Newsletter By Andrea Jenkyns MP
The National Lockdown is due to end on December 2nd, where depending on data we will look to move to a localised, tier system. I encourage everyone in our area to do what they can this month to help stop the spread of the virus.
As residents will know, we are in a national lockdown to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. We must all do our part to lower the R rate, and to keep our families, friends, and communities safe this winter.
Make space and stay 2m away from people you do not live with;
Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds;
Cover your face in enclosed spaces; and
Isolate when you need to/are advised to, and getting a test if you have symptoms.
I’ve had a number of Morley residents contact me about the issues at Royal Mail and post deliveries.
I am aware of these issues and have approached Royal Mail, who have informed me that they have almost 20 postmen self-isolating in the area, and many sorting office staff in self-isolation. This is having a serious impact upon deliveries of mail in the area.
I have suggested that Royal Mail hire some emergency temporary contractors to help with deliveries and sorting until full time staff return to work. I also suggested that Royal Mail put out information informing people of the situation, outlining the actions they are taking to try and remedy the issue, and have asked them to provide a timeframe on when they think the situation may begin to return to normal.
I will continue to liaise with Royal Mail in the hopes that a solution can be found.
This year Remembrance day events have had to be scaled back. I'd like to thank everyone in the local poppy team for the way they adapted to these difficult times. Although we could not all gather together as normal, I know many residents have visited their local memorial to our brave servicemen and women in their own time to pause, and reflect.
I'm proud of the way our area has approached this important time in our usual patriotic fashion, whilst ensuring we keep to guidelines to keep everybody safe. Personally, I visited a number of memorials across Morley & Outwood myself, and placed a wreath. Covid may have stopped us from gathering as usual, but we will remember them in our own way. God bless.
Support for Jobs continues
To give people across the UK certainty over the winter, our Conservative Government has extended the furlough scheme until the end of March. Employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month.
I welcome this move in response to new national restrictions, and know it will bring comfort to many people and businesses across the whole United Kingdom.
Investing in people, so we can Build Back Better
I welcome that a huge package of retraining and reskilling has been put in place. This package includes the £2 billion Kickstart scheme for young people, as well as funding for apprenticeships, traineeships and support for those looking for work through DWP.
In addition to a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for those aged 16-24, the Chancellor has announced a tripling of investment in traineeships for 2020-21. £2,000 will also be given to businesses for each new under-25 apprentice they hire. This is combined with an injection of £32 million into the National Careers Service to provide advice to a further quarter of a million young people.
I am also delighted that the Prime Minister has announced the Opportunity Guarantee so that every young person has the chance of an apprenticeship or an in-work placement, so that they maintain the skills and confidence they need to find the job that is right for them. This will be in addition to the major reforms to the post-18 education system announced recently, which will help people train and retrain – at any stage in their lives – and enable us not just to come through this crisis, but to come back stronger, and build back better.
Reasons For Hope
A Vaccine could be on the way:
I'm sure residents will not have missed the news that a vaccine could be on the way as soon as next month.
Following preliminary tests on 43,500 people that yielded a 90% success rate, Pfizer and BioNtech now plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of November. Once a vaccine has passed the UK's intense and rigorous tests for approval, the Government and NHS stands ready to roll out a programme that will start with the most vulnerable in our society.
The UK Government has ordered 40 million doses of this vaccine, as well as 300 million doses from 5 other vaccine candidates.
The R number:
The 'R', or reproduction number, is one of the most important factors in making decisions regarding restrictions. The Government is aiming to see the R number below 1, in order to slow the spread of the virus.
The government's current figures for the R number across the whole of the UK is:1 to 1.2.
As you can see, we are close to reducing the R number to 1, and hopefully below. Together, we can reduce the R number further, and help save lives.
Some shops are still allowed to be open, the above stalls in Morley Market are operating. The market's opening times during this period are: 9am till 3pm Tuesday-Saturday.
Below are other open shops in Morley, including businesses offering a takeaway service. Please consider shopping locally to help support our fantastic small, local, and independent businesses!
Stay alert, Control the virus, Save lives
You must stay at home where possible, though there are exceptions:
-Shopping in shops which are permitted to open. For instance to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items - including food or drink - ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway.
-Exercise, taking care to stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household
-Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
-Travelling to and from work, or charitable services, but only where this cannot be done from home.
The Government’s main advice hub is here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance on the current national Restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november