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Constituency update - July 2020

My latest update includes:

  1. Lockdown guidance and news
  2. My work in Parliament and Croydon
  3. Thank you to Croydon’s heroes
  4. Reminder of volunteer opportunities
  5. Getting in Touch with me

Dear [firstname],

I hope you are all safe and well during these difficult times.
As we move out of lockdown, I know that many Croydon residents have real concerns about the challenges that are facing their families, their friends and our community. I have been receiving a record number of queries and requests for help on a wide range issues from local people. I have looked to cover many of these in this latest update.
Please continue to keep safe,
Best Wishes

Sarah Jones MP
Member of Parliament for Croydon Central and Shadow Police and Fire Minister





 

Lockdown guidance and news
Over the past few weeks there have been announcements that will collectively ease the lockdown across England. This includes proposals to allow more businesses, such as pubs, hairdressers and restaurants, to reopen from the 4 July and a reduction in the 2 metre social distancing rule to 1 metre.  
This reflects evidence that there has been a decline in the coronavirus infection and fatality rates in the past few weeks. I have no doubt that this is down to the real sacrifices that many residents have made by obeying the difficult, but necessary lockdown rules.
Despite this positive news, we should remain vigilant. The news that Leicester will be back in lock-down reminds us all of what can happen.  I have been talking to police who are worried about the impact of pubs opening on Saturday and I would urge everyone to think carefully about what they chose to do.  Support our local economy but maintain social distancing at all times and keep up with hand washing and other advice. The UK has tragically recorded an extremely high number of deaths compared to many other countries and that many experts remain concerned about a “second spike” which could lead to another lockdown.  Some useful websites to keep checking include:
  • Latest advice from the NHS about the virus, its symptoms and where to get medical advice.
  • The government’s rolling page of updated advice.
  • Croydon council’s advice on local services available to residents.
My work in Parliament and Croydon

I led the Opposition in the Committee Stage of the Fire Safety Committee last week – a small but important piece of legislation on the journey to making our buildings safer post the Grenfell Tower Fire. It is now more than three years since the tragic Grenfell tragedy, but there are still far too issues left unresolved, including unsuitable cladding on many buildings and private sector landlords forcing incredibly high costs on leaseholders.
In Croydon, I organised a meeting via video call with Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community leaders to discuss leadership and mentoring of our young people following the murder of George Floyd. The demonstrations in the UK have thrown a focus on the many issues the BAME community still faces from racism and discrimination. There were several incredibly successful role models on the call who have offered to mentor and train young people.
I have also been speaking to representatives of our local police about community relations and disproportionality – there is some good work beginning which I will be following closely. I have also given the police at a national level my full support as they have faced unwarranted violence in  a number of places, such as in South London.  last week.
I was the guest speaker at a round table with local members of the Federation of Small Business (FSB) where we discussed how local businesses can get back on track and how we make the case for investment in south London. Despite some positive moves from the government, there are many gaps in the support packages for small, local businesses and there are a lot of families concerned about how they are going to put food on the table, or pay their rent or mortgage.  I remain opposed to British Airway’s (BA)decision to make thousands of Gatwick workers redundant. I received a disappointing response to a letter I wrote to the BA Chief Executive last month and have called for an immediate rethink of their approach (you can read more about this topic.
And finally, during these difficult times, it is important that our government ministers act with transparency and honesty. This is why I asked a question in the House of Commons about the recent controversy over the granting of planning permission to a development in East London. These exchanges made front page news of a national newspaper, but unfortunately many questions remain unanswered about this case.

 
Thank you to Croydon’s heroes
Everyone has made sacrifices and their responsible actions have reduced the spread of the virus. My heart goes out to those who experienced bereavement or illness during this period of isolation.
 
I want to thank our local heroes for their incredible work: our nurses, doctors, carers, cleaners, supermarket staff and all key workers, as well as community volunteers in our community who have delivered food and help to vulnerable neighbours. I have been able to visit where I can several organisations providing help to local people, including joining Sewa day handing out food to people in need in the centre of Croydon.
 
This amazing effort has helped save many lives.
 
Reminder of volunteer opportunities

If you live in Addiscombe or nearby, and have any spare food or hygiene products, please do drop them off at She Mildred’s church. Details below:

 
Despite the easing of the lockdown arrangements, many in our community still require support. If you are able to please consider signing up to volunteer here with Croydon Voluntary Action. They are undertaking a significant operation across the community ensuring that those who need support the most are able to access it, from food to offering emotional support via phonecalls. They have established a centralised helpline for vulnerable people to contact should they need it which is 020 8253 7076. 
 
Atop of this, Croydon Mutual Aid continues to offer an informal volunteering service across Croydon. You can find out more information about this group and how to get involved here.
 
Finally, foodbanks across Croydon continue to need donations, the full list of which can be found on my coronavirus hub here.
 
Getting in Touch with me
Despite the coronavirus outbreak I have been continuing to work on constituent cases via email and phone, with my office will be increasing the opening hours of its telephone line. 
However, my office remains closed to members of the public until further notice.
 
This is to ensure that we maximise the number of people we can help remotely and minimise the risk of spreading infection. If you or someone you know needs to get in touch with me - please contact me at this email: sarah.jones.mp@parliament.uk

For further information about the coronavirus please see the coronavirus hub on my website. 
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