This month I wanted to focus on the road map and the easing of lockdown as well the next steps in our recovery. During my last piece I spoke about the excellent work being done by the local vaccine centres, following my visits. Thankfully we can see positive effects this is having both nationally and across London. At the time of writing the rate per 100k across London is only 37, this is a massive improvement from where we were only a matter of weeks ago.
We continue to be on track to ease lockdown restrictions in line with the roadmap and I know that the opportunity to see friends and family in a social setting, often for the first time in many months, has been a relief for so many people. It would be nice if we could move quicker but I think most people will understand the need to ensure this easing is cautious and irreversible.
In the week before the House rose for Easter recess, I joined the vast majority of colleagues to renew the powers in the Coronavirus Act. Clearly, these powers are justifiable only to deal with the pandemic and must not become ‘business as usual’. There is much in this act, such as the provisions on statutory sick pay, which are about supporting constituents, rather than restricting freedom, and it is important that those continue to be available, in the interests of constituents who continue to need financial and other support as their lives move towards a return to normal.
The final point I want to touch on is the supply of vaccine. I know that there has been some noise recently about the supply chain for second doses. However, from conversations I had with the Nadhim Zahawi last week, all the deliveries from the EU have come in exactly as planned so there is no issue with availability.
In reality different regions and different boroughs can’t all run at the same pace, as there are many factors which need to be taken into consideration. From what I have personally heard from healthcare leads and residents, there have been no issues which we haven’t been able to resolve – Hillingdon is in line with national targets on priority groups who should have been offered the vaccine and there are no causes for concern about people not being able to receive their second vaccine within the 12-week period between doses.
I hope everyone has been able to enjoy some time off over the Easter weekend and is feeling a sense of optimism with the positive progress that has been made lately. However, as always if there is any way that I can be of help then please get in touch. The best way to reach me is via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
First published: My Local News, April 2021