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Social media attack is jeopardising essential service from Wisbech councillors for town's vulnerable



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Three Wisbech councillors who have been operating a shopping and prescription service for the town's elderly and vulnerable have hit back at attacks on social media.

Steve Tierney, Sam Hoy and Dave Topgood have been running shopping trips for those in need across Wisbech who have contacted Fenland District Council's coronavirus help hub.

However, there have been numerous comments on Facebook about the three travelling together in one car as they carry out the essential service and Coun Tierney fears the accusers could force them to cease operating.

Councillor Steve Tierney. (32365678)
Councillor Steve Tierney. (32365678)

"We are getting over 50 calls a day from desperate people, mostly elderly who are not able to get out and shop for themselves because they are self-isolating to stay safe. Many of them are running low on supplies and we are getting several calls a day from people in tears not knowing what they are going to do," he said.

He continued: "We are on the frontline helping those people, demand is enormous, I really don't think these people understand the seriousness of the situation. There are lot of frightened, vulnerable and elderly people, who have no-where else to go for help. Their families live miles away, or some have families who are also unable to go out and help them because they are self-isolating too.

"We are their only help. We are travelling together in one car, but we are taking all the necessary precautions. We are hand sanitising before and after every home we visit, we are bagging groceries and leaving them on people's doorsteps, we are keeping our distance.

"We are doing several shops a day and the demand is so high it is impossible for just one of us to do that, we are having to queue for prescriptions - it all takes a long time because of the various measures in place. Dave can't drive, and the amount of shopping we are doing is heavy.

Councillor Sam Hoy.
Councillor Sam Hoy.

"Dave and Sam live alone and are socially distancing themselves from their families and friends so they are minimising the risk of infecting anyone, I live with my wife and son and they know the risks, but it is no different to those who live with other key workers. We are taking all the precautions we can. There has even been talk about reporting us to the police, but if we are forced to give up what we are doing, then those vulnerable people will have no choice but to risk going out and getting their own supplies - surely that has got to be worse.

"Those people who are complaining need to consider the consequences and realise that we are doing what we need to do to help as many people as possible at this difficult time."

In the meantime Coun Tierney said that while they are able to get most things people need they are struggling to get dried yeast and flour so people can make their own bread.

Anyone who can spare these items can contact Coun Tierney via Facebook and they will arrange to collect.



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