26th Oct, 2020

Volunteers react with fury to MP's praise for council Covid efforts

Ross Crawford 20th Jul, 2020 Updated: 20th Jul, 2020

BIG-HEARTED volunteers have reacted with fury to claims from Redditch MP Rachel Maclean that “Under the leadership of Councillor Matt Dormer, Redditch Borough Council has played a heroic role in coordinating the local response to coronavirus.”

The MP made the comments as she announced a further £158,204 of government support for the borough.

She further adds: “I’m sure everyone in our community will join me in thanking them for everything they’ve done under extraordinary circumstances.”

However one volunteer, who refused to be named because they are part of the voluntary sector and dependent on council grants, claimed Coun Dormer had been responsible for closing down efforts to deliver food parcels when the pandemic first broke – something the Leader of the council denies.

“It was only under pressure from the county council that they allowed us to re-open 48 hours later,” said the volunteer.

However Coun Dormer said: “I didn’t close them down – I just asked for them to take a breath, not to leap straight in and take a more measured approach and then get something organised properly to respond in the correct way.”

“The MP has made no mention of the work done by people at the Ecumenical Centre, the Disability Support Project and Redditch Foodbank or all the volunteers who took out food parcels and prescriptions so people wouldn’t have to travel into the town centre.

“Councillors from all parties helped out, Councillor Joe Baker organised a food delivery service which was supported by all representatives and Emma Marshall from the Conservatives did a lot of buying for us.

“Give praise to Morrisons who helped out, to the foodbank, to Coun Mike Rouse who set up the Support Redditch Emergency Network.

“We have had volunteers by the phone 24/7 for all this time ready to help people.

“We’ve had people lose their jobs, been furloughed and in desperate need.

“The MP’s own son even helped out. We are close to tears here that she could ignore the efforts made by everyone over the past 12 to 14 weeks.”

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