Unite the Union, working alongside MPs are urging the Chancellor to implement new support measures for taxi drivers during the Covid-19 crisis. The lockdown measures have severely impacted the livelihood of 82,000 taxi drivers across the UK at what should have been a busy holiday period for them. The reduction in work is so severe that income, in many instances, does not cover operating costs and lots of taxi drivers are already experiencing financial hardship.

 

Opinion piece from Jon Cruddas MP originally published in The Barking and Dagenham Post on 15.04.2020

Over the past few weeks of uncertainty, amidst a rapidly changing environment, I have been overwhelmingly encouraged by the community spirit in Dagenham and Rainham, and across our country. These are worrying times, but despite the initial panic, we now find ourselves looking out for our neighbours, the vulnerable and our frontline key workers – who are working flat out to ensure our safety.

 

Over the last few weeks of lockdown in Dagenham and Rainham we have begun to see what commentators have called a ‘crisis within a crisis’ referring to the alarming lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the health sector and social care facilities.

Jon Cruddas MP has worked alongside neighbouring MPs and local businesses to coordinate what PPE is available to the places that need it, but this week it has emerged through anonymous tip-offs that care homes are suffering the brunt of the crisis.

 

On 26 March Jon Cruddas MP co-signed a letter to Dominic Raab MP urging immediate action to repatriate British nationals stranded abroad as a result of global lockdown measures. There was a particular focus on those trying to get home from Pakistan, where the only option has been to book an extortionately priced flight back with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

During March, CEO of Stansted Airport contacted politicians for support that the airport believed was needed from the Government to protect jobs and enable the industry to help drive the economy forward in due course. Over the last two weeks the airport have been analysing a series of policy announcements and their impacts, as well as working hard to ensure London Stansted Airport is ready and able to weather these unprecedented circumstances.

Tapestry is an innovative charity and ‘not for profit’ social business working to provide appropriate, personalised and affordable care and support for adults and older people in the local community.  They believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to live a healthy and connected life regardless of age or ability.

 

Last week, Asda proudly launched a dedicated volunteer shopping card to help vulnerable customers and those who are self-isolating and unable to go into store. There are a number of Asda superstores located in and around Dagenham and Rainham that residents can access, and this new scheme seeks to support the most vulnerable along with our key workers.

 

Last week Jon Cruddas MP was contacted by Clarion’s Head of Housing regarding their approach to the Covid-19 crisis, and what that means for residents living on the Orchard Village estate in South Hornchurch.

 

This week Jon Cruddas MP was contacted by The Environment Agency regarding the measures they have taken in the current crisis to continue operating in accordance with government guidelines.

Chief Executive, Sir James Bevan explained: “Our key priorities are to protect the health, safety and well-being of our own staff, the public and the businesses and partners we work with; to prevent loss of life and serious harm to the environment; and to keep our critical operations running.”

Jon Cruddas MP is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support’s coronavirus information hub, calling it a “great initiative”. This comprehensive information and advice was created by the Macmillan to provide clear information, advice and support about coronavirus for people living with cancer, their family and their carers.

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