ON a sunny weekend a couple of weeks ago, a shocking number of visitors flocked to Lyme Regis, ignoring government guidelines to stay at home.
I was watching the news and a good number of people sent me pictures from Lyme Regis and West Bay. I issued an appeal that afternoon. I went on BBC South Today to urge people to stay at home, as I did on radio the next Monday.
The following day, I spoke in the House of Commons about it too and I was pleased that the government listened and shortly after the Prime Minister addressed the nation with tighter rules.
There in one further thing that I need to request – especially of second-home owners in Lyme and Charmouth. It is not acceptable, nor in line with government guidance, to travel back and forth between primary and secondary residences during this period of lockdown. It increases the risk to you and the community, especially if your primary residence is in London and ultimately places additional strain on our NHS frontline.
I know it feels like we are stuck at home, but it really is the case that home is where we are safest and I cannot emphasise this enough.
The Coronavirus Bill came to the House of Commons on Monday last week which is clearly necessary for the period ahead, albeit uncomfortable. All my surgeries are now by telephone from home until further notice.
The concept of ‘working from home’ is often perceived as a more relaxing approach to work, but I don’t think so! We have never worked so hard as a team; repatriating dozens who have been stranded abroad, twice weekly calls with Dorset Hospitals, Dorset Police and Dorset Council – making sure our doctors, nurses and support staff are getting what they need.
We have also been helping local businesses and workers to access government support, while assisting with vital services for some of the most vulnerable in our communities who have reached out to us. However, emerging from all of this is the most amazing community spirit and support for one another.
Lyme Regis Community Support Group, the NHS Volunteer Responders and our dedicated independent shops delivering food. All are making such a positive contribution. Whether you are able to help by volunteering, or you are at home and in need of help, then please visit my website for all the information you need www.chrisloder.co.uk
Chris Loder MP