Darren Henry’s Update, 19th February 2021
As we approach the roadmap out of lockdown next Monday, I want to make known my support to see clear and decisive plans to support our businesses. In particular, I want to see plans laid out surrounding the re-opening of the hospitality sector.
With this in mind, I have written on behalf of the 59 pubs and 5 breweries in Broxtowe, to ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what recent discussions he has had regarding cutting beer duty to help support pubs and breweries that face financial hardship in response to the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.
I also put a question to the Chancellor, asking what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the critical business rates relief and the temporary VAT reduction for businesses in the hospitality industry. Equally, I also asked the Government for an update on publishing clear guidance about how they are supporting small businesses to bid for Government contracts to assist with their post-covid recovery. Now more than ever, it is crucial we have clear and concise guidance on the Government support out there.
Once I know more I will be in contact, but for now, I send my thanks to those local businesses who have been in contact on this issue, working with my team and I to provide astute suggestions to take forward to Government.
I am also pleased to be supporting the #WhatAboutWeddings campaign, which calls for the Government to provide certainty to those trying to plan their weddings and support all those businesses reliant on the wedding industry.
I have heard first-hand from constituents what this uncertainty and lack of support has meant to them. Furthermore, I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask what assessment has been made of the potential merits of a Government scheme to support wedding businesses in the absence of available insurance cover during Covid-19.
Following conversations with Broxtowe residents over the past few weeks, I am aware that some areas in Broxtowe are experiencing problems with their broadband speed. Understandably, now more than ever access to reliable broadband service is vital for our livelihoods and mental wellbeing. I would urge those residents with significant concerns about their broadband speed to contact me so my team and I can help and advise.
I am working to get us at the top of the list when it comes to a full-fibre roll-out. For a quick update on this, our area will benefit from a £117 million investment as part of the initial roll-out to replace the nation’s legacy networks with gigabit-capable full-fibre connectivity. I will keep an eye on this so we can ensure that we can upgrade our connectivity here in Broxtowe as quickly as possible.
However, I would point out that the Government has a range of brilliant programmes that could help to increase speeds and access for homes and businesses. For more information, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/building-digital-uk.
Turning to a quick update on the vaccination effort in Nottinghamshire, I am delighted to see that in the seven days since the previous data was announced, over 48,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered by NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group. As ever, I would like to extend my thanks to our extraordinary local Clinical Commissioning Group, medical professionals and volunteers who are making such a success of the vaccine roll-out. Truly brilliant work!
With this in mind, I am delighted to say that anyone who falls in JCVI Cohort 6 can now book a Covid-19 vaccination. This includes anyone between the ages of 16-64 classed as Clinically Vulnerable, anyone in receipt of a carer’s allowance and anyone who is the main carer of an elderly or disabled person. If you are eligible under one of the above categories, you can book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment by visiting this booking link: https://www.swiftqueue.co.uk/nottinghamc19v-clinv.php or call the local booking line on 0115 883 4640 between 8 am – 8 pm during weekdays and 9 am – 5 pm on weekends.
I understand that this is a difficult time, especially for those who are vulnerable. So, if you are vulnerable and need help to get food, medicine or community support, please get in touch with the Nottinghamshire Community Support Hubwww.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/coronaviruscommunityhub or call 0300 500 80 80.
On testing, I am absolutely delighted that after pushing this for months we now have mass testing coming to Broxtowe! From 1 pm on Thursday 25th February, there will be lateral flow testing taking place at Stapleford Library on Church Street.
One in three people with Covid-19 have no symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. This is why we are broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms but who have Covid-19, so we can find positive cases more quickly and break chains of transmission in Broxtowe. For more information please visit www.broxtowe.gov.uk/communitytesting or drop me an email for further clarification.
In other local news, I wanted to draw our attention to Nottingham City Council’s consultation on the proposed removal of Locallink services L10 and L11, which serve parts of Broxtowe. The consultation closes on Sunday 21st February 2021 so I urge those affected have your say now by following this link:
Penultimately, on Monday 22nd February at 6 pm, I will be holding the third virtual Push Bike Broxtowe Forum. Here, I want to hear from local businesses and residents about their thoughts on how we can improve cycling locally. Please email me if you wish to attend at email@example.com. My team will get back to you as quickly as they can with further details.
Finally, please be aware that throughout Covid, I have been holding a number of virtual surgeries with residents in Broxtowe on a number of issues. You can arrange a call with me by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For now, stay safe
168 Derby Road,