Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill receiving increased number of calls from worried constituents

Worried Scarborough residents have been turning to their MP for help during the coronaviurs crisis.

By Sarah Fitton
Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 3:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 3:26 pm

At the start of the pandemic, Robert Goodwill said he was receiving three times his usual number of calls.

That number has reduced slightly but he is still being inundated by requests for support, information and reassurance.

”Some of the queries in the beginning were about getting help for furloughed workers and self-employed people, but now the Government has put out a response for those issues,” he said.

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Robert Goodwill. Picture: JPI Media

“Often people will see or hear the Government briefing at 5pm and then ring me for more information at 6pm.

“What we have been working very hard to do is getting people who are stuck abroad back to the UK.

“We’ve had local people in Peru, New Zealand and Egypt getting in touch. We’ve been able to get some back but we’re still working on others.

“We’ve also been helping businesses who have fallen through the gaps.

“For example, some small bed and breakfasts don’t pay business rates so they don’t qualify for the grants.

“There are also some people who are set up as small limited companies so they can’t get the same help as self-employed people.”

Mr Goodwill said some people have also been in touch trying to help the Government with ideas and observations about the pandemic.

He and his wife are working from home, and there is a member of staff working from Mr Goodwill’s Scarborough office and another from Whitby.

He said there seems to have been confusion about whether or not people should be going to work, in light of the key workers announcement when schools closed.

Non-key workers should still be working - at home where possible - he said, but in their workplaces if not, so long as they are able to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

His 250-acre farm at Terrington, near Malton, is operating as usual. He said this time of year is one of their busiest.

“We’re busy with potato planting and spring drilling,” he said. “Isolating in a tractor cab is fairly easy.”