Darren Henry’s Update on 26 June 2021

Armed Forces Week

To mark Armed Forces Week, I was invited to attend the Speaker’s Flag Raising Ceremony in Westminster. During the ceremony, I witnessed the Speaker sign the Armed Forces covenant, committing the House of Commons to be a better employer to former military personnel. Having spent 26 years in the Royal Air Force, I understand the challenges faced by those leaving the Armed Forces and I am pleased we have taken important steps to address those challenges.

In addition to this, I visited the National Army Museum for the opening of their new West Indian Soldier exhibition, which paid tribute to the military heritage shared between the UK and the Caribbean.

Windrush Day

This week I was delighted to attend a reception at 10 Downing Street to celebrate Windrush Day and to recognise the contribution of the Windrush generation, such as that of my own parents, to the UK. It was great to hear from a number of individuals about their story – a reminder of the lasting legacy of the Windrush generation.

Work in Parliament

On Tuesday I spoke in the Westminster Hall debate on The Wildlife Trust’s proposal to include designated wildbelts – an area of low biodiversity selected for nature recovery – in the Government’s upcoming planning system reforms. I spoke in support of the proposal and the benefits of a wildbelt in Broxtowe.

Here in Broxtowe we are linked in with the East Midlands Development Corporation, which through its partnerships, are spearheading world-leading research in green growth. We are also fortunate to have Attenborough Nature Reserve, with its plans to open a research hub focusing on nature recovery techniques. Projects such as these demonstrate how we can harness both research and partnerships within the community to easily incorporate wildbelts in our local area, benefiting both the environment and our economy.

Opening of Trent Vale Community Sports Association

Great to be back in Beeston Rylands with Trent Vale Community Sports Association at the former Plessey Sports & Social Club celebrating the grand reopening as a clubhouse with full disabled access.

A huge credit to Sarah Green and others for their instrumental work in raising the necessary funds to make this happen. Having raised around £600,000, the new club house will feature four changing rooms, a community room for 260 people, kitchen and coffee bar.

It is brilliant to see this longstanding site brought back into use helping to encourage sport and activity here in Beeston.

Meeting with East Midlands Railway

On Wednesday I met with the Managing Director of East Midlands Railway to relay the concerns raised to me by numerous constituents about the impact of their service changes. EMR have provided me with the following statement from the Managing Director:

Last month, we introduced a new timetable across our network. However, it has been clear it did not perform as well as we, or our customers, expect. We are extremely sorry and incredibly disappointed for the inconvenience and disruption caused to passengers as a result.

Timetables are always complex and rely on a wide range of factors working together well, all day every day and therefore the reasons for the poor performance are also complicated. However, we know the late delivery of our replacement Regional train fleet, the complexity of our operations at Nottingham, strikes and rising Covid related absences have all played a major part.

Our current timetable is scheduled to run until December. However, we have already started a number of projects to fix the underlying issues preventing our full timetable from working and our intention is to reinstate missing services when we are confident it is safe and deliverable to do so.
In the meantime, our amended timetables are available online and in journey planners and I would ask our customers to check their journey before setting off.
Again, everyone at EMR is extremely disappointed and very sorry to have taken these steps but we are working as hard as we can to fix these issues and deliver a better and reliable service for customers as soon as possible.”

I will continue to remain in regular contact with East Midlands Railway to closely monitor the situation and to ensure that these changes are not made permanent. If you have any concerns you would like me to raise directly with East Midlands Railway regarding these changes, I will be happy to contact them on your behalf.

Meetings and Surgeries

On Tuesday I was able to have a discussion with Tramlink to push for improvements to cycling infrastructure to Toton Lane tram stop – a change I know many of my constituents are keen to see. Ensuring that our tram network is easily accessible for cyclists is vital for encouraging active travel locally, so I will continue to push for this.

I also attended a briefing this week on HS2, specifically the benefits the construction of HS2 will bring to local businesses. Businesses can register their interest and will be matched with opportunities to compete for business contracts free of charge.

Today I met with the Manager of Giltbrook Retail Park, Simon Revill. Now that restrictions are lifting, it is encouraging to see the retail sector picking up again. We discussed a range of initiatives that could help benefit the wider area, including the benefits a successful Levelling Up bid for Kimberley would bring for retail businesses in Giltbrook and the local area.

As ever, I am available on Fridays to meet with constituents. Should you wish to book a surgery appointment, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Finally, this weekend is Nottinghamshire’s Big Vax-The-Nation Weekend! Walk-in Covid-19 jabs for all adults are available from today until Monday 28th June as part of Nottinghamshire’s Big Weekend for vaccinations, where all eligible adults can come and grab a first or second jab from 8am-8pm. Make sure to go along to one of the vaccination sites and get your vaccine.

Mailing address:
168 Derby Road,

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