During the Government daily briefing on the 17th March, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak stated that he would do “Whatever it takes” to support our businesses and workforce, sadly he is yet to fully fulfil that pledge.
Whilst I welcome the fact that the Government have announced support packages for employees, some self-employed and companies, I am receiving more and more correspondence from constituents working in various sectors, such as Dentists, Self-employed Musicians, Pub Tenants and workers within the Entertainment sector who find they are not eligible for any of the schemes, showing the Government still has a way to go to achieve this.
Pub Tenants in crisis
This week I have written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, highlighting a major issue faced by pub tenants during the enforced closure of pubs during the coronavirus crisis. Many companies that own the pubs are still charging their tenants rent even though the pubs are closed, leaving the tenant with no income. This could result in may pub tenants in financial ruin and unable to re-open their doors once the enclosed closure is lifted. I have urged the Government to support our pub tenants during the enforced closure.
I have written a blog about this, including a copy of the letter sent to the Chancellor, can be found here.
Directors of small limited companies.
There still seems to be gaps within the Government Schemes, leaving directors of small companies in a position where many are either not eligible for the grant scheme or the furlough scheme would see them receiving well below the minimum wage. Their only option is to apply for Universal Credit. I wrote to the chancellor in April to see what provisions can be made for these small limited company directors, whose businesses are in serious risk of bankruptcy and the owners having no income. The letter can be read here.
Constituents of Leeds North West are rising to the challenge of meeting the urgent demand for PPE within the constituency. The past three weeks have seen huge numbers of masks, visors and protective gowns arrive at care homes, hospices, GPs and pharmacies. Offers of help have come from far and wide: international students at Leeds universities have donated hundreds of much-needed masks; schools, colleges and kitchens-turned-workshops have been churning out vast numbers of protective visors; individuals are creating handmade masks or simply purchasing stock to be donated. One constituent has turned his company’s manufacture of sky diving suits to protective gowns, and has kindly donated some to frontline workers in Leeds North West. Another took it upon herself to order a thousand masks from Vietnam to support the huge demand within the constituency. By making contact with each care home, GP, hospice and pharmacy, we have ensured this huge generosity has reached the people and places that need it most.
Leeds City Council have issued a reminder for people to continue observing the parking restrictions, especially the yellow lines which are there to ensure road safety and ensure access.
Pay and display parking, remains free of charge with priority being given to key workers. Officers will continue to issue parking penalties to those that park illegally, such as on double yellow lines.
Civil Enforcement Officers are issuing warnings to illegally parked vehicles at the moment. They will begin to issue penalty charge notices by the end of the week, after giving people a chance to change their parking behaviour.
The government have announced revised plans to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May. This will allow members of the public to remember and give thanks to the heroes of the Second World War from the safety of their own homes.
I am asking everyone to use the opportunity to say thank you to all those who served and gave so much, both at home and abroad. I encourage communities to join in the celebrations online, by using the #VEDay75 hashtag when sharing activities on social media.
The Royal British Legion are calling on people across the UK to observe a two minute silence at 11.00am, and people are being encouraged to take part in the @Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2 at 3pm from their own homes. The Government will post updates on gov.uk website.