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Dear constituent,

This week the Prime Minister spoke to the nation, and explained that due to the significant increase in the spread of the virus that we needed to enter a new time of National Lockdown. This includes the closure of schools to most pupils. 

I appreciate that this is a challenge for all of us. None of us want to be in lockdown, and none of us want this to last longer than is absolutely necessary. We must all play our part to ensure that the NHS is not overwhelmed.

Although cases in Dorset have been relatively low, they have been significantly increasing.  Already in Dorset cases are over 300 per 100,000 people, and in Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole they are over 600.  You must stay at home, and limit you interactions with people to stop the spread. 

There is good news - three vaccines have now been approved for use in the UK, and already over 1.5 million people have received a vaccine. The vaccine rollout is continuing, and there are more details below about this.  

As always, if I can be of any assistance to you or your family, please don't hesitate to get in touch using the contact details at the bottom of this newsletter. 

With best wishes,

Included in this update:

  • New National Lockdown
  • Support & Childcare Bubbles
  • Vaccination Rollout
  • Support for Businesses
  • Information for parents & carers
National Lockdown
We are now subject to National Lockdown restrictions. There are full details with the guidance on the government website here.

You must stay at home.

There are only a limited number of reasons you should be leaving your homes, including:

  • to shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.
  • go to work, or provide voluntary services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
  • exercise locally, limited to once per day - with your household, or one other person
  • to seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm
  • to attend education or childcare - for those eligible. Early Years settings like pre-schools and nurseries remain open
  • travel - if you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work

You must not socialise with people you do not live with, but there are various "support bubbles" for those who need additional help. There is more information about this below. 

Support & Childcare Bubbles

Support bubbles are designed for single people to have contact with other households, and also to provide support and care.

These may continue during the National Lockdown. It is against the law to form a support bubble other than for limited reasons.

You can form a support bubble with another household if any of the following apply to you:

  • you are the only adult in your household (any other members of the household having been under 18 on 12 June 2020) or are the only adult who does not have a disability that needs continuous care
  • you have a child under 1
  • you live with a child under 5 with a disability that needs continuous care
You are permitted to leave your home to visit your support bubble (and to stay overnight with them). However, if you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.

If addition, if you have children under 14 you may be able to form a childcare bubble. This is separate from support bubbles. If you’re eligible, you can form one childcare bubble and one support bubble with different households.

You must not meet socially with your support bubble and childcare bubble at the same time. Childcare bubbles must be used exclusively for the purposes of childcare.

Support bubbles cannot be changed often- once decided you must stick with the same support bubble apart from limited circumstances. Full details here.

Vaccination Rollout

The rollout of vaccinations is happening across the country, including here in Dorset.
Please do not call your GP or local hub about getting vaccinated. The NHS will contact you directly.

The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has made recommendations about who receives the vaccine first. Priority groups include care home residents and staff, people over 80 and health and care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. You can find details about the priority groups here 

There are now three vaccines that have been approved for use in the UK, with the more recently approved vaccines being easier to transport and store. This means that the vaccine will be available to more GP surgeries and vaccine hubs. From Monday 11th January there will be 17 Primary Care Network vaccine hubs in operation in Dorset, covering all of the Dorset NHS area, including BCP.

Your GP will be in touch when it is your turn to be called for the vaccine. This will usually be by phone or letter. You do not need to contact your GP to ask when it is your turn, as this slows down the process.

Very sadly, fraudsters are using the vaccine as a way to target people. Some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.


  • The vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups, and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. Anyone offering a paid-for vaccine is committing a crime.
  • The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine, and never ask for payment or for your bank details.
  • At the moment we are also not making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine. Anyone offering this now is committing a crime.

You can find out more about the vaccine here and what to expect when you have the vaccine here
You can also find regular updates about the vaccine rollout in Dorset here

Support for Businesses

The Government has announced additional funding to support businesses. Full details of the new support have yet to be set out in detail but will be similar to grants that were distributed through local councils last year. 

Whilst exact details are still awaited, the Government has announced the following: 

  • One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring 
  •  £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses 
  • This comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme 


To find out more information as it becomes available please continue to check the Government website here


During previous lockdowns, local Council worked extremely hard to ensure that business grants were distributed quickly. It is welcome news that on top of the grants that are based on rateable value, there is funding available for discretionary payments via local councils.  

If your business is registered in the BCP Council area, further information on the support that is available can be found here

If your business is registered in the Dorset Council area, further information on the support that is available can be found here

For further information and advice about financial support and requirements on businesses can be found here: 

Federation of Small Business

Dorset Chamber


Information for parents & carers
Free School Meals
If your child usually has free meals at school due to your income being low, you can get vouchers to help cover the cost of food when your child is not at school. You need to ask your child's school for more details. 

BBC Bitesize on TV
Following the success of BBC Bitesize Daily earlier in the year the BBC are going to show educational programming on both BBC 2 for secondary pupils, and on CBBC for primary pupils. This will start on Monday 11th January with full details in due course. For those with regular internet access, the thousands of online primary lessons continue to also be available at to boost learning even further.

Internet Access
For families where getting fast broadband is a challenge, there is help available. Data allowances on mobile devices can be increased temporarily for some families. There are full details online here

Oak National Academy
Oak National Academy provides online lessons for children from reception to year 11. It's free to access, and has lots of different subjects, with videos, worksheets and quizzes. You can access it here

Resources from Dorset Council
Dorset Council are collating useful resources for parents which you can find here

Educational Psychology Service helpline for parents
If you're worried about how your child is coping at the moment and need some more support contact the Dorset Educational Psychology Service helpline for parents here  or on 01305 228300.
Or for Poole more details here

The guidance for students has changed. Students should study from their current residence. Further details can be found here

Both BCP and Dorset councils send out regular updates to residents. You can sign up here for BCP and here for Dorset.

Latest Government Corona Guidance
If you want to know details about the latest advice and rules for social distancing, you can find them on the government website here:
Latest Guidance




Michael is continuing to have surgeries by telephone. To book in at one of Michael's surgeries please phone the office on 01202 624216 or email Michael at

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