These last six weeks, although it sometimes feels like six months, have been unusual to say the least. A matter of days before the Prime Minister instructed us all to work from home wherever possible we were busy preparing our AGM, campaigning for a by election in Welford on Avon Ward on 12th March and organising future fundraising events.
Many in the District Council are working harder than ever before with the Cabinet meeting via technology regularly. At the County Council the lockdown has created additional work in caring for vulnerable residents. The same is true of the Police and Crime Commissioner with isolation leading to new cases of domestic violence not to mention ensuring this extraordinary measure is policed fairly, effectively and proportionately.
Our MP Nadhim Zahawi is not only working to represent all of us in the constituency but he is also a minister in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. With the immense economic pressures from lockdown he is having to work to ensure businesses are properly supported. How we recover from this crisis could have just as big an impact on our health as how deal with the disease itself. He did want to stress a few points as summarised below:
Firstly an issue that figures in the media have repeatedly asked: Why are deaths from outside hospitals not included in the daily death figures? The simplest answer is data takes longer to compile which means that to comply with necessary checks those deaths are included further down the line. It is much easier to announce daily figures from hospital.
Secondly he was keen to inform us of an issue with the Job Retention Scheme. Following representations he made after listening to constituents the cut off date for workers to be eligible for being furloughed has been moved from 28th February to 19th March.
He also wanted to stress that whilst this is certainly not business as usual he is still available to help individual constituents as always and emails, calls and letter are being picked up and his staff, who are staying safe and working remotely from home, are keeping up with everything.
Our Chairman Richard Hobbs wants to thank you and everyone for your resolve during these extraordinary times. We have seen the Prime Minister return to work after his bout with Covid19 and whilst lockdown still has some time to go I am sure we are all heartened to see him back which reminds us that this will end in time.