Rother Valley MP: Covid restrictions are frustrating but 'entirely necessary'

Rother Valley was faced with the difficult news this month that we were being moved into tier two restrictions, followed swiftly by tier three, due to the rocketing number of coronavirus cases in our area.

By Alexander Stafford
Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 8:00 am

This is, of course, a frustrating development which no-one will welcome.

However, it is entirely necessary in order to protect the most vulnerable in our community and to stop the spread of this terrible virus.

It is difficult to re-enter a period of stricter measures after the relative freedom of the summer months.

Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley. Photo: London Portrait Photographer-DAV

Winter presents a greater challenge, though, as it provides conditions in which a cold or flu thrives.

This places great strain on our NHS and risks it being overwhelmed.

If we obey the Government advice to the letter, we shall get through this quickly and minimise the impact of coronavirus on Rother Valley.

I understand that sacrifices need to be made, personally and professionally.

I am particularly concerned by my constituents’ mental health as we enter a winter lockdown and on October 21, I asked the minister of health a question concerning this during his Commons statement on the South Yorkshire restrictions.

He reassured me that additional investment has gone into the NHS for mental health and that our local NHS is working very hard to ensure that the package is in place.

Accordingly, I urge my constituents to make full use of the NHS for mental health related issues.

Please do speak to family and friends, virtually where necessary, and take ‘self-care’ time to look after yourself and do things you enjoy, be that exercise or reading a book.

My other priority is safeguarding the livelihoods of as many workers and business owners in Rother Valley as possible.

With this in mind, I have worked alongside Government ministers and local politicians to secure a £41 million support package from the Government.

This funding is a huge boost to our region and is absolutely crucial in the fight against coronavirus.

It includes £30 million of support for businesses and employees affected, with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) in charge of distributing the funds.

There is an online form, administered by RMBC, which is available now, which will allow people to apply for funds.

Please do make the most of this assistance and contact RMBC with queries about the scheme.

I ask that you look after your mental health, take care of each other and yourselves, and access any support for which you are eligible.

Blue skies lie ahead, in the meantime, as always, I am on hand to help.

Alexander Stafford is MP for Rother Valley.