Like many people, I was shocked to hear the news that the Prime Minister was taken into intensive care a few days ago to help him fight the Coronavirus. I am delighted and relieved that his condition has been confirmed to be stable. I wish the Prime Minister and his family the very best for a fully and speedy recovery. They are in my prayers this Easter weekend.
Photo of Michael with Boris taken in better times.
I would also like to place on record my personal thanks to all of the staff in the NHS who are treating everyone who has contracted this virus, including the Prime Minister. At such a difficult time, it is hugely comforting to have such a talented and dedicated health service who are working so hard to save lives. As we head into this Easter weekend, we must all support those on the front line by staying at home.
Working with local Councils
I have been contacted by a large number of constituents and local businesses since the pandemic started. In many cases it has been seeking clarification on one of the many support schemes that the Government has set up. The best way to find out the latest information is to check www.gov.uk/coronavirus which is updated regularly and can provide the latest health advice and advice for businesses.
I have been in regular contact with Dorset Council and BCP Council. I am grateful for the hard work of both Councils, officers and Councillors who have been providing excellent support for our communities. The role that Councils play are vitally important to supporting our NHS and communities.
If you are in need of support I would urge you to speak to your local Council. Both BCP Council and Dorset Council are operating community response helplines and can assist people in vital need of food and household essentials.
For the latest information from BCP Council including how you can receive vital support and how to volunteer please check the following link:
New support for charities announced
I have been contacted by a number of residents and local charities about the impact that the Coronavirus has had on there work. At a time when many charities are busier than ever and their support needed more than ever, income has dried up. I am delighted that the Chancellor set out the new package of support for charities, including hospices, last night. The package, worth £750m will make a big difference and allow charities to continue the vital work that they do. My sincerest thanks to the charity sector during this difficult time.
More information about the support packages for charities is available here:
Stay at home and save lives this Easter weekend.
The Government has given clear instructions to say at home. As we approach the long Easter weekend, I urge everyone to follow these instructions. Easter is a time that many people visit the beautiful sites of Dorset or go to visit family. I understand the pressure that the current restrictions are having but in order to protect the NHS and save lives, please do not leave your home unless it is absolutely essential to do so.
You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
The Government has provided further information including a helpful FAQs section about the restrictions. If you would like further information please check here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
I wish everyone in Mid Dorset & North Poole well for the Easter weekend and for the weeks ahead. I reiterate my thanks to our amazing NHS and all keyworkers who is working to keep the country running.
Please stay home and save lives.