Ashfield MP hails speed of UK vaccination programme as 'breathtaking'

As of last Sunday, more than 15 million people in the UK had been vaccinated and it is very noticeable, as someone who volunteers at the vaccination hub, of how the process has speeded up.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 8:00 am

Our brilliant NHS staff and volunteers are like a well-oiled machine and are now flying through the process.

The change from five weeks ago is breathtaking so I would just like to say a massive well done to everyone involved.

People are always asking me when will things return to normal?

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Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield. Photo: London Portrait Photoqrapher-DAV

If I am honest, I see a new normal on the horizon but would hope that our schools will be back open at the beginning of March and shops and businesses will be allowed to open shortly after.

The vaccination program is the way out of this pandemic and there will be a time soon when we must make the decision as a nation that we will come out together and defeat this virus once and for all.

However, if the Prime Minister, for example, states that the beaches are open, that does not mean 20,000 people please cram on to a beach.

It means we are getting our freedoms back but please let’s work together so we do not have to go through this again.

I was shocked to learn last week that a food bank in Grimsby had caught people who have a disposable income of £1,800 a month using it.

I visited a food bank this week as this is a topic I really want to get involved with once this pandemic is over.

I want to meet with families to see why there is so much dependency.

I hark back to my days working for Citizens Advice Bureau and in most cases, it was simply a matter of poor budgeting and financial planning and being unable to cook a meal from scratch.

I have teamed up with local award-winning chef Dave Marshall who tells me he can feed a family of five, three meals a day for £50 a week.

He does this by shopping wisely and making all his meals from scratch.

We will be going into food banks and doing some online lessons on how to shop, budget and cook cheap but nourishing meals.

Food banks should be for people who have had a sudden change of circumstance and need help, not a lifestyle.

Lee Anderson is MP for Ashfield.