Darren Henry’s Update on 27th November 2020

As I am sure you will have seen, Nottinghamshire will be placed under Tier 3 regulations from the 2nd of December. More information on what this means for Broxtowe can be found here. The new Tiers have been strengthened to reduce the infection rate as part of a strategy to save lives, protect health and care services, and keep our economy and schools open.

This being said, I am acutely aware that this is not an easy decision – one I know was not taken lightly. Nonetheless, I will make the Government aware of the challenges brought on by Tier 3 restrictions, not least pressing the Government to support those who have fallen through the cracks in Government support. 

I know that Nottinghamshire councils have pledged to work together to help communities to adapt to the new restrictions and the Government will review restrictions every 14 days.

Furthermore, on the 2nd of December, the following national restrictions will be eased: The stay-at-home requirement will end, non-essential retail, gyms, personal care will reopen. The wider leisure and entertainment sectors will also reopen, although to varying degrees. Communal worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume and people will no longer be limited to seeing one other person in outdoor public spaces, where the rule of 6 will now apply.

Regarding the new regulations, I am aware that one of the most challenging aspects of the past year has been that businesses and people are not able to forecast. So, looking forward to entering the tier system, earlier this week I asked if the Government will publish guidance to businesses and citizens on any new regulations that may be imposed following the end of lockdown. With this in mind, I am glad the Government has published this advice which you can view, here

Small Business Saturday is coming up on Saturday 5th December and I would like to do all I can to showcase the very best that Broxtowe has to offer. Via my social media channels, I would like to set the agenda to shop local and support independent businesses this Christmas and beyond. If you are a local independent trader and would like to increase your customer base, then get in touch by following this link.

In more local news, on Tuesday I held my Environment Coffee Morning on Zoom. Though we are in lockdown, I wanted to ensure critical issues are not left behind. This was a great opportunity for me to hear concerns from constituents about the environment and I left with some productive ideas on how we can work together to ensure we continue to protect it for future generations.

Another topic I have received a lot of correspondence on is the Chancellor’s Spending Review, so I welcomed my meeting with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor on Wednesday who outlined their upcoming spending forecast. There is a lot to unpack but I have drawn out some key points below:

Firstly, I am glad to see spending on UK Public Services in response to coronavirus will be £55 billion in 2021/22. This will include £3 billion further support for the NHS, with new equipment and new hospitals as well as a 4.5% increase in Social Care funding. 

Following my letter to the Chancellor outlining a case to consider NHS pay in the Spending Review, I am glad to see the majority of the NHS public sector will see a pay increase in 2021.  Nurses, Doctors and NHS staff will receive a rise, along with all of the 2.1 million staff earning less than £24,000 a year.  I welcome this support for our frontline NHS staff. 

Regarding Jobs, the Chancellor has set out a new £3 billion Restart Programme that will be launched by the Department for Work and Pensions to support the long-term unemployed back into work. In addition to this, it is good to see the National Living Wage rise by 2.2% meaning a £345 increase next year.

For education, school budgets will increase by £2.2 billion and over £2 billion more for Further Education and colleges, including new capital spending to improve facilities. This has been a key campaign of mine and is something I will keep a close eye on over the coming months.

Finally, regarding local development, there is a £71 billion Homebuilding Fund, expanding high-speed broadband to 5 million more homes and boosting 4G coverage to 95% of the UK. Not least, I must welcome the new Levelling Up Fund worth £4 billion which local areas can bid for, supported by the MP, to provide new infrastructure based on the needs of local areas. This is great news for Broxtowe and I will keep an eye on how we can press our case to the Government to ensure Broxtowe is at the front of the line for long-overdue investment. 

Finally, as you may have heard, I have put on my running shoes recently in a bid to boost this year’s Poppy Appeal which has sadly been affected by coronavirus restrictions. Broxtowe has a big connection to the Armed Forces and I feel this is a great opportunity to highlight not only the importance of donating to the Poppy Appeal but also Broxtowe’s own historical contributions. This is my last weekend running so should you wish to make a final contribution, please follow this link.

For now – stay safe everyone,

Darren

Mailing address:
168 Derby Road,
Stapleford
Nottingham
NG9 7AY
darren.henry.mp@parliament.uk

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