Dominic Raab MP's March 2020 e-bulletin View this email in your browser ([link removed])
Dom Raab MP's March 2020 E-Bulletin
I know many people are worried about coronavirus and the disruption that it is causing. This pandemic is the worst public health crisis this country has seen for a generation, but we can and will get through it with a collective national and local effort - which I explain below.
During this time, my work as your local MP continues. This month, I attended meetings with the Chief Executive of Elmbridge Borough Council, Rob Moran, and Dr Jill Evans, Senior Partner at Esher Green Surgery and Chair of Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group. I also joined Surrey County Council Leader, Tim Oliver, and pupils at Cranmere Primary School in Esher to plant a cherry blossom tree as part of Surrey County Council's pledge to plant 1.2 million new trees over the next ten years.
As we get through the Coronavirus challenge I will be volunteering locally to help support the most vulnerable in our community. And, of course, I remain on hand to help and advise with any issues you may have. Please contact me at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) if there is any support that I can provide in your neighbourhood
Dom with Dr Jill Evans, Senior Partner at Esher Green Surgery and Chair, East Elmbridge Locality, of Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group.
As the Prime Minister has explained, the coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades.
Without a national effort to halt the spread of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service could cope – so it is vital to slow the spread of the disease. The government has taken a range of measures to do so and announced significant economic measures to help people and businesses through the inevitable disruption.
First, it is vital that we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, because this reduces the spread of the virus. As you will be aware, the government is requiring people to stay at home except for very limited purposes, closing non-essential shops and community spaces, and stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public. Everyone must comply with these measures. Further detail and guidance are available here ([link removed]) .
For the same reason, schools have been closed since the end of Friday 20 March, with limited exceptions. Guidance on this can be found here ([link removed]) .
We are all worried about safeguarding the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, and the government has issued advice ([link removed]) on how to protect the most vulnerable people during this time.
The government is also supporting employees, businesses and public services. The recent Budget included a £5 billion boost for the NHS and other public services, and it was made clear that the NHS will get whatever it needs to cope with the current situation.
In addition, a £330 billion package of loans and guarantees will support businesses of all sizes and be expanded if necessary. The government is also deferring the next three months of VAT, protecting commercial tenants from eviction, and helping to pay people’s wages through a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Details of these schemes, and the full range of support we’re giving to businesses, is available here ([link removed]) . More information for employees is available here ([link removed]) .
Next, as Foreign Secretary I took the decision on 17 March to advise ([link removed]) British nationals against non-essential travel globally, for an initial period of 30 days, and subject to ongoing review.
On 23 March, I advised all British tourists and short-stay travellers currently abroad to return to the UK where and while commercial flight options are still available.
You can find the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice and sign up for email alerts on the FCO website here ([link removed]) . At the FCO, we are working around the clock to advise, support and return stranded Brits abroad. To take just one example, two weeks ago there were over 100,000 UK nationals travelling in Spain. Now there are less than 10,000 - an indication of the massive effort involved.
I appreciate that these measures will change life for all of us for several months. It will be disruptive, but these measures are necessary to pull through in a way that saves lives, protects the public and safeguards the economy.
Strong local community spirit will be vital over the next few months, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable groups, and I would encourage people to do what they can to look out for those groups, within the boundaries of the new rules.
While my work, and the whole country’s thoughts, are focussed on coronavirus, I have still been working on important local issues. This month, before the Government's latest advice was in place, I met with Rob Moran, Chief Executive of Elmbridge Borough Council, to discuss a number of local matters including Elmbridge Borough Council's Local Plan, Heathrow and unauthorised traveller encampments.
I also joined Surrey County Council Leader, Tim Oliver, and pupils at Cranmere Primary School in Esher to plant a cherry blossom tree as part of Surrey County Council’s commitment to plant 1.2 million new trees – one for every resident – by 2030. As part of their contribution to tackling climate change, Surrey County Council are working with and supporting residents and partners in planting trees in suitable locations across the county. This will play an important role in supporting Surrey’s ambition to reduce emissions and become carbon neutral; and it was a pleasure to be invited to plant a tree in Esher. You can read more on my blog here ([link removed]) .
Next, I met with Dr Jill Evans, Senior Partner at Esher Green Surgery and Chair, East Elmbridge Locality, at Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group, to discuss the redevelopment plans for Molesey Community Hospital, compare notes on the government's science-led approach to tackling Coronavirus and the local efforts to advise and reassure residents. You can read more here ([link removed]) . I will be out in the community volunteering with local groups to support that effort and reach the most vulnerable in the weeks that lie ahead.
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Dominic Raab MP
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
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Dominic Raab MP . House of Commons . London, SW1A 0AA . United Kingdom
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