Letter from Cllr Dale Smith, published in the Telegraph & Argus

My kingdom for a horse!
 
That was the cry of desperation when King Richard III suddenly realised how values could change at the blink of an eye!
 
Government advice is that people can travel to and from work, but only where the work they do absolutely cannot be done from home.
With the exception of the organisations already clearly specified (leisure, retail etc.) the Government has not required any other businesses to close.
 
Unfortunately this statement has been misread and misunderstood, leading to mixed messages.
 
Not everyone can be at home on a computer screen working their magic. Some people have to make stuff or give a service. In which case they cannot stay at home but have to go to work.
 
Of course people (staff and clients/customers) need to protect each other, to keep 2m distance, to wash hands frequently and to be responsible. Everyone working should implement the social distances and take all sensible precautions and both employers and employees have a responsibility for so doing.
 
The trail below shows how difficult it is to define key workers and who should be at work!
 
 
Without cars, trains and busses doctors, nurses and carers cannot get to work.
Without masks and gowns the doctors, nurses and carers cannot work safely.
Without hospitals patients cannot be treated.
Without beds patients would sleep on the floor.
 
Who then are key workers?
 
Many employees and the self-employed and sole workers are still entitled to work and should be doing so.
 
We need to give support and recognition to workers across Yorkshire who have to go to work to keep these cycles of hidden consequences rolling and give the front-line NHS staff and patients the fantastic support they need and deserve.
 
This hidden chain was brought home to me when a Leeds manufacture supplied mattresses - to send to London - to put in a hospital - to care for patients who will sleep on the beds on top of the mattresses made in Leeds!
 
Stay Safe.
 
Dale Smith.