July 2020: Coronavirus Progress Update

Government:

Protecting Jobs: Fareham has received unprecedented economic support to protect jobs and businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak. 11,500  jobs have been protected through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, with Government grants covering 80 per cent of people’s wages, up to £2,500 a month.  3,400 self-employed people in Fareham are receiving grants worth a total of £10,900,000  from the Government to help with the impact of Coronavirus.

Pubs Opening: From Saturday 4 July pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines. Additionally, two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures and people can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites. Some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen in order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.

Tackling Rough Sleeping: The Government has announced an additional £105 million to continue the support for rough sleepers and those housed in emergency accommodation during the pandemic – taking total spending on rough sleeping and homelessness this year to over half a billion pounds. Since the start of the pandemic, 15,000 vulnerable people have been taken off the streets and prevented from becoming homeless, which has been a vital step to ensure their safety and has changed the lives of thousands for the better.

The Government will keep all measures under constant review and will not hesitate to apply the handbrake, or reverse measures, should the virus begin to run out of control. While the infection rate continues to fall, the Prime Minister has been clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control.

Westminster and Constituency Offices:

During this time of crisis it is of the utmost importance that we all do our bit to help and support our local community. That is why my team and I have been incredibly busy working to assist thousands of residents in Fareham: 

  • Overseas Travel -  I have helped to secure visa extensions for a number of constituents and I have successfully lobbied Royal Caribbean to safely secure the return of a Fareham resident. Similarly I was pleased to help ensure refunds for several in the community whose holidays had been cancelled due to the virus.
  • Mental Health - Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. That is why this month I was pleased to publish my mental health guide. It includes detailed research and information on how to look after yourself in this troubling time, as well as my 6 point programme to mental well-being in the home. You can find the guide on my Facebook page.
  • Portchester Community Hub -I would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to Cheryl and Ady at Portchester Community Hub for the simply astounding effort to support elderly and vulnerable residents. With over 1600 hot meals cooked by Ady (from scratch) and delivered door to door, plus over 600 prescriptions collected for local residents during the pandemic, their team has led by example and made a massive difference to our community. It was great to catch up with Cheryl the other day and thank her personally for her team’s formidable work. If you would like to volunteer or support Cheryl and her team, call 023 9221 0048 or check out www.portchesterca.org.uk/the-hub/
  • One Community: It was also great to speak to the brilliant Hayley Hamlett from One Community recently about the excellent work by volunteers in Fareham. If you would like to join her team of volunteers and support those in our community through helping, email Hayley at HHamlett@1community.org.uk.
  • Here For You - In this difficult time I know that many people are anxious and in need of support. Whilst I have not been able to meet people, I've spoken to many residents via my monthly surgeries on the phone and my team, Bill, Katherine, Guy and Sarah have been working round the clock to support you. By way of estimate, we have responded to nearly 3500 enquiries since this pandemic started. 

Please do not hesitate to get in contact with myself or my office. Also please see my newly updated website for more information. We are here to help.