As we grapple with the economic impact of the pandemic, my team and I want to do what we can to support residents in finding work. Earlier this month we joined up with our local Jobcentre to hold the first in a series of online events to showcase immediate vacancies with local employers including Network Rail, British Transport Police, and UPS. The event went really well, and if anyone wants further information on the opportunities discussed during our first event, alongside notice of future events, please visit my website - www.julialopez.co.uk
I know many constituents are worried about delays to getting a blood test. My team and I have been talking to local GPs, our hospital's executive team and NELFT to find out what has been happening. Constituents can see the response I have received from NELFT’s Chief Executive on my website. They are working up a long-term plan to speed up blood testing. However, I am aware of the immediacy of this issue and continue to push the local NHS for improvements in the meantime.
These difficult times have been made harder to endure by the stopping of many of the things we love, like sports, music and theatre. We are anxious to make sure that vital local organisations can get through this period and are delighted that Hornchurch Football Club has been awarded a £10,000 grant from the Premier League’s Matchday Support Fund. This funding will help prepare the club for the resumption of football and the physical returning of supporters. The government also announced a new Culture Recovery Fund this month, and I am really pleased that we have been able to get £245 000 in grant funding for Queen's Theatre. I have also been catching up with Nelmes Primary School and the First Step charity in Hornchurch, and we have discussed how we can best support teachers, schools, and families with disabled children through the next period.
Now that I am a Minister in the Cabinet Office, I have been getting stuck in with improving governance structures across Whitehall. This month, I launched a new Covid Fraud hotline with Crimestoppers to help people report any concerns they have about those who might be misusing the government support schemes that have been put in place during the pandemic. It is an affront both to hard working taxpayers and those in genuine need that some people have been exploiting pandemic support schemes to line their own pockets. Criminals and fraudsters must not be allowed to profit from this time of national crisis. If you have any information on covid fraud that you would like to report anonymously, call Crimestoppers for free on 0800 587 5030.
Finally, several residents have been in touch to express their frustration with the state of the footpath that joins Hillview Avenue with Osborne Road. This footpath is used to get across to the 193 bus stop, public transport to Queen’s Hospital and Romford, and by parents taking their children to school. I am pleased to report that this will now be repaired after we made representations. Havering Council will be carrying out maintenance work soon and I hope it makes the crossing easier to use as we head into the wetter autumn weather!