Moving forward together in these difficult times

The last couple of months have been an unprecedented time for everyone, and I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for all the sacrifices you have made. I know that it has been a difficult time and that you will have been missing friends and family, your hobbies and interests, your favourite shop or place to eat, and cancelling holidays or activities that you were looking forward to.

Thanks to the hard work of the NHS and the many keyworkers, we have made great progress. Each death from Covid-19 is of course a tragedy, but the fact that death rates and new cases are continuing to fall is welcome news.

I am pleased that we have been able to move to Phase 2 of lifting the lockdown restrictions this week, with a gradual return to school for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, as well as the re-opening of non-essential shops that have been closed since March. I know that many teachers and retail staff have been working hard to put social distancing measures in place to re-open, and I want to thank them for their efforts.

Due to the progress we have made, we are now able to meet in groups of six in in a park or private garden, provided social distancing is maintained. The NHS Test & Trace Programme is up-and-running, helping to identify cases and ensure people they’ve been in contact with can self-isolate. For all the latest information on what can now be done in Phase 2, further information can be found here: www.gov.uk

Over the past two months I have been continuing my work as your MP, and my office has been busy helping local residents, businesses and organisations who have been facing difficulties. I have been holding meetings and surgeries over the phone, and recently I have also begun to post local job vacancies and training opportunities on my Facebook page, as I known many people are facing difficulties as a result of this crisis. If you have any concerns that you would like me to address, please do send me an email to: james.morris.mp@parliament.uk

Thank you again for all your efforts and sacrifices to help turn the tide on Covid-19, that have helped us to avoid the pressure on our healthcare system that some other countries have sadly experienced. Provided we move forward carefully in gradual steps, we can begin to return to normal life as far as possible. I believe that despite the difficulties, our community has shown great strength and resilience and I am sure it will continue to do so.

This article first appeared in the Halesowen & Dudley News on 4th June 2020