From Caroline Lucas <[email protected]>
Subject Latest Newsletter
Date May 5, 2020 10:08 AM
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Green Party mailing

I was struck by a warning given by scientists from the IPBES [1] (an
international group of scientists looking at biodiversity loss) about the
"perfect storm" which we have created for emerging pandemics because of the
way our economies are pushing the natural world beyond its limits.
Deforestation, the relentless expansion of intensive farming, mining and
infrastructure, and the exploitation of wild species are all making the
spill-over of diseases from wildlife to people much more likely.

We are completely dependent on the natural world for our survival and it is
vital that it is not sacrificed further in the pursuit of a quick economic
rebound following the lockdown. I was joined by 25 other MPs, from most
parties, in writing to the Chancellor urging him to put the protection and
recovery of nature at the heart of decision-making over the rebuilding of
our economy if we are the avoid increasing the risk of future pandemics.
You can read the letter on my website here [2]. It was also reported in the
Guardian. [3]

This was also the theme of my regular column in the Metro. [4]


I am still deeply worried about the Government's failure to ensure adequate
supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for care homes in Brighton
& Hove. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that
more people are dying in care homes in the city than in hospital. Care home
staff are not being properly protected from coronavirus, and the company
which is supposed to deliver PPE supplies - Clipper Logistics - is failing
to do so. I tabled a parliamentary question [5] asking ministers why
Clipper Logistics had not delivered PPE supplies in the Brighton & Hove
area, when they would arrive and why Clipper was chosen to make the
deliveries. It is worrying that the Department of Health and Social Care
hasn't so far provided a clear answer.

Together with other Sussex MPs, I stay in regular touch with the head of
the Clinical Commissioning Group for our area, Adam Doyle, to hear about
local healthcare capacity and priorities. He said that an action plan is
under discussion with adult social care leaders, and I will be pressing for
more details about this. I have also raised the issue of PPE supplies with
the Council who run some of the care homes in the city.


I also raised the disbursenment of business support grants with the Council
which has been much slower than other local authorities in paying out
grants. While the Council did acknowledge that there were some concerns at
the outset, it said these delays were being addressed. I continue to stress
to council leaders that many local businesses are on the verge of collapse
and that the processing of the grants should be tackled as an immediate and
pressing priority.


Tourism and the hospitality industry are critical to our local economy,
supporting around 21, 000 jobs. The industry has been shut down by the
necessary social distancing measures announced by the Government. It's so
distressing to see so many shuttered pubs, many of which may never re-open
if they can't access the grans set aside for small businesses.

The hospitality industry will not fully recover by itself - there needs to
be positive support from the Chancellor. I tabled two Early Day Motions in
Parliament calling for VAT on tourism [6] to be cut to 5% to cut prices,
encourage visitors, and allow businesses to increase investment in these
areas; and for a lifting of the £51,000 threshold for SMEs [7] being
eligible for the fund set up to support small businesses as it excludes so
many individually-run pubs. I spoke to the breakfast show on BBC Radio Kent
about this.


Lots of us have been joining in the #ClapforCarers on Thursday evenings. I
wanted to say thank you too to our hardworking postal staff who've proved
over the last few weeks just how much we rely on them.


Even though the Government has a range of measures to support the
self-employed, there are too many people who are falling through the cracks
and have been left with no income at all. Those who are self-employed but
paid via dividends, or also have a part-time job, or haven't been
self-employed full-time for 3 years, are all being denied support. I tabled
an EDM [8] asking the Government to review the conditions for access to the
SEISS scheme so that it properly reflects the reality of self-employed


The lockdown has seen a sharp increase in the number of calls to the
national domestic abuse helpline and reports of a rise in domestic abuse
killings. For too many people, home is not a safe place to be in lockdown.
I had a meeting (via video link) about the situation with RISE, our
fantastic local refuge in Brighton, and learned more about what they are
doing to support people during this crisis.


As we enter the seventh week of lockdown, there are reports that the
Government will be unveiling its plans for a lifting of restrictions next
weekend. I remain concerned that we need far greater investment in local
track, test and isolate measures before starting to lift the lockdown. But
when the time does come to ease restrictions, we cannot go back to
business-as-before, which was intolerable for so many and steadily
destroying our planet. So I'm setting out a series of steps
(#GreenStepsToBetter) which we should take towards a better, fairer, green
future. Please look out for them on social media over the next couple of
weeks and on my website [9].

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Contacting Me

If you are a local resident and need help with case work or to find out more about my activities locally please do contact me at the office of: Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Media Centre 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL.
Tel: 01273 201 130. Email: [email protected]

I hold regular surgeries across the constituency. If you would like to book an appointment at a forthcoming surgery please call Liz Collis on 01273 201130.
She coordinates my constituency office and is able to help with most local enquiries.

If you would like to know about my parliamentary work please get in touch at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Tel: 020 7219 7025. Email: [email protected]

You can also keep up to date with my news on:

Twitter: @carolinelucas

Facebook: /

My Website:

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