News from Darren Henry MP – 4 may 2020

Covid-19, University of Nottingham & how this impacts Broxtowe
Good evening
This week, the Prime Minister will set out a comprehensive plan on how we will continue to suppress the coronavirus, while re-starting the economy, getting children back to school and making travel to work and the workplace safer.  Here in Broxtowe we have come together in a way few of us have seen in our lifetimes. We have done this to protect the NHS and save lives, and we must carry that forward into the next phase.

During this time of national emergency, it is vital that everyone stays at home, but for some people here in Broxtowe, the home may not be the safe haven it should be.  Protecting the most vulnerable in our society is crucial in these difficult times. So, I welcomed the recently announced £76 million funding boost which will ensure they can continue to receive the support they desperately need to keep themselves safe and rebuild their lives.

Councillor Tony Harper, Chairman Adult Social Care and Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “This is an excellent Government initiative which will really help vulnerable residents of Broxtowe Constituency plus Eastwood and Brinsley.  Sexual offences, domestic abuse and human trafficking are offences I dealt with when I was a senior police officer and are not acceptable in Broxtowe or anywhere in Nottinghamshire.  This initiative will really make a difference to our area.”  I am pleased that this money will support the most vulnerable in Broxtowe.

Broxtowe is home to popular, family-run garden centres that I am proud to support.  A number of constituents have contacted me to ask for garden centres to be reopened and have highlighted the number of physical and mental health benefits that gardening provides.  I share their passion and have written to Alok Sharma, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, urging him to allow garden centres to safely reopen soon.  

David Henshaw from Trowell Garden Centre in Stapleford Road, Trowell said: “Owing to Coronavirus I have adapted to carry out local deliveries and customers are using our online service.  We need to get the Centre open again for our customers and we will be sure to follow the rules for social distancing.”

Nottingham Tram services are to be protected with £3.7 million support package.  I welcome this package of support from the Government for our local tram network.  Importantly, many key workers travel on the tram from Broxtowe to work in places such as the Queen’s Medical Centre.  So, this is keeping public transport available for those providing our community with the greatest service of all.

Today the Bounce Back Loans Scheme is launched to ensure that businesses quickly get the financial support they need and help them survive this crisis. From 9am this morning, our Bounce Back Loan Scheme enables small businesses in Broxtowe to borrow up to £50,000 and access the cash within days. These loans are easy to apply for, with just seven questions on the form. They are 100 percent Government-backed and will be interest free for 12 months.

Education Ministers have announced a package of measures to protect universities and students from the impact of Coronavirus.  I spoke with the University of Nottingham Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shearer West, who told me the University has moved its teaching and student support online and most staff are now working from home, with a few exceptions like those working on COVID-19 research, including the development of an effective antibody test and looking at potential COVID-19 treatments.  Professor West also outlined some of the measures the University is taking to deal with the financial impact of the pandemic and highlighted the importance of the University of Nottingham to the Broxtowe Constituency.  Did you know?  Over 3000 jobs in Broxtowe rely on the University’s presence  Over 1620 members of staff live in the Constituency  Over 4200 University of Nottingham students live in Broxtowe  795 people from Broxtowe are currently studying with the University of Nottingham  International students and visitors add £17m to the Broxtowe economy each year
You can read more about what the University of Nottingham is doing to support COVID-19 efforts locally and nationally here.
 
We are all wondering how things will seem once this pandemic is over and we have won this war against COVID-19.  One YouTuber, Tom Foolery, decided to get creative and give us a poetic bedtime story that perfectly sums up how ‘The Great Realisation’ as he calls it, has us feeling.

It starts as a bedtime story, with a child asking him to read ‘the one about the virus.’ And so he talks about how nature healed itself, we abandoned our cars and began going for walks. And when we came out of it, we were changed, more sensitive, kinder and more in-touch with our surroundings.Watch the full poem here:  https://youtu.be/Nw5KQMXDiM4What a wonderful way to stay positive in these times, stay safe Broxtowe.
Darren

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