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Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats

Local and regional news

  • Coronovirus Update Spelthorne Liberal Democrats (Image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay)
    Article: Mar 26, 2020

    Protect our NHS and Social Care staff and back the self employed Now..

    Since the end of December 2019 we have seen the Coronavirus spread from the far east to Europe and the US with devastating speed. World news and social media has tracked the virus, country by country as this disease defies borders, barriers and lock-downs and leaves families bereaved and in fear. This virus, for which we have no immediate solution barring isolation and medical care has brought large sections of the world to a standstill within the short space of 10-12 weeks. For the most part, nations have correctly turned to their scientists, researchers and clinicians to not only expedite a vaccine but to model effective responses to protect the lives of their citizens from what is a now the greatest health challenge we have faced for a century.

  • CC BY-SA 3.0-carnation.JPG * Created: 10 May 2009 (* CC BY-SA 3.0)
    Article: Mar 21, 2020

    "Not all of us can do Great Things

    But we can do small things with Great Love"

    Mother Teresa

    Happy Mother's Day 2020

    From East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

    END

  • Empty Supermarket shelves Australia Christopher Corneschi (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en Kjerish)
    Article: Mar 20, 2020

    Vulnerable people and key workers struggle to do their shopping and local Foodbanks call for more donations as supermarkets say there is sufficient food but shelves continue to empty as the 'have-nots' find that we are 'not all in this together'.

    Repeated claims on QT by the Health Minister, Matt Hancock that he was negotiating with the supermarkets weeks ago, a claim denied by some supermarkets is beginning to look decidedly hollow as reports come in that health workers finishing their shifts find empty shelves and Foodbanks including our local ones in East Suffolk are under pressure to source food.

    The Government claims to be following the science and the letter from food policy academics and addressed to the PM today underlines the need to protect the vulnerable and people on low incomes and initiate a health based food rationing programme.

    The letter is reproduced below and includes the five recommendations.

    page1image2775962928

    From:School of Health Sciences

    Tim Lang, PhD, FFPH, FRSA, Hon DSc Professor of Food Policy Centre for Food Policy Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB, UK Direct tel: + 44-(0)20-7040-8798 Mb: 07812-570579 e-mail: t.lang@city.ac.uk

    Rt Hon Boris Johnson, MP Prime Minister
    10 Downing Street London SW1 2AA

    March 20 2020

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Re food planning in crisis

    We write as academics with experience in food policy matters, and out of immediate concern about the emerging food crisis unfolding in response to the coronavirus covid-19 outbreak. Our concerns include:

    Public messaging about food supply is weak and unconvincing. The supermarkets are already subject to unprecedented purchasing stress. Yet people have been stocking up, not least out of concern that, if someone in their household falls ill, they will be unable to obtain more supplies. The supermarkets have responded by rationing some foodstuffs and grocery products. That problem could have been avoided by more consumer-friendly messaging. There is already a dangerous tendency to blame consumer behaviour not shape it. Nudge thinking is no longer sufficient. Consumers have repeatedly been told to look after themselves, so cannot be blamed for acting within their viable realm of influence. It might be regrettable, but stockpiling or uncivil behaviour in stores are signs that appeals to restraint or repetition of the 'We are in it together' message are wearing thin when it comes to food supply.

    Official thinking and consultation on food has so far been dominated by an industry focus. The civil society and local authority roles also urgently demand clearer public focus. The Coronavirus Bill has just four pages out of 329 on food, and empowers authorities to obtain information about potential disruptions to food supply, but no powers to resolve those disruptions. We note that last night food work was included under key worker status. Schools needed that guidance,but food crises also require leadership and action from local authorities and the Resilience Forums. Those local bodies have been weakened and dangerously under-resourced. We appreciate (and welcomed) that Defra has at last broadened consultation with the food industry itself beyond the 4 large organisations (NFU, FDF, BRC and UK Hospitality), but it has just focussed on supplies, but has not included consumer or public health representatives.

    Prioritising people on low incomes. People on low incomes are particularly anxious about how they will feed themselves during this crisis. Food banks are closing, and those remaining open have supply shortages yet rocketing demands. Some very hungry people are being 'gate-kept' out of food banks because systems for allocating vouchers are failing. Food banks do not and cannot resolve structural inequalities, income deficits, or lack of access. The current crisis is in danger of aggravating existing problems. More than 8.4 million people in the UK are food-insecure, by the UN'scriterion. Diet is a key factor in lowering life-expectancy for the poorest people and weakening their immune systems. The current crisis risks exacerbating diet-related inequalities, which could have long-term adverse consequences. This is a time when market mechanisms are insufficient. Supermarkets cannot be expected to ration for health or filter food purchasing according to need, yet need and equity ought to be paramount. If the 'we are all in it together' principle reigns, then now is the time for health to shape access to food.

    We therefore call on the Government to:

    (1) initiate a health-based food rationing scheme to see the country through this crisis. This should start from Public Health England's Eatwell Plate, our official nutrition guidelines, and draw on expertise from the devolved administrations, and relevant disciplines.

