SIR – Our retail and hospitality industry has suffered more than most economic sectors due to Covid so it is positive news that this important element of Worcester’s local economy can start trading again this week – arguably too little, too late for many as last week’s report of the loss of 190,000 retail jobs shows.

For most of us the pandemic has revealed another, perhaps unexpected, breed of heroes – delivery drivers, whether for food, drink or goods. However, many of these heroes have no work flexibility, no employment rights, no holiday or sick pay and no union representation.

We might enjoy the flexibility they bring, but this is at the cost of a precarious working life and it falls to us as consumers, advocates and employers to support them. The whole retail and hospitality sector is notoriously low paid, low skilled and as a community we should be keen to support them, especially with the reopening.

But let’s not forget the rights and responsibilities we owe the drivers, many of whom have kept those retailers, shops and bars going over the last 12 months and have helped all of us stay safe by delivering direct to our door.

Adrian Gregson

Labour Leader, Worcester City Councillor