From Mary Robinson MP <[email protected]>
Subject News from Mary Robinson MP
Date May 7, 2020 5:48 PM
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An e-newsletter from your MP, Mary Robinson.
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Welcome to my latest e-newsletter. Since I wrote to you last, we have seen lockdown extended, but talks beginning on what life will look like with some restrictions lifted. Here's my update on how we are tackling the virus, local information on health and support, some of my recent activities in Cheadle and in Parliament and VE Day celebrations.

A big congratulations to Boris and his partner Carrie, on the birth of their baby boy, Wilfred.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

I am pleased to see that our Prime Minister is back at the helm after recovering from COVID. He takes over from the strong team that were charge at the Cabinet who were taking unprecedented action to support our NHS workers and help the economy as we tackle this pandemic.

Coronavirus - which is the cause of 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.

With so much going on, it's important that even this weekend with the sun shining and it being bank holiday that we ensure that we do everything to stay safe.

VE day

Much is being done nationally and locally to mark the 75th anniversary of VE day. Tomorrow I'll be observing the Royal British Legion-led two minutes’ silence at 11am, joining my neighbours in standing on our doorsteps or in the window to mark the moment of remembrance.
In our local area, Stockport Museum services have prepared a short film of the Roll of Honour at the War Memorial Art Gallery so that people can make a virtual visit to pay their respect and remember the fallen during lockdown here ([link removed]) . In partnership with the Heritage Library Service, Stockport Museums will also be releasing a short slideshow of archive images highlighting how VE Day was celebrated in Stockport in 1945 and Stockport Air Raid Shelters have also launched a web version of their audio tour guide which you can listen to here ([link removed]) . The Heritage Library will be hosting ([link removed]) a VE Day quiz and providing a VE colouring sheet and a book list of VE related titles available via Borrowbox.

There are a host of wonderful resources that can be found here ([link removed]) , including arts and crafts to be displayed on your front windows. There will be special VE Day 75 broadcasts including extracts from Churchill’s famous victory speech and Her Majesty The Queen addressing the nation at 9pm. In the evening, there will also be a national singalong of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ by Dame Vera Lynn. Please do share your VE Day activities using the #VEDay75 hashtag!

Decision made on land owned by Seashell Trust
I am disappointed that the Planning Inspectorate recommended the planning permission and development on Green Belt to be approved by the Secretary of State. I support the Trust and its work, but Green Belt land brings clear benefits to our community and this building work threatens that. I remain committed to working with both Seashell Trust and local residents.

Protecting Green Belt land is an issue close to my heart. I have consistently advocated for protecting our Green Belt land, making statements on behalf of residents at the appeal last year, and meeting with the Trust to try and seek an alternative resolution. I will continue to advocate for the protection of Green Belt land – most importantly with the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework proposals that are ongoing. You can read my full response here ([link removed]) .

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Our highstreets
Despite lockdown, the Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee proceeded virtually. During this crisis, our local community shops have done a tremendous job in staying open and making sure our communities have the services that they need. The importance of local shops has been highlighted throughout this crisis. In the committee I stressed ([link removed]) the importance of regeneration, particularly in the light of the Towns Funding that has been allocated to Cheadle.

At the time of writing, more than 4,000 businesses had received the Small Business Grant Funding, which payments exceeding £50 million. I and my office have helped many small businesses apply for and receive support. The Bounceback Loan scheme has also been opened this week which is in addition to postponed business rates and loans. To find out what your business may be eligible for, please do visit this
link ([link removed]) . Stockport Council has also launched a business recovery website here ([link removed]) .

COVID-19 in our community
The impact of COVID-19 is not just about numbers - behind every number is a personal and their loved ones who have been impacted by this devastating virus.

At Stepping Hill Hospital, the number of COVID-19 cases has continued to plateau over the last week. A total of 225 patients who are recovering from the virus have been discharged, with 124 patients remaining in hospital with the virus. Bed occupancy is around 70%, one of the highest levels across Greater Manchester, but largely as a result of patients with non-COVID related illnesses seeking hospital care.
All care home residents are being tested before being discharged from hospital. A massive thank you to all the staff at Stepping Hill Hospital and care homes across our community in who are doing a fantastic job managing the crisis and caring for us.


Community radio
COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of our communities being connected, as well as loneliness and isolation which have been a real issue with the stay at home advice. For this reason, church and community leaders in Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme have been successful in obtaining a license to operate a community radio station, which I was pleased to be able to support. The aim is to connect those who are isolated, offer timely and up to date information and provide advice and practical support via partner organisations. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved.

Community group fund
I welcomed the announcement from Stockport Council that there is now a fund for community projects/groups, with Community Groups able to apply for £1000 grants. My team and I have already supported groups in accessing this funding and I am very pleased to see it being put to good use by community projects. For more information, please visit Stockport Council's website here ([link removed]) .

High Street and Community Heroes
One positive thing that has come out of the crisis has been the community work that has taken place. Many of our local businesses have risen to the occasion, facilitating deliveries to our most vulnerable neighbours. Every week I have been highlighting a High Street Hero or Community Hero - if there is an organisation or someone you would like to share a story about, please do contact me as I have loved hearing about the many examples of good deeds.

Let's keep going!

Parliament has gone digital, and I am pleased to be continuing my work on the parliamentary committees amongst other 'virtual' engagements and online parliamentary votes. Although I am not out and about as usual, I continue to assist many constituents with queries and cases that have arisen. I have been working closely with Greater Manchester MPs and raising issues with the Mayor such as PPE getting to the front line. I have also been regularly liaising on issues with ministers and making urgent representations when needed.

I was happy to see a massive increase in testing, which has been extended to those over 60 with symptoms and those who are going to work as working from home arrangements are not possible, and a track and trace app being piloted in the Isle of White Testing. Testing, tracking and tracing the virus is key in the fight against this and it is good to see that this is a priority for Government.

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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