    (2) Rapidly review options for ensuring people on low incomes have sufficient money to buy a decent diet. Maintenance of incomes is already being discussed by the Chancellor for those being laid off, but cash injections for people in receipt of welfare benefit (including Universal Credit) is also needed. Only a cash injection will enable people on low income to purchase food for their health and well-being and to avert hunger. Another possibility is to have a national voucher scheme redeemable for nutritionally sound purchases such as fruit and vegetables.

    (3) Ensure that nutritionally appropriate food can and will be delivered to all those who self-isolate or are quarantined.

    (4) Announce immediately that this new Food Rationing Scheme will be open, equitable and based on health needs, taking account of age, income, and vulnerability, and that this will be applied UK-wide.

    (5) Amend the Agriculture Bill, currently before Parliament, to include a new clause to ensure that the people of the United Kingdom will be fed well, healthily, equitably and sustainably.

    Yours faithfully,TIM LANG
    Prof of Food Policy Centre for Food Policy City, University of London

    pp Erik Millstone & Emeritus Prof of Science PolicySPRU
    University of Sussex
    Terry Marsden
    Professor and Director Sustainable Places Research Inst Cardiff University

    DONATIONS OF FOOD URGENTLY REQUIRED

    Our local foodbanks are experiencing a shortage of food.

    This includes the Lowestoft Trussell Trust Foodbank which extends down from Lowestoft to the Saxmundham/Leiston/Aldeburgh/Wickham Mkt areas.

    Donate at your local East Suffolk supermarkets at Waitrose/Coops and Tesco.

    The Salvation Army scheme covers Woodbridge

    The Waveney Foodbank covers Framlingham, Halesworth, Bungay and Beccles

    END

  • NHS Coronavirus information
    Article: Mar 18, 2020

    Stay at home advice- Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    How long to stay at home if you have symptoms?

    Anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days.

    If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.

    After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

    But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days.

    Information:

    If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

    If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

    If you still have symptoms after 7 days

    After 7 days, if you no longer have a high temperature you can return to your normal routine.

    If you still have a high temperature, stay at home until your temperature returns to normal.

    If you still have a cough after 7 days, but your temperature is normal, you do not need to continue staying at home. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

    Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

    • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home

    • your condition gets worse

    • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

    Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

    Tips for staying at home

    It's important to stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading.

    Do

    • try to keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home, particularly people over 70, or those with long-term health conditions

    • ask friends, family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines but leave them outside

    • sleep alone, if possible

    • regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds

    • drink plenty of water and take paracetamol to help with your symptoms

    Don't

    • do not have visitors (ask people to leave deliveries outside)

    • do not leave your home, for example to go for a walk, to school or to public places


    Ibuprofen

    There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.

    But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.

    If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.



    END

  • Coronovirus Update Spelthorne Liberal Democrats (Image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay)
    Article: Mar 17, 2020

    Workers will get statutory sick pay from the first day off work, not the fourth, to help contain coronavirus, says PM but the UK's SSP is lagging "well behind" other European countries.

    Today the Chancellor announced significant levels of financial support to businesses to get them through the Coronavirus outbreak. Business rate relief and small grants are welcome, as are loans which will need to be paid back with interest.

  • UK Government coronavirus poster
    Article: Mar 15, 2020

    Whilst the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Suffolk is currently small, the situation is rapidly evolving and changing by the day.

    The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are prepared to deal with new infectious diseases and the NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public. In Suffolk a number of GP surgeries are now closed and are operating a triage service where the GP will call patients back.

  • Cross on ballot
    Article: Mar 13, 2020

    UK local elections should be delayed says Electoral Commission

    Police & Crime Commissioner only poll in East Suffolk.

    LATEST: Police & Crime Commissioner elections postponed until May 2021 -

    Acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the move to delay the polls was the "right decision".

    But he added it was "not clear" why the government had opted for a year-long delay, rather than postpone until the autumn as the Electoral Commission recommended.

  • Lib Dems Spring Conference Your 12th 15th March 2020 (Lib Dems Spring Conference)
    Article: Mar 12, 2020

    Lib Dems cancel York Spring Conference

    Following careful consideration of the latest health advice and risks, the Liberal Democrats have decided last evening to cancel their Spring Conference planned for this coming weekend.

    In a joint statement, Party President Mark Pack, Chief Executive Mike Dixon and Federal Conference Committee Chair Geoff Payne said:

  • Brexit
    Article: Mar 6, 2020

    Tory government spent at least £4.4 billion on Brexit planning says Audit Office

    22,000 civil servants worked on Brexit, £92m wasted in NO Deal "losses" paid to ferry companies & Eurotunnel, all before the actual leaving costs kick in.

    In the first detailed estimate of the cost of Brexit, the National Audit Office (NAO) says the Britain's government spent at least 4.4 billion pounds of taxpayers' money on preparations to leave the European Union. The NAO said that most of the money was spent on staff costs, building new infrastructure and paying for external advice.

  • New ES Wards (Boundary Commission for England)
    Article: Mar 3, 2020

    East Suffolk Planning Policy Open Data Portal Published

    The East Suffolk Planning Policy Open Data portal now provides downloadable spreadsheets and GIS map files for a range of datasets reported in the Authority Monitoring Report monitoring report and key statistics. Also the new open data portal includes housing statistics, retail surveys and more including: