This is my fifth weekly message which, sadly, cannot be distributed as usual through the Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer which has had to suspend production for now. So, I am trying to distribute my message as widely as possible each week through Facebook and social media. I am particularly grateful to the Royal Mail who are maintaining a much needed service for us all.
Above all I want you to know that locally there are organisations and groups of people who are caring for everyone and are in a position to assist you if that would be helpful.
We are lucky that so many local heroes are doing their bit. Our Doctors, Nurses, Clinicians and staff at Good Hope, throughout local general practices and our care homes have responded superbly. That is not to say that there haven’t been serious problems particularly — with Personal Protective Equipment and with the whole issue of testing, which I together with other local MPs, your Town Council, our Reginal Mayor Andy Street and our Birmingham City Councillors have been working hard to resolve.
Throughout Sutton Coldfield I am deeply conscious that there are many people who are feeling the huge strain which this lockdown imposes. It’s a strain on our mental health and our liberty and many of my constituents are already suffering from cabin fever.
I hope we will hear from our Government before too long the way in which the lockdown will lift. I expect this to be gradual with schools and small businesses opening back up along with the ability to move around more easily subject to obeying, strictly, the social distancing advice.
I expect that the 1.5 million of our fellow citizens who are especially vulnerable to this dreadful disease will have to remain isolated for longer but there will be more we can all then do to look after them.
It is frustrating but necessary for us to await the scientific evidence before this lockdown can end. We have to be especially careful not to place health and care workers at all levels in additional danger by ending the lockdown too soon.
Our local police Chief Mat Shaer has confirmed that our open spaces and especially our park – a wonderful and valued local amenity - is being used responsibly by virtually everyone. Our hour of exercise each day (I walk the dog) is extremely important for our wellbeing and general health. Our Sutton representatives on Birmingham City Council led by Ewan Mackey, your Town Councillors under their leader Simon Ward, and our Mayor David Allan have been working hard with voluntary bodies throughout Sutton and especially with our local Church community and Sutton Coldfield charities which have responded magnificently.
I and my office staff are working to assist and if you feel I may be able to help with any issues, problems or worries, please do not hesitate to get in contact and I will do everything we can to assist you. Please email email@example.com with your full address and postcode.