THIS government is all too concerned with making sure them and its friends are better off through this pandemic.

Time and again it has shown that it does not care enough about normal people and the struggles they are having.

Senior ministers have continually stalled on calls to roll out regular workplace testing, it is a matter of fact that those working in high-risk occupations – those with high contact rates with the general public – are more at risk, and if we don’t narrow down and focus in on those at high risk we will not get the virus under control.

At a time when councils across the UK are struggling to make ends meet, after promises of "whatever it takes" were rolled back, the government is handing out millions of pounds of taxpayers money to their friends and donors.

Serco the giant behind our failing test and trace system has cost us £214 million, the government has spent £130 million on PR consultants this year, and a variety of consultancy companies with links to Tory ministers have been paid hundreds of millions of pounds for defective PPE.

And let’s not forget the PPE middle-man who the government paid £21 million just for acting as a go-between.

The reality is that the government has failed to deliver for everyday working people, and they are suffering because of it.

And I’m sure you all share my grievances about the contempt that the government has treated us in the North with.

I have tried throughout to offer useful and practical advice based on the difficulties we experienced here on the ground in Oldham.

And I’ve had no response. It’s plainly obvious to most people that the government’s failures in PPE procurement, workplace testing and it’s woeful contact tracing system have set us back.

The lack of engagement from the corridors of power has been staggering, as has the indifference from government to the real issues affecting those hit hardest by the pandemic.

The government has shown that unless something directly affects them and its friends it is unwilling to do the right thing at the right time.

As we enter the third week of this four week lockdown it is worth saying that Oldham’s numbers are thankfully showing positive signs of coming down.

At the start of this week our case rate sat at 399 cases per 100,000 people compared to the peak of 774 cases per 100,000 people at the start of the month.

Well done to everyone for doing the right thing and helping to bring our numbers down, we cannot let up yet.

My office has dealt with thousands of cases since the start of the pandemic and the number of emails we receive compared to normal has more than doubled, but we are here to help. I

f you’re unsure about something or you feel you have been treated right – whether it’s related to coronavirus or not do not hesitate to get in touch via email:

Stay safe everyone.