In the latest instalment of his weekly covid-19 blog, Member of Parliament for Wansbeck Ian Lavery has updated Wansbeck Constituents and residnets living in the Northumbria NHS Health Care Trust of the latest coronvirus figures in the local area.
In the blog, which Mr Lavery releases every week, he has also outlined the work done by himself and his office team over the past 7 days as the North East region continues to battle the impact of covid-19.
Read the full blog below:
The past week has in no way gone to plan for Boris Johnson and his failing Government. The media and press have focused on the circus surrounding Dominic Cummings and his arrogant decision to violate the Government’s advice regarding self-isolation by driving over 200 miles to Durham to visit family and the allegations that he continued to violate further government advice whilst there.
Over the weekend I wrote directly to the Prime Minister and told him that he must take action immediately to remove Mr Cummings from his position. I was supported in sending this letter by fellow North East MPs; Grahame Morris, Ian Mearns and Kate Osborne.
I said in the letter; ‘As Members of Parliament in the North East of England we have been faced with an unprecedented level of Casework with many heart-breaking stories from Constituents deeply affected by the virus and its fallout. It is therefore unsurprising that many people see the news that Dominic Cummings has himself broken the rules as a bitter betrayal. This is not a minor transgression by an unimportant figure but a clear breach of the regulations by your most senior advisor.’
Whilst Dominic Cummings’ refusal to accept responsibility or apologise to the nation has understandably dominated many news headlines, the crisis in our communities continues. Education has become a new front-line in the battle over Government incompetence, with experts speaking out to warn against the imposed return of schools on June 1st. The Government has been forced into a position of humiliation, now expressing an even more confused and calamitous statement that; “not all schools need to return on 1st June”, leaving their responsibilities and duty of care firmly at the door of headteachers across the country.
The story of this Government is one of double standards, one set of rules for the rich and powerful and another set entirely for the rest of us. Whilst state schools are being made to put their students and staff at risk by returning, private schools such as Boris Johnson’s old school Eton are making it clear they have no intention of returning until September at the earliest. This is why Dominic Cummings’ behaviour comes as no surprise to many people, elitism and arrogance is woven into the very fabric of this Tory Government.
This week I hosted a zoom call online with local members and representatives from the National Education Union, to hear first-hand their experiences, views and opinions on the Government’s plans. The opinions I heard from these members, many of them Teachers employed directly in Wansbeck Constituency, were unsurprisingly concerned and angry at the actions of the Department for Education. The main priority of every single Teacher and School Staff employee I have spoken to is the safety and protection of the Children they care for. I made clear my support for their viewpoint and sent a message of solidarity to all School staff across the country. We are behind you and thank you for your continuing commitment to our communities.
Of course, on the Health care front the damaging impact of the virus continues to affect the North East as one of the worst hit regions in the country. A study released by the Northern Health Science Alliance, using Office for National Statistics Data has shown that ‘deprived urban areas in the North of England, including Newcastle and Durham areas, are being hit with high rates of Covid-19 deaths, higher death rates from all causes and particularly suffering from greater rates of increases in unemployment.’
These specific issues in our region were raised when I met with representatives of the Royal College of Nursing last week to discuss their concerns also. Our front-line NHS staff continue to do us all proud and I reiterate my support and gratitude to those representatives speaking for many of the regions Nurses who are working non-stop to care for those who have fallen ill to the virus.
Figures release by Public Health England on Monday this week have shown that there are now 929 cases of Covid-19 in Northumebrland. Across the North East, there have now been 9,928 cases which is a rise of 49 cases from the previous day’s data. These figures also show that there have been no new coronavirus related deaths recorded in the NHS Northumbria Healthcare NHS foundation Trust.
I ask you all to continue being sensible and staying as safe as you can out of respect for the memory of those who have been tragically lost to this virus. Please remember to keep the lovely messages and conversations going with family friends and neighbours who are most affected by this social isolation and shielding let them know how much you care, contact them by whatever means, comfort them with a simple message of love, hope and support.
My staff continue to work around the clock and we will respond to all queries as efficiently as possible. Remember I can’t reply directly to questions or requests of help on Twitter or Facebook due to data regulations so If you require assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me by email at Ian.firstname.lastname@example.org
My Team are continuing to update the page on my website which contains all links to Government and Health Care advice. Please be sure to share this with friends, family and colleagues wherever you can. It can be viewed at www.ianlavery.co.uk/coronavirus
Northumberland County Council continues to assist those in most need via the six community hubs (see their website for further information on this Northumberland.gov.uk).
Anybody who needs help or assistance, is concerned or confused please do not hesitate to contact my office team on 01670 852494. We are here to help. Stay Safe.