Richard Holden MP has raised the real concerns local people and local businesses across North West Durham have raised with him over the last few weeks regarding the recent coronavirus restrictions imposed by the Government to help prevent the further spread of the virus and save our NHS from being overwhelmed. You can see his questions in the House of Commons here.
Richard spoke up for local people on some key issues, notably:
1.) He asked for health experts supporting the public health effort to provide clarity for local people on the way out of local restrictions and how they would work in practice
2.) He asked for the statistics and evidence that will justify the restrictions in place, particularly evidence to justify the 10pm curfew rule, to be published
3.) He raised the issue of the speed of test results being returned. While the Government has done a really good job in increasing the number of tests from 2,000 a day to over 300,000 - with over 500,000 a day to be available by the end of the month, the turnaround time has been patchy
Furthermore, he raised the concern of many local businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, concerning their ability to survive without further financial assistance. In this he joined the call of neighbouring MP for Bishop Auckland, Dehenna Davison and many others.
Richard also raised the concerns of local people around why the measures were coming 'en bloc' for council areas, rather than on a ward by ward basis.
Richard Holden MP, said:
"Public Health during the Coronavirus outbreak is naturally everyone's Number 1 priority but there needs to be confidence in the measures that local councils asked for and that the Government have put in place are clearly evidence based and justified so that the public have confidence in them.
"I am glad to have received assurances yesterday and today that more information will be put in the public domain in the near future and that every effort is being made to speed up testing and look forward to hearing more broadly from ministers in the next few days as to their approach to further support affected businesses after the very important and unprecedented schemes earlier in the year which saved so many jobs and businesses."