Dear people of Broxtowe,
Yesterday, (22nd of March) was Mothering Sunday. It is usually a time of coming together to spend time with our loved ones. I could not be with my wife, Caroline, and our children in person, so we spent the time together virtually. These are difficult times, but I know that we, in Broxtowe and across the country, can beat this virus by rising to the challenge together. We need to play our role in minimising the harm that this virus can do to our loved ones and community. We need to delay the spread of coronavirus. By delaying the spread by just a few weeks we can save lives and the NHS can be more able to protect our loved ones. It is so vitally important. Please, follow the Government’s advice to stay at home, and stay safe. This will enable us to protect lives and our NHS. I cannot stress enough how important this is to do. I know the people of Broxtowe will be making the required sacrifices to protect our friends and family and the wider Broxtowe community.
Over the weekend, in Broxtowe, I met with Paul Swift from Beeston and Chilwell Area Mutual Aid group and we followed the social distancing advice and stayed two metres apart. This Mutual Aid group has already been a great help to the people of Beeston and Chilwell. I also went to Fred Hallam Ltd to thank all the staff at the shop for the support that they are giving to our community here in Broxtowe. Thank you, as well, to all who are playing their part in the national effort by looking out for their friends, family and neighbours. I really can’t thank you enough.
Please do not stockpile! I went to Tesco, in Toton, over the weekend. Tesco have introduced an elderly and vulnerable hour from 9am to 10am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I am glad that Tesco have introduced this measure to help the elderly and vulnerable in Broxtowe and across our country. Other supermarkets have also introduced similar measures and the information about these are on my website. It is really, really important that we do not panic buy. We need to do our normal weekly shop, if we do our normal weekly shop, we know that the supply chains will hold up. To make sure this is the case, the Environment Secretary, George Eustice, along with over ministers announced that the Government has relaxed competition laws to allow supermarkets to work together to ensure that everyone has access to the food and essential supplies that they need. This means that food retailers will now be able to share staff, distribution depots and delivery vehicles. Relaxing competition laws will help shops and supermarkets to meet the demand more easily, but to reiterate, please buy as you normally would. The Government has also temporarily relaxed rules around drivers’ hours to enable more food to be delivered to stores. So, there is no need to panic buy or to stockpile.
Since my Friday update, the Chancellor and the Prime Minister announced a further measure to protect the health and finances of you and your family. There is a new package of measures to protect 1.5 million of the most vulnerable people by enabling them to shield themselves and stay at home. This includes, as well as other measures, a new Local Support System and a new helpline. A new Plan for People’s Jobs and Income was also announced and a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will offer grants to employers who promise to retain their staff. These measures will be helpful to us all here in Broxtowe. The financial situation of the self-employed and their families in Broxtowe is a high priority of mine. So, I will be also working with colleagues to ensure that further appropriate measures are put in place as soon as possible. The people of Broxtowe’s health and financial security are my priorities because they are your priorities.
As always, I am here to serve you.