Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:27 pm on 12th January 2021.

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Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Conservative, South Derbyshire 4:27 pm, 12th January 2021

It is a pleasure to speak again today about covid-related matters. To be frank, the supply of the vaccine in South Derbyshire has been slow, but now the area is gearing up. Those in the northern part of the constituency are being invited to the Derby Arena—the velodrome—which I am extremely pleased is up and running, and from the end of this week, we will have a stand-alone centre in Swadlincote. That is an area of 50,000 people, and only those in the top four tranches will be invited as soon as possible. It has taken a lot of kicking and screaming to get to this point, and when we do a national review of how things have happened, we will also need to do a local review. However, we are getting there now.

I would also like to talk about where we need to be going on the mental health side of things, particularly for the people who feel that they have been forgotten about financially. We have sent the Chancellor a couple of new ideas about the directors’ income support scheme and other matters, such as the money coming back from supermarkets. It is not just a financial matter. I am concerned about the mental health of some of the constituents I am receiving emails from, and I will be negotiating again an uplift in mental health services for the people of South Derbyshire who need them in these extraordinary times.

I will not go on for long because there are lots of speakers, and some people have missed out in these debates. I will wrap up now by saying a huge thank you to our shopworkers, frontline services, NHS, ambulance people and everyone who keeps the show on the road. It has been a massive community effort. In South Derbyshire, we have rapid lateral flow tests and we will have the sites for the vaccines. That will make a huge difference to everyone’s feeling about finding a way out. I end with my grateful thanks for everything that everyone is doing.