Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP says Covid hit parts of Kent are in areas with 'deep deprivation'

A Kent MP has said it's no coincidence the worst Covid hit areas in the county have some of the county's most deprived areas.

Gordon Henderson represents Sittingbourne and Sheppey residents, which are two of they key areas in Swale which has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the Kent and and one of the highest in the country.

Watch:KMTV's report the rise in infection rates

Appearing on KMTV's Kent Tonight programme, he admitted the figures for his constituency were a concern and residents face having a tough Christmas if it's not sorted.

In fact this evening it was revealed Sheppey East has highest Covid-19 cases in the country.

He said: "It's very disappointing and very worrying that the incidents of Covid is so high in my area and Swale generally.

"I don't think there's any coincidence in fact the two other areas in Kent with high incidents is Medway and Thanet and all three of those have areas of deep deprivation within community. There's no coincidence of that.

"If we're looking at reasons why are rates are higher than other parts of Kent than that's a good place to start and we need to try and look forward to the future of ways on how we can improve situation in those areas.

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP, Gordon Henderson has said the worst hit parts of Kent are also "deeply deprived"
Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP, Gordon Henderson has said the worst hit parts of Kent are also "deeply deprived"

"I'm working with council to achieve this and I'm working with Swale Council in putting forward the same strategy with regards to how we're getting message over. One important message we can put over is for people to please, please, please follow the rules.

"The vast majority of people living in my area follow the rules but there is a small minority of people who don't follow these and some simply refuse to follow them.

"I urge them to consider the rest of our community. If the want a good Christmas, help us to get it by driving down the infection rate, only way we can do that is following the rules, wearing face masks, keeping social distance and washing our hands regularly. If we follow these simple rules we can make a difference."

Henderson explained he backed the previously used local tier lockdowns and suggested areas in Kent adopt this strategy, including Swale, even when rates were low.

"Because we now have high numbers I'm not going to abandon my views on that approach as I still believe it's the best way to do it.

'It's wrong to say it's the prisons, it's the schools when it's going through the whole population...'

"It's wrong other areas with low infection rates should have to have same restrictions as those with high ones.

"I don't believe any of our systems are going to work unless we clamp down firmly on those people who fail to follow the rules, got to do that in an effective way."

Hartlip, Newington and Upchurch councillor Richard Palmer explained his own experience of battling the virus and revealed he had been donating convalescent plasma to help research.

He added how no one area can be blamed for the rising infection rates and that it is "across the board".

Cllr Palmer said: "I think it's across the board, infections can happen in school with children who will go home, some go on quite congested buses, and they go home to parents who go to work and can spread from there.

Cllr Richard Palmer (Ind) battled the virus just before Easter. Picture: Swale Council
Cllr Richard Palmer (Ind) battled the virus just before Easter. Picture: Swale Council

"It's wrong to say it's the prisons, it's the schools when it's going through the whole population.

"I had the virus just before Easter and it is serious, it can catch anyone, even if you take most diligent of cautions it will find its way into you.

"The simple thing is to follow the basic government advice, hands, space, face.

"A lot of people think it's pointless wearing a mask, but I don't think there's anything wrong with wearing one, there's no hardship in wearing one.

"I would urge anyone whose had the virus or suspects they've had it to contact blood transfusion service as they're calling out for people.

Swale and Thanet have two of the four highest week-on-week infection rises in the country. Picture: Public Health England
Swale and Thanet have two of the four highest week-on-week infection rises in the country. Picture: Public Health England

"I have donated convalescent plasma and there's going to be more cases of Covid in the population, particularly if we don't follow the rules.

"If you've had Covid, confirmed or suspect you've had it, speak to blood transfusion service to see if you're suitable."

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheerness

Read more: All the latest news from Sittingbourne

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More