Following the Covid-19 virus progressing and the government increasingly moving to large scale isolation measures my constituency office will make immediate changes to ensure we can continue to support constituents through what will be an extremely testing and protracted time.
Steps have been taken to ensure remote working can take place and all staff will be focused on supporting constituents. The main office on Union Street will be closed to external visitors and staff will use technology to have access to correspondence and our casework system.
Telephone messages will be picked up by a dedicated staff member on a rota basis to ensure calls aren’t missed, though we’d greatly appreciate contact by email (email@example.com) in the first instance.
Already we are experiencing extremely high volumes of casework covering many issues, often specific to the individual circumstance or business.
So far we have assisted local schools, colleges, constituent concerns on health and social care, housing, employment, and business support including insurance and financial support.
We are in regular contact with government departments, agencies and local public bodies such as the council and health service.
At the same time the government and other agencies have not yet concluded and published how they will provide sustained support, and so answers are taking time to receive, and sometimes the information we receive is patchy.
We deal with thousands of issues each year for constituents and many of those issues will continue to need support, while government and agencies continue to operate we will progress these as normal.
Advice surgeries with trained caseworkers and the MP will continue (providing ill health does not prevent it) and will be accommodated on an appointment basis by either telephone, or Skype video conferencing if you have this facility.
No face to face meetings, attendance at public meetings, home or business visits will take place. Where it is necessary to obtain paperwork to assist in casework, we will arrange for you to post to the office and it will be returned once copied for our files.
We will continue to prioritise urgent cases; those are cases which are time critical. We expect these to continue to rise and would always ask that you approach to the most appropriate agency in the first instance, and that matters which are not time critical at this time are held back.
Please take care of yourself and loved ones.