Alexander Stafford, Conservative Member of Parliament for Rother Valley, has written a heartfelt letter of thanks to all those who have worked on the front line during this pandemic to keep our country running.
At the height of the pandemic, when leaving our homes for all but the most essential journeys was curtailed, shop workers, haulage drivers, posties and so many others, including, of course, our heroic healthcare staff, kept the country afloat. Alexander has expressed his gratitude to all of them in the following open letter:
"The past year has seen us face the gravest global crisis since the Second World War. As we reach this grim one year milestone, it is appropriate to reflect on the lives that have been tragically lost as well as the tremendous acts of selflessness and sacrifice from individuals in our local community and across our great country.
As your local Member of Parliament, I have been working intensely to mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic on our area. Coronavirus has seen an explosion in requests for help from constituents, many of whom are vulnerable and have nowhere else to turn.
Highlights of my work include successfully fighting in Parliament for greater testing provision for Rother Valley and dealing with floods of casework to ensure local people and businesses are accessing the grants available to them – and everything in between. I have made sure that the huge coronavirus workload has not impacted the processing of non-coronavirus correspondence: I guarantee that my campaign to improve our area will not be stopped.
Of course, I have had to adapt the way I operate in line with the government guidance. It has taken some adjustment: I have not been able to conduct constituency surgeries in person; local businesses have had to curtail their operations and events and gatherings have been cancelled, limiting my visits; and Parliament has moved to virtual proceedings. I am a firm believer in meeting as many constituents as possible, attending as many local events as I can, and being present in Parliament at every opportunity in order to represent Rother Valley to the best of my ability. Having only been elected in December 2019, the majority of my tenure so far has taken place under the strange new conditions of a world gripped by the pandemic.
Luckily, I have thrown myself into conducting virtual surgeries, participating in the virtual Parliament, and taking part in local events permitted under the regulations. My staff in Dinnington and in Westminster have been working remarkably hard under very difficult conditions and I must thank them for their efforts in providing the people of Rother Valley with stellar service. However, I must also express my appreciation for the response from our local community during the pandemic. I have been moved by how Rother Valley has come together – it proves that our community really is special. Looking ahead, I shall be on hand as always at firstname.lastname@example.org to help with any requests or queries from my constituents. Stay safe and keep up the good work: the end is in sight."