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Coronavirus update Thursday 23rd April

Major companies still not adhering to lockdown

Yesterday, alongside 50 of my colleagues I signed a letter to BT Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer brands, following complaints that unessential staff are being forced to work in the office without social distancing. Mr Allera is responsible for BT’s Consumer brands, which includes BT, EE and Plusnet call centres throughout the UK. I have also been continuing in my efforts to establish the full facts as to the situation at the Capita having had several more emails from staff who do not believe they should be on site.

Dentists

I am continuing in my efforts to support dentists in my constituency who are struggling with the financial implications of the lockdown. They do not qualify for the help available to other businesses and organisations and this could have dire consequences for the industry and leave thousands of people without dental care. I wrote this piece which outlines the problem and what we are trying to do to fix it.

Meanwood Farm

I am glad to support the campaign to save Meanwood Urban Farm., I’ve been working with Meanwood Farm both on the Council and through my role in the third Sector for 20 years. The farm has been open for over forty years and is a fixture of North Leeds, entertaining people of all ages and allowing children in the inner city to see wildlife and animals. Looking after these animals is a big task at this time. The farm is struggling and it needs our support more than ever, I’d encourage anyone who can to donate to their JustGiving at this link.

Testing

At yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Keir Starmer challenged the Government on the amount of tests being completed. Whilst Dominic Raab pointed out the increased testing capacity, the lack of tests actually being completed are a major cause for concern. Keir Starmer reflected what many of us have been hearing on the ground—that there is often a significant distance between where the tests are being done and the actual places of work. In some cases more than a 45 minute drive. Whilst I would encourage all our care staff to take up the offer of testing at the Temple Green site, we must find ways of getting tests to care homes so that nobody misses out and our facilities are as safe as possible.

PPE

I am continuing to arrange collections and deliveries of PPE to our care homes. As expected, the supply is starting to die down from it’s initial rush. We will keep sourcing wherever we can. Please do get in touch at alex@alexsobel.co.uk if you have any suggestions regarding PPE production.

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