Ian Lavery Newsletter
A Word from Ian
Another week comes another wave of questions over the government’s handling of the pandemic.
On Tuesday I was invited to a meeting with 7 minutes notice by the government which lasted 15 minutes to discuss the new restrictions. Many MPs from the region were not invited, and there was no chance to ask any questions or having a meaningful discussion about the restrictions. This total farce should concern anyone, and it has been the same for months now.
Following their announcement of a tier system of lockdown, it was revealed that the government had ignored advice from their scientific advisors at SAGE to enforce harsher lockdowns earlier. It appears SAGE also warned the government the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants would have minimal effect on reducing the virus yet they went ahead with it anyway, despite not listening to advice to move all university teaching online, leading to tens of thousands of positive cases at universities across the country.
I spoke to Sky news on Tuesday discussing the horrific communications by the government throughout this crisis, and the problems that many businesses and individuals in my constituency will face if the government does not implement a more generous support package. We will not sit back and allow a deal that will result in a huge increase in poverty.
Coronavirus Lockdown Surveys
This week I published 3 coronavirus polls for the public to fill in. By hearing your voices, I can gain a better understanding of the attitudes of the public towards the current and proposed restrictions.
The 3 polls received over 1000 responses between them and were a valuable insight into the thoughts and opinions of my constituents and beyond.
It is clear from your responses that there is a dissatisfaction with the current strategy. The responses show that the vast majority believe the rule of 6 and the 10pm pub curfew have been ineffective at reducing the transmission rate of the virus.
It is also evident that people believe local MPs and leaders should be given more power and backing by central government over the implementation of restrictions, as well as that in general there is a perception that people are not taking the rules and restrictions seriously.
Significantly there is widespread support for a 2-3 week circuit breaker lockdown to replace our current restrictions. Just over 75% of responses so far said they would prefer this scenario over the governments tier system
Do you agree with these results of the surveys? I want to hear YOUR thoughts on how to move forward through this pandemic.
Links to my polls here:
Coronavirus Restrictions Poll
Circuit Breaker Poll
Tier 3 Lockdown Poll
Show Racism the Red Card
On Friday I wore read in the support of the show racism the red card campaign. 2020 has been an important year for the fight against racism but the struggle still continues.
Race crime has doubled in 5 years, a shocking statistic that shows much more needs to be done to tackle this plague in our society. Watch my video showing support to their campaign and visit SRTRC’s website for more information.
End Child Poverty Campaign
The End Child Poverty report published this week reveals that the North East has seen the sharpest rise in children living in poverty of anywhere in the country. As of 2019 35% of children in the North-East live-in poverty, a rise of 9% from 2015.
Needless to say, these statistics are desperately saddening. It is beyond belief that in this day and age 35% of children in our region are living below the poverty line. What is even more concerning are the what the effects Covid may have on these statistics in years to come.
I see it as my duty not only as an MP, but as someone who cares about and loves this region, to do everything I can to fight back against child poverty and will continue to do everything I can to help those in need.
Cambois Primary School
You may remember that Cambois Primary School was recently broken into, and valuable teaching resources were taken.
This was a huge blow to the hardworking staff at the school who have been working around the clock throughout the pandemic to ensure the quality of the students’ education.
A fundraiser was set up to replace the stolen items and the reaction was fantastic, raising £1,385 in total. A huge thank you and well done to those who organised the fundraiser, and thank you to everyone who donated, there is nothing better than when a community comes together to support one another.
Black History Month
This year has been an incredibly important one for raising awareness for black history. The murder of George Floyd and the following protests made us reflect on our own society and consider both our past, and how we approach the future.
Black history is British history, and as it stands that is not reflected throughout our education system. Research shows that pupils may make it through their whole school educations without studying the work of a non-white author. This is not good enough and must change in order to reflect our diverse society and history.
In Britain today 46 per cent of children from black and minority ethnic groups live in poverty compared to 26 per cent of white children, and black mothers are five times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than their white counterparts. It is needless to say these inequalities are unacceptable, and it is saddening that in this country in the 21st century this is the case.
The Black Lives Matter movement made us all reflect on these facts, but it should not stop there. The dialogue must continue, and work must be done if we are serious about tackling structural inequalities and achieving true equality.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October also marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Covid-19 is the biggest crisis that has faced breast cancer in decades. It paused treatments, screening programs, research, support services, and fundraising. It is now more important than ever to remind people of the threat of breast cancer.
It is particularly important that you are regularly checking for any symptoms, and if you are concerned about anything you find to contact your GP immediately. The best line of defence against any form of cancer is early detection, so it is important you take the initiative and visit your doctor if necessary.
To anyone who has any queries about breast cancer or want some information about breast cancer for yourself or someone you know who is affected then visit Breast Cancer Now’s helpline here.
If you are struggling by being affected by breast cancer and need someone to talk to you can visit their ‘someone like me’ telephone support line here, which will put you in contact with a volunteer who will comfort you and offer any advice or support you need.
Get In Touch
If you are a constituent with any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office wither via email at email@example.com or by calling 01670 852494.
My office can get extremely busy with questions and therefore the time taken to reply may vary. All casework is treated with the strictest confidentiality.