The COVID-19 pandemic has brought together all levels of government and the local community to support local people.
Central government has put in a huge number of measures to support jobs. In our Hitchin & Harpenden constituency 11,700 jobs were protected under the furlough scheme; businesses received £19m in business grants and £52m in bounce back loans; self-employed people received £12m in support. Local MP Bim Afolami worked with ministers on the creation of a discretionary grant scheme. This enabled the District Council to provide a further £1.3m in local grants to businesses.
The County Council has been responsible for co-ordinating the local response to COVID-19. They have helped manage contact tracing and supported NHS partners to deliver testing. They have also delivered thousands of meals for vulnerable residents across the county.
In Wheathampstead, the Parish Council facilitated the ‘Support for All’ project. “This has been a very important service for many people in the village,” said Councillor Gill Clark. “It’s been wonderful to see so many community groups and organisations coming together to provide local people with the help they need in very difficult times.”
Your team of Conservative Councillors unanimously supported this initiative, with County Cllr Annie Brewster allocating £2,000 of her Locality Budget towards it. We observed first hand, and very much appreciate, the many offers of help and kindness demonstrated during ‘lockdown’. We are very proud of what everyone achieved.
The project has a dedicated phone line and people contacting it will be put in touch with a named and trustworthy volunteer. If you need help please don’t hesitate to contact them. If you would like to volunteer then please telephone 07539 176481.