Below is James' letter to residents in Rochford and Southend East, which was published in today's edition of the Southend Echo.
This is a very difficult time for our town. In usual circumstances, we would soon be expecting our first influx of tourists for the summer, Southend’s beaches packed, the promenade buzzing and local businesses bustling.
Yet these are far from usual times. Sadly, coronavirus is the biggest threat our country has faced in decades, and we are not alone. All over the world, we are seeing the devasting impact of this invisible killer.
It is, however, during these difficult times that we are seeing the very best in our local community. Residents volunteering in their masses, windows filled with rainbows, messages thanking our key workers, and of course, whole streets applauding our NHS heroes every Thursday evening at 8 o’clock. It is important to remember that we will get through this, and one day life will return to normal.
But, if we are to defeat coronavirus, we must all continue to play our part by following Government advice and staying at home.
Put simply, this really is the best way we can stop our local health services from becoming overwhelmed, allowing our fantastic doctors and nurses on the frontline who are working day and night to keep us safe.
So to everybody across our town, whether you’re a key worker or staying at home, thank you for playing your part.
James Duddridge MP
Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East.