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Coronavirus update: Wednesday 15th April

PPE

Yesterday, I delivered 40 pieces of locally produced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to Wheatfield’s Hospice. The visors were provided not by the Government but by a local party member who has been working in his workshop, trying to supply where he can. There are many people, trying where they can to fill the void left by the government, providing protection to those in our hospice and care sector as well as GPs and the wider NHS.

It is completely embarrassing that it is down to individuals and small charities like Otley Maker Space to provide potentially lifesaving equipment to the care sector. The Government must make this a national priority and do whatever it takes to repurpose our manufacturing and supply every essential worker.

Not a single care provider that I have spoken to have acquired PPE from the official lines and those that have been successful in finding some have had to spend hours sourcing it from anywhere and everywhere.

I will keep doing what I can to help provide and make as much noise as possible before it is too late.

I spoke about this yesterday on BBC radio Leeds. You can hear that here:https://alexsobel.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Alex-Wheatfields-interview-MP3.mp3

Volunteering

A temporary close on recruiting volunteers has been put in place after almost 8000 people have put themselves forward. Local neighbourhood networks are deploying volunteers as needed but at this moment in time the need is not as great as the volunteers that are currently in place. I am in regular contact with teams in Leeds North West who are doing a marvellous job helping people in our wards.

The British Museum

I’d like to share some resources with you from the British Museum. For parents who find themselves home schooling there are some fantastic online resources for teaching. For everyone else, there is the opportunity to explore the British Museum virtually from home. See links below

I have explored many of these links already and look forward to doing some of the educational activities with my children. I look forward to continuing to work with the British Museum in my new role as Shadow Minister for Tourism and Heritage.

Exams: Survey on predicted grades

This is in light of the exam cancellations due to coronavirus, the government’s have decided to predict all grades.

The Equalities Review are conducting research on this topic and asking students and parents for their thoughts. In less than 24 hours of setting up the study, they have had more than 140 survey responses, and results demonstrate a severe concern about grades being predicted. They have asked that I share the survey amongst my constituents so that parents and young people can report their concerns should they be worried about grade predictions. Here is the survey link.

West Yorkshire Police

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus page on our website which contains support information, volunteering opportunities, links to further help and support and much more. You can view it here

Police are still warning about scammers at this time. Please be extra cautious and see this article.

In West Yorkshire trials have now been paused to protect the health of those involved. Although Courts in Leeds remain open, the hearings taking place are urgent priority cases, and only professional witnesses such as police officers and solicitors are involved. They are dialling-in to provide their evidence by telephone at this stage.

However, work is underway to introduce and explore more Video Enabled Justice, which will allow all those involved in a case, including Victims and Witnesses, to provide their testimony remotely.

Suspects being held at police stations whilst investigations are ongoing, are being provided with telephone access to their legal representatives, which complies with legislation. Other visitors to Police Custody areas such as appropriate adults and interpreters, are subject to a triage process which will minimise risk and ensure that such visits are only made in person when there are no other options available, and it is safe to do so. None of these measures should interfere with a suspects rights, as stipulated in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).

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