From Mary Robinson MP <[email protected]>
Subject News from Mary Robinson MP
Date April 9, 2020 4:45 PM
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An e-newsletter from your MP, Mary Robinson.
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A very Happy Easter, Chag Pesach kasher vesame'ach to all observing Passover, and welcome to my latest e-newsletter. It has been a momentous couple of months on both the political scene and with coronavirus. Here's my update on how we are tackling coronavirus, some health information, and some of my recent activities in Cheadle and in Parliament.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Like the rest of the nation, I have been concerned by the global spread of coronavirus in the last couple of months. However, the Government have taken unprecedented action to support our NHS workers and help the economy as we tackle this pandemic.

Coronavirus - which causes COVID-19 - appeared late-2019 and has rapidly spread to most countries. Common signs of infection include fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome. Those who are over 70, pregnant, or have underlying health issues are more at risk.

Our Prime Minister's admittance to hospital in the last week shows that this virus can strike anybody. My thoughts and prayers are with Boris and his family at this really difficult time. Whilst he recovers, we have a strong team in charge in the Cabinet.

The strategy currently focuses on 'flattening the curve' - delaying the peak of the pandemic to assist our NHS. Right now, we must continue to shield the most vulnerable in the community. So please: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

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Bringing home constituents stranded abroad

My team and I have been working hard to bring home people stranded abroad in places such as Morocco, Corsica, Peru, Australia and Cambodia, as well as several cruises. So far we have successfully assisted nine constituents in coming home.

I questioned directly the Foreign Secretary in Parliament on how the Government are helping with the repatriation effort and bringing our citizens home. I am in regular contact with constituents who are currently stranded in Asia, Australia and New Zealand and I am in the process of coordinating with the FCO to bring them home. If you have a family member or friend who is currently abroad and attempting to travel home to Cheadle then please contact my office at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) and I will take up your case with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Extra support for Stepping Hill Hospital

I welcomed the Governments's announcement this week that they are supporting hospitals across the country by writing off any deficits they hold, allowing them to focus on the fight against COVID-19. This is really important for hospital trusts like ours who have found themselves with a deficit of £46 million. Stepping Hill Hospital will have historic finance that was drawn down to cover day-to-day financial gaps or to fund urgent infrastructure investment written off - which will make a huge difference.


Our fantastic local volunteers

I have been inspired by how the community has come together to support our most vulnerable neighbours during these challenging times. Many 'mutual aid' and volunteering groups have been set up in the constituency, including Bramhall Helping Hands, Cheadle Hulme Helping Hands and Gatley Community Help Group. I have also been in contact with the Local Resilience Forum (the body coordinating the work of different groups to help in the response to coronavirus) to raise issues and help deliver Greater Manchester's response to COVID-19.

Clap for our carers and key workers

Our NHS workers at Wythenshawe and Stepping Hill having been doing the most fantastic job during an incredibly challenging time. I join others to show my appreciation in the #clapforourcarers round of applause every Thursday at 8pm and am so pleased to hear all my neighbours showing their support to our vital NHS staff too.


Cheadle Station Railway back on track

After having secured a Towns Fund Deal for Cheadle I have been lobbying the Government for Cheadle Station to be reopened, which has included a meeting with the Rail Minister (pictured). Up to £25 million will be awarded towards the scheme development and I have been working with local voluntary groups, Stockport Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, to make the project a reality.

Looking forward to the return of our markets
As a result of COVID-19, fantastic community events like the Cheadle Makers Market and Worker Bee markets have sadly been postponed. I enjoyed meeting with many of the vendors earlier last month and stopping for some delicious lemon drizzle cake (pictured) and chocolates at Henshaw's (pictured in my banner). I am really looking forward to visiting and supporting them again when the current restrictions are relaxed. In the meantime, the Makers Market has enabled online ordering here ([link removed]) .


Coronavirus - Last Week, This Week and Next...

I look forward to once again working with the Communities Select Committee onto which I was reelected and the All-Party Groups which I am a member of, once this crisis is over. I was pleased to have been made chair of the All-Party Group for Whistleblowing when the group was reconstituted, which will be doing some really important work over the next year.

Much has happened since the December election where I was reelected to represent you in Cheadle, it feels almost a lifetime ago as we focus on getting the country through this pandemic.

I was sure that the major story would be Brexit this Spring but coronavirus has overshadowed all other news. However, I am pleased to see how quickly the Government has responded to this crisis, with unprecedented economic packages put in place by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, guaranteeing 80% of wages paid to those furloughed from employment and those who are self employed. By the 8th of April, the UK Government have already supported nearly 2,000 businesses with £23.5 million of grants in our area and continue to support businesses to get the financial support they need. We have also brought in strong protections for mortgage owners and renters and much, much more.

Recognising the wonderful work of hospices

Additionally, I was very happy to see the Government commit £200 million in grants for the support of hospices. Wonderful hospices like our own St Ann's Hospice in Heald Green, do fantastic work in supporting and caring for families when their loved ones are terminally ill. The Hospice relies heavily on donations and many fundraising events will unfortunately have to be postponed such as their annual flagship fundraising event, the Manchester Midnight Walk. This is always well attended and 2020 would have marked its fourteenth year. We look forward to being able to support them again in their future fundraising efforts.

My team and I have been very busy working and supporting local businesses, vulnerable constituents and answering hundreds of queries that have arisen. I have been coordinating with Greater Manchester MPs and the Local Resilience Forum on issues including hospital capacity and PPE getting to the front line and making urgent representations to the Government when needed.

My office remains open (but with staff working from home) and we are ready to assist with any problems and queries in these unprecedented times. I am regularly updating on the fast moving events on social media, as well as providing guidance on my website.


My Views

In addition to regular casework correspondence, I receive a number of campaign emails and postcards each month regarding various topics. While I always prefer to get back to people directly in the first instance, each month I publish these views on my website. You can read these here ([link removed]) .

I hold regular surgeries both at my office in Cheadle Hulme and around the constituency. These are currently suspended in the light of the stay at home advice. However, my team and I will be assisting on all enquiries so pleased do continue to get in touch with us.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest e-newsletter. As ever, if there are any issues you'd like to raise with me then please do get in touch.

Best Wishes,

Mary Robinson MP
Member of Parliament for Cheadle

Constituency Office:
8A Station Rd | Cheadle Hulme | SK8 5AE
0161 672 6855
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Mary Robinson MP . 8A Station Road . Cheadle Hulme . Stockport, SK8 5AE . United Kingdom
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