I am really pleased that more businesses will be allowed to reopen from tomorrow and know how happy you will be too. The changes are outlined in full online and include resuming all close-contact treatments and celebrating weddings with up to 30 guests. My nephew was especially happy to hear that soft-play centres can reopen too and, having visited Hocus Pocus a couple of weeks ago and after weeks of lobbying the Government for more guidance, I know how important this announcement will be to soft-play centres (and families) in Broxtowe.
However, lockdown restrictions will only continue to ease if we also follow the safety advice from the Government. This includes maintaining a social distance, washing your hands and wearing a face covering in a range of settings. Unless you have a reason outlined on the Government’s website, a face covering is now also mandatory in places such as museums, indoor play areas and beauty salons. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the exceptions to wearing a face covering and drew attention to the Sunflower Scheme. I was therefore saddened to hear that some of my constituents with hidden disabilities have been abused or unfairly questioned by members of the public and businesses for not wearing a face covering. In the coming weeks, I will be doing more to highlight hidden disabilities, but I ask you all again to be kind, understanding and respectful to people who are not wearing a face covering for good reasons.
Our local NHS staff have worked tirelessly over recent months, tackling the global coronavirus pandemic. I thank them for everything they have done for the local community. Securing funding for Queens Medical Centre (QMC) and the University of Nottingham Hospitals NHS Trust has always been a key part of my 6-point plan for Broxtowe. Last winter I invited the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, to join me in visiting the QMC, including the Emergency Department, and we saw the pressures that staff at the Trust were under. That is why I am delighted to see that the Government has announced £300 million for Accident and Emergency Departments across the country, with £2 million ring-fenced for our local Trust, directly benefiting the people of Broxtowe. Whilst we hope for the best this winter, it is right that we plan for the worst and this funding to upgrade A&E services will help ensure that our NHS remains resilient.
I understand that many of you are concerned about A-Level results that were released yesterday. Many students are happy with their results and excited for the next stage of their life – including going to university, starting an apprenticeship or entering the workplace. To those who received the results they expected – congratulations! However, I am aware of how upset some students were with their awarded results. I am in regular contact with local schools and Ministers about this to ensure that Broxtowe’s hardworking students are supported, and that more information is provided as soon as possible. You can read more about the appeals process here and, if you have further concerns, please do get in touch.
On a more positive note, next week is Broxtowe Borough Council’s ‘Thank You Week’ which will celebrate the community heroes from the Borough who have gone above and beyond in this pandemic. There are five ways to say thank you to the people who you think are the ‘best of Broxtowe’ so why not visit the Council’s website to see how you can get involved?
168 Derby Road,