Many constituents have contacted me regarding disruption to their postal service during the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has undoubtedly been very challenging for Royal Mail staff who have faced illness, and the need to adopt new working practices to be safe in the workplace, while the number of parcels for delivery has increased hugely in many areas as residents have stayed at home and ordered online. I know that Royal Mail staff have been working tirelessly to sustain delivery services, East Dulwich residents in the SE22 area have experienced particular difficulties with deliveries. I have been raising these issues with Royal Mail and last week I visited the delivery office for SE22 which is now based in Peckham following the closure of the SE22 delivery office in 2017.
Throughout the pandemic many SE22 residents have gone weeks without post and parcels, and this is not acceptable. It is clear that the closure of the Silvester Road delivery office has been disastrous. The SE15 office is too far away from the further reaches of SE22 on foot, and there is too little space for both postcode areas to be sorted with adequate social distancing, contributing to delays. Royal Mail has sold the Silvester Road delivery office for millions of pounds and it is now being developed as luxury flats. They must provide a fit for purpose delivery office in the SE22 postcode area so that their hardworking staff can provide the service residents rely on.
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Today marks the 72nd anniversary of our precious NHS, appreciated and valued this year perhaps more than ever. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, health and social care workers have been on the frontline caring for vulnerable people and saving lives.
I pay tribute to their tireless work, and my thoughts are with the families of the health and care workers who have tragically lost their lives to coronavirus. Shamefully, the Government’s testing regime has been poorly planned and slow to scale up to the challenges of the virus. This left far too many health and social care workers exposed and allowed the virus to rapidly spread through care homes.
Last week, I called on the Minister to bring forward to meaningful reform needed to ensure staff are properly paid and to take action to give care homes and providers access to frequent, regular testing.
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Many local residents have been involved in the campaign to save a wonderful local independent shop in Brixton, Nour Cash & Carry. I’m delighted to share that yesterday Nour Cash & Carry reached an agreement with their landlord which means they have a secure, long term future in Brixton at a level of rent they can afford.