the sort of future that would benefit us all. An Act to ensure the Wellbeing of Future Generations was passed in the Welsh Parliament more than five years ago. The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.

I particularly liked that the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has included a short guide for young people on their website. Here in the UK we are lagging behind but we do now have two similar bills going through the various stages in Westminster.

These are important initiatives and having looked in detail at the Welsh Act, I share its aim to make sure decisions are made with long-term sustainable development front of mind while ensuring that actions meet today’s needs. Wellbeing goals that the whole of the UK should pursue, include many objectives that the council is already seeking to embed at a local level here in Brighton and Hove.

For example, developing a low-carbon economy and maintaining a biodiverse natural environment. Despite the public health crisis, we have devised a way to hold our Climate Assembly online to pursue our goal of achieving a carbon neutral city by 2030.

Through our Valley Gardens project we are creating attractive, safe and well-connected communities with space for people to meet and talk, walk or cycle.

Instead of a series of uninhabited islands in a sea of traffic, we will have a new city centre park with trees, public art and seating.

It is interesting that in devolved governments, where political power is wielded closer to home, is where these ideas are gaining the most traction. They require politicians to envision a successful country, with thriving communities, where everyone has the opportunity to make the best of their life.

They are not compatible with the politics of austerity where those with the least resilience suffer the sharpest impacts of policy measures, while those with the broadest shoulders remain largely unaffected.

It’s clear that the situation of the poorest families in our city, who were already struggling, has worsened during the pandemic.

The cost of providing emergency food during the crisis has risen to £200,000 with £170,000 of extra funding from the council. I must thank all those who contributed to the Hungry at Home crowdfunding appeal, which raised a further £30,000.

Even before the crisis, emergency food providers were giving out 420 parcels a week. During the pandemic this has risen significantly.In the week starting April 27, 40 local food projects gave out emergency parcels to 3,001 households, supporting 4,831 people including at least 996 children. In addition, some 3,966 meals were provided.

Without sufficient government intervention the situation is likely to worsen as more jobs disappear when the furlough period comes to an end.Where households do not have the money to feed themselves and their children, the reasons are consistent – low income, debt and benefit delays and changes. We need long-term solutions that do not leave families with so little and stripped of sufficient resources to decide even their own grocery shopping list.

Across the UK, more than four million children live in poverty and countless families are left in a precarious state week in, week out. Their very survival depends on the immense goodwill and sacrifice of a legion of volunteers who give up their own time to source supplies, staff food hubs, cook meals and deliver food parcels.

The wellbeing of future generations depends on the health and vitality of the current one. We do need to reimagine our society. We must develop a green economy with worthwhile, well-paid jobs, educational opportunities and cultural experiences for all. We have to enhance the environment, secure water supplies and restore fully functioning ecosystems.