Covid-19 (Coronavirus) - Update 03rd April 2020

I am continuing to work hard to support residents affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and to raise the concerns of my constituents in Dulwich and West Norwood. Since my last update, the Government has announced a lockdown to restrict the spread of the virus. It is crucial that we all continue to follow the advice of Public Health England and stay at home unless:

  • Shopping for basic necessities infrequently
  • One form of exercise a day
  • Attending medical appointments or to care for a vulnerable person
  • Travelling for work, but only where you cannot work from home

If you need to travel, the Mayor of London has announced a reduction in Transport for London services to manage staff sickness whilst maintaining service for key workers responding to the crisis. Wherever possible you should travel outside of rush hour to prevent overcrowding on platforms and to allow safe social distancing.

If you are an extremely vulnerable person who needs support at this time, you can register with the Government here.

This service will refer those who are shielding from Covid-19 for additional support collecting groceries and other essentials, including priority access to online deliveries. You should have been contacted by your GP with information about this service, but if you believe you need support and have not received a letter I would suggest speaking with your GP.

Our local councils are both organising support for vulnerable people in our area.

Lambeth and can be contacted on 020 7926 2999 between 8am and 8pm everyday. You can also apply for support here

Southwark Council’s Covid-19 response can be contacted by emailing covidsupport@southwark.gov.uk or calling 020 7527 5000

My small team and I are working very hard to provide support and representation to everyone who contacts me at this time, but we are receiving extremely high levels of correspondence which may result in some response times which are longer than usual.  Please bear with us and please rest assured that we are working as hard as possible to help.

It is inspiring to see the incredible response from volunteers across the country and in our community to the crisis. More than half a million people have already volunteered to support the NHS and vulnerable residents. If you are not in an at risk group and would like to volunteer you can sign up here

You can sign up to volunteer with Lambeth Council here

You can sign up to volunteer with Southwark Council here

I pay tribute to the incredible work which every member of the NHS, our social care sector and other key workers are doing at this extraordinarily difficult time. They are all acting selflessly and providing outstanding care despite the daunting challenges the virus poses. I am working closely with our local health care providers and continuing to call on the Government to improve access to essential resources including ventilators, PPE and testing for all key workers.

I welcome many of the moves by the Government to respond to the pandemic, including the extensive package of financial support for employees. However, I remain concerned that the support for self-employed people has serious gaps allowing many people to fall through the cracks with little to no support. I am continuing to raise the concerns of my constituents with the Treasury about the scheme and calling for stronger protections against financial hardship.

I have also been contacted by many constituents who continue to be at risk of eviction from their home. I have written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to set out the loopholes I have found in the current safeguards and to request urgent action protect renters. I have also written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to request measures to prevent vulnerable people falling into fuel poverty during the crisis.

The coming weeks will continue to be incredibly challenging for everyone in our communities, and it is important that we all do our best to look after our own physical and mental health. I have found the guidance offered by Mind to be very helpful. You can find this here

As ever, please do let me know if there is anything I can do to help.