Thank you for reading today’s update. The death rate is sadly rising and cases continue to grow in the United Kingdom and across the globe. There is, however, room for optimism and there are early indications that the social distancing measures are working. The financial times has produced useful graphs which detail the picture in the UK and in other countries.
I have had contact with several constituents asking about exercise, some people feel like they cannot exercise from home due to living on a main road with little pavement or in a very built up urban area. The guidance is that you should not need to drive to exercise and the closure of the car parks are in reference to that. That said, I cannot see anything unreasonable about driving a short distance if you have to do so due to your individual circumstances. I think the point is to use common sense, adhere to the spirit of the rules rather than work to a technocratic solution. As I said yesterday, West Yorkshire Police is working much more on education and on being reasonable with the public rather than on being reactive and punitive. If we all take the guidance seriously and act appropriately we will have no need for enforcement. The government has, however, promoted the continued use of allotments thus far on the basis that these are not places that provide for mass gatherings (like parks) and are not usually located directly next to the owners residence.
Appeal for emergency food provision: This is an appeal to meet the ever increasing demand whilst some many people are struggling during this crisis. Fareshare have now set up a focused campaign to allow individuals and companies to donate key items or money to enable further food purchases. Details of the campaign can be found here, with a direct email for anyone who wants to make offers of products or money firstname.lastname@example.org
Please continue to give generously to Leeds North and West Foodbank who are raising money to be able to provide the best possible provision to our area at this difficult time. Please donate here
I would like to promote an important project designed to help track the spread of coronavirus. You can download the King’s College London COVID app to report daily how you’re feeling, whether you’re unwell or currently fit. https://covid.joinzoe.com/ This will allow scientists to better understands the trends in particular locations and provide vital information to everyone charged with managing the crisis.
GP practices are taking measures to protect patients and their staff. This includes changes to the way appointments are booked, reducing face to face appointments and increasing telephone consultations. GP practices will contact patients if you have a pre-booked appointment to confirm arrangements.
If anyone thinks they may have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) please do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. There’s more information about what you need to do when you Stay at home .
If you cannot cope with your symptoms, your condition worsens or your symptoms do not get better after seven days then you should use the NHS111 online service NHS111. Alternatively you can call 111 if you need to speak to someone.
Small business rate relief
Properties in Leeds who currently receive Small Business Rate Relief (all properties with a rateable value of up to £15,000) will be eligible for a £10,000 grant. Businesses do not need to apply for grants; if they are eligible the Council will contact them in early April when funding becomes available. If businesses would prefer to receive the payment via BACS payment rather than a cheque, they can provide their bank details through the Small Business Grant payments form via this link: https://forms.leeds.gov.uk/SmallBusinessGrants/
Businesses who need further help or assistance can contact my office on email@example.com and we will do our best to signpost you to the services that can help.
Thank you for reading. Stay safe and stay at home.