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27th Nov, 2021

Robin Walker's Westminster Diary

Worcester Editorial 10th Apr, 2020

WE live in extraordinary times and the message from the Queen – only the fourth special broadcast to the nation in her long reign – encapsulated how serious and unprecedented the challenge currently facing the country is.

As residents in her faithful city struggle with the challenge of the lockdown and with the economic, social and medical challenges with which we are suddenly confronted, the Queen spoke out in her usual calm and reassuring way to remind us of the benefits of working together, of the strength and determination of the people of this land and of the extraordinary courage and sacrifices of those at the NHS front line.

I have no doubt people in Worcester will rise to the challenge.

When we do, we can be confident that, as she has said, better days lie ahead.

I have been dividing my time between taking up constituents’ concerns and enquiries in my role as their local MP, and Government work in my ministerial capacity.

I’ve been attending regular COBRA conference calls as the response nationally is coordinated across health, public services, the international effort and the economy.

Massive interventions such as the job retention scheme, supporting millions of people’s incomes through the crisis, the business interruption loan scheme, providing hundreds of billions of interest free debt to keep businesses going and the scaling up of tests to 100,000 per day require careful planning and coordination across government.

I was also pleased to see another huge announcement of help for the self-employed which will benefit thousands of constituents in Worcester, but I will keep taking up the cases of those who feel they have not yet had the support they need.

I know a number of constituents have been concerned about the disruption to bin collections that took place last week and I am glad the city council, working with neighbouring authorities has now been able to put this right.

When people flock to their doorsteps to clap for carers each week we are absolutely thanking those on the NHS front line but also the millions who stand behind them.

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