How we’re speaking up for Yorkshire – Barry Sheerman and Kevin Hollinrake

PARLIAMENT may be in recess but our work as MPs representing our constituents and this region goes on.

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 5:45 am
The region's MPs are taking action now to minimise the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

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As the co-chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire we want to do what we can to help the public, businesses, charities and other organisations in the region to get through this difficult time.

First we want to pay tribute to all the essential workers who are working to keep us safe and enabling us to stay at home so reducing the burden on them. Top of the list are, of course, the NHS staff who are on the frontline in combating this contagion. We also want to thank the many retired medical workers who have answered the call to return to help out.

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Barry Sheerman is the Labour MP for Huddersfield.

There are many others, from those looking after the elderly in care homes to postal workers who are all ensuring that vital services are maintained and to whom we owe a huge debt.

Yorkshire and the Humber is the second largest region in the country for the food and drink sector. In 2018 it employed some 55,000 people. With the region being the base for two of the country’s largest supermarket chains, Asda and Morrisons, staff there and in food production factories and wholesalers are working their socks off to keep the stores stocked. Definitely not to be forgotten also is the large farming community in the region who are supplying the food producers and retailers.

Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire is renowned for its community spirit and we are heartened, but not surprised, by the many stories of people coming together to look after those who are more vulnerable.

This includes the many thousands in the region who have volunteered to help the NHS. The traditional good sense of Yorkshire folk means that from all reports, we are observing the guidance and staying in and our local police forces are mirroring this by taking a measured approach to enforcement.

Kevin Hollinrake is the Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton.

In meeting such a crisis which has come about so quickly, despite everyone’s best efforts there will be problems faced by some that potentially could be dealt with. If you are facing difficulties, or you have suggestions for how the Government might act further to help people through this, please do let us know. Your own MP will be only too happy to take up any individual problems you are facing. They are all available on their email addresses which can be found on the ‘parliament.uk’ website. The All Party Group would be interested to hear of any thoughts you have on a wider basis for helping to deal with the crisis from a regional perspective. These should be sent to: [email protected]

Looking ahead, we would like your thoughts on the role government and parliament can play in ensuring that we emerge from this crisis stronger than before it started. How can the community spirit that this crisis has generated be maintained and further encouraged and is there a role for politicians and government to support this?

We also need to consider how to help the region recover from what will be a severe economic hit. There are individual ways we can all do our bit to help generate the recovery. For example, the many hotels, B&Bs and other tourist facilities that would normally be filling up as we head up to Easter and the summer will be facing a very uncertain future.

Also, already struggling in the face of online competition, the region’s newspapers have a vital role to play in not just telling us what is happening in our local community but also, as this newspaper does, taking up campaigns for a better deal for their area or for the region. Local businesses can support them with their advertising and we can all support them by taking out subscriptions or buying print copies.

There are many other industries and sectors that will be struggling over the coming weeks until we are out of the other side of this. If you are directly involved with these or just a consumer with thoughts on how they could be helped to emerge from this crisis, please do contact your own MP. If your thoughts are more general and relate to supporting the region as a whole, we would love to hear from you.

As the group for all the MPs here, we want to use our voice and influence to ensure that Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire comes out of this – in terms of both society and the economy – eventually stronger than when it started.

Barry Sheerman MP (Labour, Huddersfield) and Kevin Hollinrake MP (Conservative, Thirsk and Malton) are co-chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson

Editor