Darren Henry’s Update on 22nd May 2021

Queen’s Speech Debate

This week I spoke in the Chamber during the Queen’s Speech Debate on the need for a detailed plan for mental health reform. Following the Queen’s Speech last week, a series of debates have taken place surrounding the contents of the speech and the legislative agenda for the upcoming Parliamentary session.

Participating in the debate on the NHS and Social Care, I highlighted the need for a detailed plan for increasing community support to improve mental health services, when this can be expected and how it will be implemented across the country to ensure that all areas of the UK have the same level of support in place. Having met with a number of Broxtowe residents, I know this is an issue close to the hearts of many locally.

I will continue to push the Government to deliver on their commitment to evaluate and improve upon mental health services currently in place across both Broxtowe and the UK to ensure the nation’s mental health is prioritised. You can find local news coverage about my speech in Parliament here.

Levelling Up Bid

As you may know, I have chosen Kimberley as the focus of my bid (working together with Broxtowe Borough Council and Kimberley Town Council) for the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund announced by the Government.

On Thursday I asked the Leader of the House to confirm the deadline to submit bids for the second round of the Levelling Up Fund to ensure Kimberley has the best chance of receiving this long overdue investment.

As ever, I am keen to ensure local voices are heard when any new development is considered in Broxtowe. I have previously engaged with Kimberley Sixth Form on politics and serving our communities, and to put our discussion into practice they developed their own survey on what changes they would like to see for their local area. I am glad that young voices will be heard as we consider the best investment opportunities in Kimberley.

Broxtowe Borough Council are currently running a consultation on future developments in Kimberley so please click here to have your say about where future investment in Kimberley should be spent.

I am determined to make sure our bid, when submitted, is as strong as it can be, and I will continue to work with local leaders to achieve this.

Midlands Engine APPG

I was pleased to have been re-elected as Co-Chair of the Midlands Engine APPG for another year this week.

It was also great to hear from Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, about how the Government is committed to investing in the Midlands. I will continue to work with him and the APPG to continue to prioritise investment for our region.

Virtual Environment Coffee Morning

Thank you to all who attended my virtual environment coffee morning on Wednesday – a number of thoughtful discussions were had on local and national environmental issues and I am thankful to all those that contributed to those discussions.

On behalf of my constituents, I have written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to raise their concerns regarding the Green Homes Grant and to ask them to highlight alternative avenues for financing retrofitting.

In order to address the concerns constituents had, I will ensure I ask questions of the COP26 President. I will also ensure that I focus my efforts on environmental issues locally and I look forward to feeding back on my progress at the next environment coffee morning.

Support for the wedding industry

Following my visit to Swancar Farm Country House last month to meet with business owners within the wedding industry to learn the difficulties they have faced as a result of the pandemic, I engaged with the APPG on Weddings. The most recent meeting of the APPG was particularly insightful and the issues raised echoed what I had heard from business owners and others working within the wedding industry.

I was glad to learn from Penny Mordaunt MP, the Paymaster General, the Government are considering supporting the wedding industry by writing to local councils to use their underspend for discretionary grants to support those businesses adversely affected in the wedding industry. I have since written to the Minister to express my wholehearted support for this suggestion for further financial support for wedding businesses and push for this to happen in a timely matter.

Build Back Better: Broxtowe’s Plan for Growth

I am delighted by the response I have received about my upcoming event ‘Build Back Better: Broxtowe’s Plan for Growth’ with the Federation of Small Businesses. The event will focus on some of the measures that will help small businesses in Broxtowe thrive as we recover from the pandemic.

There will be updates on local investment projects, an overview of available business support and an update on the latest Small Business Index that measures business confidence, as well as an update from Broxtowe Women’s Project on how to introduce an effective workplace policy to deal with the impacts of domestic abuse.

I am keen for as many local businesses as possible to attend the event so please do ensure you sign up here if you wish to attend.

Meetings and Surgeries

On Friday I met with the CEO of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to discuss a variety of current and future projects.

I also attended a meeting of the APPG on the Environment, focusing on nature and national parks. The discussions had during the meeting were in keeping with those that I had with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, namely that protecting the environment and green spaces is not a block to economic growth but should be seen as an opportunity for investment. I echo this and I am keen to work with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to explore how we can incorporate investment opportunities whilst doing our utmost to protect the green spaces and nature reserves we have here in Broxtowe.

As an Officer of the APPG on the Armed Forces Covenant, I was keen to discuss the issues faced by Service people and their families and how best to address those. I was pleased to learn of the initiative run by Job Centre Plus, having Armed Forces Champions in each region to combat the issues faced by ex-Service people when seeking employment.

Finally, as part of my work as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Caribbean, I spoke to the Daily Express about future opportunities for trade with the Caribbean. You can read the article here.

Looking ahead to next week, I will be hosting another Push Bike Broxtowe Forum to discuss improvements to facilitate active travel locally and updating constituents on what steps have already been taken in Broxtowe to promote both cycling and walking. Please do email me to attend at darren.henry.mp@parliament.uk.

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

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