Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis the council, community and voluntary sector across Barking and Dagenham have stepped up in extraordinary ways to support residents. BD CAN Plus, the Barking and Dagenham Citizens Alliance Network model has been at the forefront of mobilising support for thousands of local people. 

Following the NHSE/I letter published on 25th March 2020 confirming that routine face-to-face dental care has been suspended across the country, Jon Cruddas MP this week received reassurance that urgent dental care is available in London. Arrangements have been put in place to ensure patients can access urgent dental care during the pandemic period.

Access to the Urgent Care Hubs

The following process has been implemented in London to ensure patients can access urgent dental care:

 

The Government have announced that they will be paying £60,000 to families of NHS workers and social care staff who die from coronavirus. This comes after a cross-party campaign was launched by Layla Moran MP and backed by over 70 Members of Parliament. Jon Cruddas MP backed the campaign calling it “a needed move for those heroes putting their lives on the line.

 

After writing to the Secretary of State recently to support the Barking and Dagenham Post and Romford Recorder Jon Cruddas MP has now joined a wider campaign, asking that government support local and independent media through an increased share of public health communications spending. 

The letter has been backed by 40 other MPs from across Parliament, including former Cabinet ministers and shadow ministers, and highlights the importance of local press in communicating trustworthy information and the financial strain faced by local journalists in light of the coronavirus.

 

Last week the government announced 18 innovative projects that will be awarded up to £25,000 under the TechForce19 challenge. TechForce19 was established to find digital solutions to problems currently being faced by different people in society as a result of Covid-19.

 

Today (24.04.2020) the Portuguese community of Dagenham came together to provide over 65 individual homemade meals, along with cakes, doughnuts, and drinks to NHS staff at Queen’s and King George’s Hospitals. The donation was organised by Joseph who manages Santa Brava Ltd, a Portuguese café and deli at Dagenham East.

Joseph commented in a short video: “we wanted to give the NHS some support, to say thank you for everything from all of our community. I’m very proud of my customers for all they have contributed.”

 

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.

 

On 31st March Jon Cruddas MP contacted the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport regarding the support structures for local news outlets during the Covid-19 crisis.

Jon said: “at this time, how we receive news and information is incredibly important. When I contacted the Secretary of State there was very little infrastructure in place to support freelance journalists or small news outlets.”

 

Official statistics are not yet available that will show the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the claimant count. Figures for the alternative claimant count have now been published up to February 2020. The March 2020 figures for the unadjusted count have been published today, but these will be based on the count as at Thursday 12th March and therefore will not indicate the full impact of the outbreak.

Employees in the most vulnerable sectors

 

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.

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