I don’t need to tell you all that we are living through an emergency the like of which many of us have never witnessed before.
Making sure no one is abandoned.
The crisis is terrible but the response from many communities and individuals rising to the challenge and supporting those most vulnerable is inspiring. So, I would ask all members to help me publicise the support that is available.
Wirral Borough Council’s help line on 0151 666 5050 can be a lifeline for those who face problems. The on line support website is at www.wirralinfobank.co.uk. Through both the above channels you can find ways of getting support for a range of issues and signposting to other avenues you may need to follow for issues the Council or Community organisations are unable to deal with.
Crucially for many facing food poverty you can also apply for help with food supplies. Feeding Birkenhead – Supporting Wirral, Wirral Foodbank and other community food providers, are coordinating efforts and centralising their bulk food collection and distribution operations at a new Emergency Food Hub, managed by Wirral Council. Details are also available at https://www.wirral.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/coronavirus-updates/emergency-food
You can also access help with free school dinners for eligible children including through the Easter holidays.
Businesses and community organisations: call 0151 650 6982 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org for support from Wirral Chamber of
Up to date health advice on the virus can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
It is so important that people follow medical advice in the current emergency. Please be wary of sharing medication with people or giving them medicines that you may think will help. Doing this without medical advice could actually put people at more risk even though you think you are doing the right thing.
Our constituents face a range of different needs. Please direct as many people as you can to the above sources of support so that we, as a Party, ensure that through this terrible time no one feels abandoned.
What else am I doing?
As you know my office and team are both up and running. Because of the crisis they are all set up to work from home so unfortunately there are no visits to the office and no surgeries until this crisis is over.
However we have all the equipment and resources we need to continue providing a full service to all of our constituents who have issues, problems and questions. So please direct people to us and we will do our best to help.
Ring 0151 650 5494
In terms of my priorities I want you to know that in conjunction with other Wirral MPs I am pushing hard on:
- The need to get the right PPE in the right amounts to the NHS workers, the entire care sector and to the often overlooked shop and public transport workers who are being exposed to risk.
- The need to massively expand the testing programme especially given the reports coming in from leading doctors about the way in which the government have mishandled the situation. Testing is vital to stopping the spread and Labour is taking a lead on this.
- The importance of all employers who are maintaining their businesses to ensure that safe distancing and all other public health guidelines are followed so that those who cannot work from home are not exposed to risk.
- Campaigning for the big employers who furlough their workers to make up the full wage by paying the 20% and all contributions, for example to pensions, during this crisis. Why should companies with huge profits and reserves take a “wages holiday”? They should help their loyal and hard working staff get through this crisis without undue detriment.
- Working to ensure that all the homeless people are provided with decent accommodation without delay.
- Supporting initiatives to help key workers get to work – there should be free parking across the borough, especially in the light of the reductions in travel services – including asking employers to cover taxi fares where necessary under company expenses schemes.
- Naming and shaming the big companies who are doing their best to make things worse for people. In our constituency Stena Lines have ditched a sick pay scheme and withdrawn an agreed pay increase. How does this help anyone in an industry vital to getting freight to and from Northern Ireland? See my tweet at:
Campaigning has been suspended. But I am asking all of you to get this message out to people. We want everyone to stay safe so please follow public health guidelines, but use as many safe ways of sharing this bulletin so that the people of Birkenhead know we are here for them
Mick Whitley MP