We are living through difficult and challenging times and I want to thank you for your support for the NHS and our community. I would particularly like to thank all those working in the NHS, social care, other vital services, including volunteers and key workers.
I wanted to update you on my work during the crisis and this email is the second weekly round-up from me, I hope you will find it helpful.
I should add that I am proud of the way our community has responded to this crisis, with so many people putting others before themselves.
Helping support our NHS
It is crucial that we all support the NHS at this difficult time by maintaining social distancing. The lock down is difficult, but vital, in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
- I support the lock down and believe action should have been taken earlier
- I also believe in regular reviews (see below under holding Government to account)
- I am calling for more protective equipment and testing to protect staff and to help tackle the spread of the epidemic
- And, I am raising concerns with the Health Secretary and other Ministers
- I’m also offering what support I can to our hard working NHS staff, such as promoting the clap for our NHS which has taken place on Thursdays
Working with councils and other services
Local councils are distributing food to vulnerable people, working with care homes and providing other vital services.
- I am working with Reading and Wokingham borough councils and local charities
- I am raising their concerns about the quality of food provided, as items have not added up to a balanced diet
- In addition, I am calling for more protective equipment for social care workers in our care homes
Supporting food distribution
Maintaining food supplies is vital, particularly for vulnerable people.
- Listening to residents and charities working with vulnerable people
- I am passing issues to Ministers and urging them to speed up supplies
Help for businesses and workers
A huge number of jobs and businesses are at risk and urgent action is needed to protect jobs and incomes
- I’m pleased the Government has listened to calls to take action
- I am now calling for more help, such as for the self-employed and some businesses
- Government schemes need to be extended and updated to remove gaps and loop holes
Support for people in distress
People should not be left without help at this difficult time and I am calling for more support.
- I am urging the Government to respond sooner to people who face hardship such as those who have lost their jobs
- And, I am calling for more Government help, through increasing benefits and Government help for local charities to provide support
- I am also raising cases of people stranded overseas with the Foreign Office, to help get them home
Holding the Government to account
I support extra powers being used during the crisis, to enforce social distancing. However, I believe any extra powers should be regularly reviewed and ended after the crisis.
- It is important the Parliament holds the Government to account even if it has to meet virtually
- Government Ministers are consulting with opposition parties and need to maintain an open approach and to listen to other points of view
I would like to thank you again for everything you, your family and neighbours are doing to tackle the corona virus.
Please contact me if you want to discuss these or other issues, by emailing my office on email@example.com
Matt Rodda, Member of Parliament for Reading East.