As a community we are incredibly fortunate that so few of us have experienced a time like this. Living under current restrictions runs contrary to so much of what we believe in as a nation, so it is especially remarkable to see these unwelcome rules embraced so resiliently across our area. It has definitely highlighted the very best (and occasionally worst!) in society.
The vast majority are those who have risen to the challenge without complaint – and the rest of us should be incredibly grateful. I have been moved by the number of examples of individual kindness, sacrifice and selflessness. Thank you to all of those who are making this episode bearable for those in more vulnerable categories. If you know of any of people locally still needing assistance, do please pass their details on.
Via this newsletter and other means such as my website and Facebook, I am trying to provide up to date (and reliable) information for individuals and businesses alike. Where necessary I am also explaining what falls to the Welsh Government (e.g. NHS and schools/education) and what lies with the UK Government (e.g. financial assistance and benefits). This can be confusing at the best of times so I hope you will be pleased to hear that we are working closely with the local councils and devolved Government to make sure the risks of confusion are minimised.
I also wanted to highlight the letter from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, which is being delivered to 30 million homes this week. Just in case you have missed it I have posted it again here. It re-emphasises where we are and what we need to do to beat the disease and return to normal – the key message being to stay at home.
As you will also know the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a comprehensive package of measures to try and mitigate the impact on all of us arising out of the need to isolate. This is a very fluid set of circumstances, so inevitably there will be gaps, and the measures will almost certainly evolve. My office, all working from home, are doing what they can to answer individual questions, but sometimes we simply don’t have the answers as every situation is so individual. As Rishi has said, sadly we wont be able to save every job or every business but there is a united UK wide effort to try to. Also attached to this message are the various links to help you get the information you need.
Much has also been said about the readiness of the NHS and other agencies, in particular around testing and PPE equipment. There is a “four nations” approach to this and we are in constant discussion to ensure that everyone has the equipment and support that they need whether they work in a hospital, GP surgery, care-workers or other frontline area. This approach is what is needed to make sure we fully equip people according to need rather than geography and why “flattening the curve” buys us crucial time for the various services to be in the best possible shape to tackle the disease when it reaches its peak. Local councils have done a brilliant job in aiding that process and you can be sure that political hostilities have been put aside whilst this is going on.
We will emerge the other side of this and we will rebuild our local economy. But for now it’s a battle with an invisible enemy in which we all have a crucial role to play. Thank you for everything you are doing.
From the Prime Minister to 30 million households: