Darren Henry’s Update on 14 May 2021

The Queen’s Speech

On Tuesday I attended the State Opening of Parliament and heard the Government’s plans to build back better in the next Parliamentary session. It was a great honour to be there on behalf of everybody in Broxtowe.

The Government has a range of upcoming priorities as detailed in the Queen’s Speech, including ensuring a lifetime skills guarantee to provide access to training throughout people’s lives through the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, extending 5G mobile coverage and gigabit broadband through the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill and enshrining environmental targets in law.

The Government is also committed to supporting both the Armed Forces and veterans by introducing the Armed Forces Bill and National Insurance Contribution Bill, with the former placing the Armed Forces Covenant in law and the latter providing employers that employ veterans national insurance relief.

I look forward to continuing my work in Parliament in the coming months so that the United Kingdom comes back stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, which focused this year on nature. According to the Mental Health Foundation, more than 4 in 10 UK adults say being close to nature makes them less worried or anxious. We are fortunate here in Broxtowe to be surrounded by nature, such as Attenborough Nature Reserve, so I would encourage everyone this weekend to connect with nature and visit our local hotspots.

In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Week, I attended a thoughtful discussion on Thursday surrounding the mental health of women and girls alongside Nadine Dorries MP, the Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.

I am pleased to learn the vigour with which the Government are investing in mental health services, increasing funding for mental health services by £2.3 billion per year and committing an additional £500 million of targeted investment to address waiting times and services. From speaking with constituents, I know that waiting times to access mental health services is a key issue and I am glad to see this being addressed and I will continue to work in Parliament to ensure more is done.

Dignity and Dying

This week I met a group of constituents to discuss the debate around Dignity and Dying. I heard a number of powerful stories and was truly touched by the passion of all who spoke. This is an incredibly emotive issue – the strength of feeling on both sides speaks to this and I am keen to learn far more about it. I will continue to attend discussions on this issue and engage with my constituents on this.

Visit to BeadaMoss and GeoPura

Today Ruth Edwards MP and I visited BeadaMoss – a wholesale plant nursery in Rushcliffe using paludiculture techniques to displace in order to contribute to peatland restoration. I was pleased to learn that their work has significant implications on peat use, thus contributing to climate change mitigation. I was also invited to visit GeoPura – a company responsible for supplying the world’s first zero emission hydrogen fuel cell power generation equipment, which is similarly contributing to climate change mitigation.

It was great to see the green energy potential here in the Midlands – something I am keen to promote as Co-Chair of the Midlands Engine APPG. I look forward to working with both businesses in the future as part of my work with the Midlands Engine APPG.

Meetings and Surgeries

A highlight of my week was speaking with both Year 5 classes at Bispham Drive Junior School in Toton, who shared with me their letters they had written about homelessness.

On Monday I had a meeting with a group of local environmental experts from both local universities, and businesses as well as former advisors. We spoke about what actions we can take in Broxtowe to contribute towards the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050, focusing on retrofitting homes and putting the environment at the heart of new local developments. On the theme of the environment, I also attended a meeting of the APPG on the Environment, discussing how carbon capture and storage can be utilised to meet the Government’s 2050 target.

On Wednesday I attended a meeting of the APPG on Broadband and Digital Communication and was pleased to have been elected an Officer of the APPG. I look forward to working closely on the APPG to ensure the rollout of broadband in rural and urban areas in Broxtowe.

As Co-Chair of the Midlands Engine APPG, I supported a Subgroup event of the APPG this week where we discussed how to best harness the visitor economy here in the Midlands.
oday I attended the APPG on Cycling and Walking, which I am now also an Officer of, to discuss how to make active travel safer. This is particularly important given that concerns around safety are often a barrier to cycling and walking. I am keen to learn from the discussions we had in order to implement the suggestions here in Broxtowe to encourage active travel locally. As ever, I want the community to be at the heart of any new development, so this is why I am working with the community through Push Bike Broxtowe – a local forum to push active travel in Broxtowe.

Looking ahead to next week, I will be hosting my next Virtual Environment Coffee Morning on 19th May at 10am. It is a great opportunity to hear about the work I have done on environmental issues. I will also be opening the floor to questions and suggestions about what more I can do locally. If you wish to attend, please email me at darren.henry.mp@parliament.uk.

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

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