JULIE ELLIOTT: Government must work for those it claims to represent

Last year was undoubtedly a year to remember. We lived through another year of Covid-19, witnessed endless Tory sleaze, and watched the Government do nothing but contribute to increasing the cost of living, hitting working people the hardest.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 12:00 am
We need people to be vaccinated to help our NHS.

Energy bill rises and tax rises are coming in April and wages are stagnant.

The pandemic also highlighted many health inequalities, like the effect that diet and deprivation has on public health, and the fact that those from a BAME background were more exposed to Covid and suffered from increased mortality rates – this must change.

Nationally, the rollout of the vaccines against Covid-19 has meant we have been able to live more normally, however there is still so much more to be done.

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This includes making testing more widely available and encouraging people to get their vaccinations.

Vaccines have proven that even if we catch Covid-19, we are less likely to become seriously ill.

We need people to be vaccinated to help our NHS. It is not too late to get your first dose, or booster – you can find out where to go to get one here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

It has been proven safe, and is necessary to reduce the spread of Covid, helping keep children in the classroom this New Year.

Our children have had too much of their education disrupted and it should be high priority to ensure this disruption ends.

As we come out of 2021, we simply cannot afford for the Government to be standing still, spending all its time covering up its own mistakes, causing its own problems, and making Government work for itself and its friends, not for the country it claims to represent.

We need 2022 to be a better year – and in Sunderland, there are many things to be positive about.

In December, we saw the opening of the Fire Station Auditorium. This new venue is an asset to our local community and a fantastic addition to Sunderland’s cultural scene.

Sunderland riverside has many new developments happening on the former Vaux site, which will bring much needed new jobs to the city.

The railway station is finally being upgraded – something I have called for, for many years.

Fulwell 73, the production company, are opening an office in Sunderland, and is one of the many creative initiatives happening in our city.

In order for Sunderland, and the rest of the country, to continue growing, the Government needs to stop working solely for itself, and start working properly for the people it claims to represent.