Darren’s Update – Tests, Stapleford Towns Fund, More Police for Broxtowe, Five Key Tests & more
Wow 122,327 tests yesterday! Broxtowe has played our part in reaching the target of 100,000 COVID-19 tests and Matt Hancock thanked Boots during today’s briefing. To find out the latest about testing please see this link https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test
I made ‘Investing in our High Streets’ one of my core priorities in Broxtowe during the last general election campaign because I knew that it was one of your priorities. Regenerating town centres and local businesses is a core part of my 6-point plan for Broxtowe. Now as much as ever, because of COVID-19, our high streets are going to need all the investment those can get and we have to support local businesses once the Government’s Five Tests are met and the restrictions are lifted. Stapleford Town Centre was chosen as one of 100 towns to receive funding. It is in line to receive up to £25 million worth of investment.
The Towns Fund will focus on three key areas as follows:
- Urban regeneration, planning and land use
- Skills and enterprise infrastructure
Today (1.5.2020) I attended the virtual Executive Board which met for the Stapleford Towns Deal. I am driving forward their agenda in Parliament because Broxtowe must be remembered in Government. I am in regular contact with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in pushing forward the Stapleford Towns Fund.
Inspector Simon Riley, the Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Broxtowe Borough, and I speak regularly and he has my full support in enforcing the rules to ensure people stay at home, so we can protect the NHS and save lives. I am delighted that police ranks in Nottinghamshire have been bolstered with an additional 95 officers since the Government launched its major recruitment drive in September 2019 – meaning more police on our streets to cut crime and keep us all safe. Inspector Simon Riley said “we are already reaping the benefits of the increased recruitment and the uplift in officer numbers. Several student officers have joined the Response teams at Broxtowe since the uplift began, with 4 new students joining us from Force Training School in the last month alone. I am expecting that we will see further additions over the coming year. In addition to this we will be getting an additional team of a Sergeant and 6 constables under the ‘Operation Reacher’ programme, following the success of Reacher teams in Bestwood and Gedling. The extra officers have been most welcome as we confront the policing challenges provided by the Coronavirus pandemic.” At this time of national emergency, these additional officers have never been so important. Alongside new recruits, the Government has also taken further action to support the Police’s coronavirus response. This includes testing for all essential workers, police officers and support staff. There is also a relaxation of tax rules to encourage officers nearing retirement and those recently retired to serve on and the unlocking of £84 million for police forces to use in the fight against coronavirus.
Last night, it was great to see the Prime Minister back as he updated the nation on the coronavirus outbreak, confirming we have passed the peak and that next week he will set out a comprehensive plan to continue to suppress the disease while re-starting the economy as follows:
- Thanks to the massive collective effort to shield the NHS, we have avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic where the reasonable worst-case scenario was 500,000 deaths.
- We are now past the peak and on the downward trend, so next week the Government will set out a comprehensive plan to explain how we can get our economy moving, how we can get children back to school and childcare, and how we can travel to work and make the workplace more safe.
- A huge amount of work is underway on that plan and the Government will always be guided by the science as it builds the maximum political consensus across all parties and the UK.
- This country has come together in a way few of us have seen in our lifetimes, to protect the NHS and save lives, and we must carry that forward into the next phase.
There will be five key tests that we must satisfy before we can put the comprehensive plan for phase two into action:
- We must protect the NHS’ ability to cope – we must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.
- We need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from coronavirus so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak.
- We need to have reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
- We need to be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand.
- We need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS.
Thank you Broxtowe so much for all you have done so far. We need to keep going for the sake of our whole country.