Dumfries Courier column - May 2020

Looking to the future

During briefings and conversations with constituents I find there is general acceptance that the wider effects of Covid-19 will impact on our lives for a lengthy period.

But, along with understandable concern, I find a strong resolve amongst many people to do their utmost to get through the current crisis and an appreciation that we are facing the same challenges as most other countries.

The UK Government has targeted unprecedented sums to help businesses through this difficult period and, working with the Scottish Government, we are endeavouring to position the local economy in the best place for recovery and to save as many jobs as possible.

At time of writing, there are encouraging signs that we may be through the worst of the pandemic and that a phased relaxation of the lockdown could begin soon.

My thoughts, of course, remain with the family and friends of those who have past away as a result of coronavirus and I greatly appreciate all that has been done by our amazing NHS staff, carers and other key workers.

There have been -- and will be -- many issues emerging from the coronavirus emergency and I and my team will continue to do our utmost to assist with practical help or advice.

I have had more than 600 Covid-19 enquiries in recent weeks and can best be contacted by email at alister.jack.mp@parliament.uk; by post to 20 Academy Street, Dumfries or through my website at www.alisterjack.co.uk


New chapter

Sadly many of our summer attractions, such as Guid Nychburris, Dalbeattie Civic Day and Dumfries Show have been cancelled because of the health emergency.

I'm sure they will return better than ever in 2021 and in the case of Wigtown Book Festival, I'm delighted to learn that they will be keeping their name in the public eye by replacing this year's cancelled event in the autumn with an online digital festival.

Appropriately, there main themes will be resilience and connection!


Special people

Whenever I visit an NHS facility in Dumfries and Galloway I'm always impressed by the remarkable work carried out by the nursing profession.

Whilst medical advances and technology have transformed aspects of the job down the generations, the core values of a caring nature and wish to help others have endured.

That's why I was delighted to add my tribute to so many others during International Nurses Day last week.