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.

 

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.

Since 2017 Jon Cruddas MP has been fighting alongside residents to resolve numerous issues that have continued to occur down East Hall Lane in Wennington, Rainham. Last week Jon was made aware of a substantial amount of fly tipping which had occurred down East Hall Lane and contacted Havering Council.

Today Jon was provided with a response which states the following: “The Lane is scheduled to be cleared of fly tipping starting from next week, week commencing 27th April 2020, and it is estimated it will take approximately a week to clear.”

 

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

 

Over Easter the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy took the decision to approve development of a second mass waste incinerator at Belvedere. Jon Cruddas MP who launched a campaign against the proposals back in 2018, making official representations and raising a petition of over 2000 local signatories has said: “we knew going into this fight that waste incineration has more than doubled under the Tories, it was always going to be an uphill struggle.”

 

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).

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