MP: Thank you for playing your part during pandemic

Julia Lopez, MP for Hornchurch and Upminster

Julia Lopez, MP for Hornchurch and Upminster - Credit: Archant

The impact of the pandemic continues to be felt in myriad ways, including our precious services for Remembrance Sunday.

I was grateful nonetheless to be able to lay wreaths on behalf of residents at the war memorials in Upminster and Hornchurch. We thought this year not only of the Armed Forces but those working so tirelessly to get us through these difficult days.

Before Parliament’s vote on lockdown, I attended meetings with the health secretary, Number 10, and our hospital trust to learn more about local figures, hospital pressures, and the government’s plan.

I got an update from the team at Queen’s Hospital more recently, who told me that we are thankfully not seeing rapid deaths like we did so tragically in April. Treatments have vastly improved, staff are being tested twice a week and the flu vaccination programme has helped reduce pressure on hospital beds.

While the vaccination programme is being prepared and new rapid testing machines are arriving, we still have high prevalence rates in the over-65s so we need to keep on with the hands, face, space mantra.

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I am continuing to speak to local teachers - most recently from Langtons, Benhurst and Broadford primaries - about their tremendous efforts to keep schools open, and relaying challenges to ministers.

I have also been talking to local businesses about how to support them and am pleased the furlough scheme has returned and various other support packages are in place.

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Meanwhile, I worked with transport secretary, Grant Shapps, to make sure any bailout plan for TfL would not include extension of the congestion charge to outer London.

Thank you to everyone for enduring and playing what role you can to get us through this.

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