On 31 March 2020 Jon Cruddas MP contacted the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport urging greater support for local newspapers and independent media outlets. The Government response outlined a programme to take out adverts in local papers as part of their Covid-19 public awareness campaign in a bid to offer financial support.

 

Marking the 14th anniversary of Labour introduced Armed Forces Day and against the backdrop of a decade of Tory failure to invest in defence, Labour’s leadership has supported the relaunch of a renewed Labour Friends of Forces (LFF).

With a new offer to members, fresh mission statement and support from the Labour leader, LFF has set out how exactly it will create an effective forum for bolstering the party’s connection with the force’s community and winning back the public’s faith Labour’s stance on defence.

 

This week the Principle and CEO of Barking and Dagenham College contacted Jon Cruddas MP with details of the economic recovery plan laid out by the Association of Colleges (AoC). The plan is called REBUILD: A skills led recovery and it sets out a clear directive to support workers and students, providing new opportunities to create employment and learning infrastructure.

 

Highlights from the Barking and Dagenham 'One Borough Newsletter' circulated to residents via email on 17.06.2020

How your Councillors have been helping during lockdown

 

The Government’s slow and incoherent response to this pandemic and their muddled road map to get us out the other side could hit areas like ours hardest. The early failure to recognise the scale of this crisis means we are already paying the economic price. 

The window is closing to protect people’s livelihoods and we need an urgent package of economic measures in response, with a clear focus on jobs, jobs, jobs.

 

Up to 31st May 2020, 13,000 jobs had been furloughed through the Government's Job Retention Scheme in Dagenham and Rainham constituency, equivalent to around 19% of the population aged 16-64. 21% had been furloughed in the UK.

A further 7,300 claims were made to the Self Employment Income Support scheme, equivalent to 70% of the potentially eligible population.  This compares to a take up rate of 70% of the potentially eligible population in the UK as a whole.

Claimant Count

 

Over the last few weeks as the nation eases out of lockdown Government have suggested a number of options to help the economic recovery. One of the suggestions is to temporarily extend Sunday trading hours for up to one year. Usdaw, the shopworkers union have slammed the proposals and have launched the ‘Keep Sunday Special’ campaign in response.

 

38 cross-party MPs, including Jon Cruddas have backed a campaign started by Virendra Sharma MP which calls on the Government to increase the pay of social care workers and nurses to at least the living wage, in recognition of their immense effort during the coronavirus public health emergency.

 

Monday 8th June marked the start of Carers Week 2020. It is estimated that due to the Coronavirus crisis over 4.5 million people became unpaid carers in a matter of weeks, helping to support elderly and/or otherwise vulnerable people in society. 

Care homes have also been a focus in recent weeks due to the initially undocumented levels of contraction and death from Covid-19, and the lack of Personal Protective Equipment which left many carers and residents at risk.

 

Jon Cruddas MP writes a monthly opinion piece for the Romford Recorder. This month (June 2020) Jon has shared his thoughts on the campaign against the Belvedere waste incinerator, air quality, human health and the climate emergency. The column is due to be published on Friday 12 June, but in light of World Environment Day 2020 Jon has agreed with the RR to share today (June 5). See below.

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