Firstly, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank those of you who joined my members’ Zoom call last week. Being able to keep in touch during these difficult times is important and it was great to be able to answer your questions. If you found the session helpful, I am more than happy to do it again, so do please let me know any feedback.
I am very pleased that my second newsletter lands at the end of the Prime Minister’s first week back in Downing Street. I was delighted to also hear the news of the safe arrival of his son, however there is no doubt that his personal experience of the virus is a stark reminder to us all that everyone is at risk.
As I said in my recent update, the Government has done its utmost to help as many people as possible during this difficult time, but undoubtedly many are struggling through no fault of their own. Even when this lockdown is over, life will not return to normal straight away and we need to prepare ourselves for the economic aftershock which is likely to follow.
While I am trying to reach as many across the constituency as I can, I am also aware that some may not have access to the internet or social media. Therefore I have created the attached leaflet with the latest information and local contact details for those in need. Following guidance centrally, we have made the decision not to post this out – due to the already high pressures on the Royal Mail – however if you know of anyone who would find it helpful please do pass it on.
Thank you again, for all you are all doing to help during these unprecedented times. From key workers and volunteers, to those shielding at home and following the guidance, you are all playing your part and it is not going unnoticed. I hope those of you who are at home are coping as well as possible, and if there is anything I can do to support you please do not hesitate to get in touch.
MP for Sevenoaks and Swanley
Below is a snapshot of what we have been working on. If there is anything I can do to support you, please get in touch.
Participated in the first virtual parliament by asking the Health Secretary about the Government’s ‘test, track and trace’ strategy at his statement last week. I have already participated in several virtual sessions of the Health Select Committee, so am hopeful a hybrid Parliament will be a success. I look forward to using the new technology to ensure that the views of Sevenoaks and Swanley are heard at the highest levels.
Launched the Sevenoaks and Swanley Community Hero award to recognise those who are making outstanding contributions during this crisis to the local community. In partnership with the Sevenoaks Chronicle, we have so far celebrated two very worthy winners - Charmain and Steve Powell of the Portobello Inn and Lucy Piercy, who have each demonstrated true community spirit in action. If you would like to nominate an individual or small organisation, please email me at email@example.com.
Hosted my first Facebook Live. The platform meant I was able to share updates about the response to the coronavirus outbreak across Sevenoaks and Swanley, as well as allowing anyone in the constituency to ask me a question and see me it answered it live on air. Since posting the video on my Facebook page it has now been watched by more than 1,300 people.
Continue to hold calls with local business, schools and local government, to understand the issues faced at local level. My office is receiving hundreds of emails daily from constituents in need of support and advice and I am also holding daily phone surgeries for the most urgent cases. Where necessary, I am following up with Government to ensure these views are heard and addressed (p.s. this photo was taken before the lockdown!).
Contacted numerous care homes locally to ensure that I have a clear understanding of the issues – especially in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies. Following the worrying stories in the media regarding the safety of residents and staff during these difficult times, I shared the concerns of many across the constituency and am now in communication with managers and local GPs to ensure the appropriate procedures are in place.
Spoken to the Kent domestic abuse lead at ‘Look Ahead” and the local police to understand what help is available for victims. Following these meetings, I appeared on BBC Kent Radio and South East Today to ensure everyone across the constituency is aware that services are still up and running, police are continuing to follow up on cases and reports, and there are spaces available for refuge in safe accommodation. I have shared the details of local groups who are on hand to assist and listen on my website and Facebook page.
Remained in touch with the supermarkets to ensure they are taking the appropriate steps to protect customers and staff, while also sharing on Facebook and my website the latest opening times. It would appear that issues with stock seem to have eased, and that the priority access for elderly, vulnerable and key workers is proving successful. However, should you have experienced different please do let me know.
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Get in touch
Phone: 020 7219 4964
Address: Laura Trott MP, House of Commons, LONDON, SW1A 0AA