In Parliament this week, I have continued to press the case for Broxtowe following the new restrictions brought in on Wednesday. This is a tough time, and I am acutely aware of how worried people are – about their health, the health of their loved ones, their jobs, their businesses, and their financial security.
This is why I am delighted that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been authorised by the independent regulator for rollout in the UK – the first country in the world to approve the vaccine for use. If you are asked to get a vaccine I do urge you to take it to protect yourself, your loved ones and our community. What these scientists have done in such a short space of time is nothing short of remarkable and I know this will set us ahead of the world on our path to recovery from Covid-19, getting us back to some sense of normality in the coming months.
This being said, it is clear that right now some industries do not have enough Government support to feel entirely safe during this difficult time. In particular, I am concerned about the hospitality sector. Winter is the time these businesses – like many others – make their plans for the next season. Right now, I know businesses are planning in the dark, having been singled out for restrictions and excluded from the Christmas Bubble proposals especially in the highest Tier.
So, this week, I asked Minister Scully to consider a longer-term recovery for hospitality businesses, proposing to make the 5% VAT rate more permanent, extending it to the end of this financial year to help mitigate an uncertain cash flow going into 2021. His response was encouraging but I am aware that this alone is not sufficient, though it is a good start. With this in mind, I have written to the Secretary of State to make the case for clear and comprehensive support for this industry. Once received I will share his response and continue to lobby on Broxtowe’s behalf until we see change.
The response I have seen from local businesses during this time is extraordinary – showing the very best Broxtowe has to offer. I send my thanks to those local businesses who have been in contact, working with myself, my team and local leaders to provide astute suggestions to take forward to the Government.
On this point, Small Business Saturday is coming up tomorrow 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 local news, I have just left a meeting with some residents to try and achieve a solution to one of many local flooding issues. There is no doubt that this flooding has had a long term impact on residents. I hope that with support from the Council, The Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water a solution will be achieved. It is crucial – especially during this difficult period – that everybody here in Broxtowe feels safe within their own homes.
In other news, after having lobbied the Government I am glad the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has given the green light for ice rinks to open for training purposes under Tier 3. As of the 4th of December, Nottingham can open its doors for skaters to train again. I am elated for every single skater across the country under Tier 3 restrictions, not only to support their professional development but to help their mental wellbeing also. Thanks to those constituents who brought this to my attention.
Finally, next week I will be hosting a Facebook Live Q&A with Nottinghamshire Police. This is due to take place on Wednesday the 9th of December at 5 pm – 6 pm. Should you want some more details on this, please do get in touch.
For now – stay safe all,
168 Derby Road,