I hope you are keeping safe and well in these strange and challenging times.
This is my weekly newsletter, keeping you up to date with what I’ve been up to both in the constituency and in parliament, representing Derby North.
We had some big changes announced in the way England’s coronavirus restrictions will be used.
The system, which was announced on Monday and came into effect on Wednesday, will split England into three tiers – medium, high, and very high – with each tier having tighter restrictions.
Areas on medium alert will be subject to the national restrictions currently in force, including the rule of six and the 10pm curfew for hospitality businesses. Areas on high alert will have these restrictions in place, and there will be a ban on households mixing indoors. Areas on very high alert will have the most stringent restrictions, and households will be banned from mixing indoors and outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens, and pubs and bars will have to close unless they are serving substantial meals. A full explanation of what is allowed in each tier can be found above.
The majority of England is in Tier One. Derby is currently in Tier One. Neighbouring city Nottingham is in Tier Two, which shows its just so important that we get this under control in Derbyshire as soon as we can so we don’t see ourselves moving up a tier. Currently, Liverpool is the only area to be in Tier Three.
If people need to find out what level their area is in, they can put in their postcode into the NHS coronavirus app to find out. This can also be done on the Government website.
It’s just so important we can keep this virus under control so we can save lives and protect the NHS – everyone must follow by the rules and remember to wash your hands, wear a mask, and maintain social distancing.
We had some really devastating news here in Derby North last week. Two schools in our constituency – St Mary’s Catholic Academy and Ravensdale Infant School – caught on fire which has caused extensive damage.
Thankfully, nobody has been hurt. The police, have now confirmed that the fires were started deliberately. This is just awful news, especially for the pupils and staff who attend these schools. Most importantly, we need to make sure that these children do not have their education impacted, especially after the disruption caused by the coronavirus.
In response to the fires, I have been in contact with officials in the council to see what can be done to get these children back into school. I have also had meetings with the Chief Fire Officer to talk about fire safety regulations and how we can work together to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again and have met with the minister for school system in London to talk about the concerns that have been raised.
I also did a virtual Q&A with the year 11 students at The Royal School for the Deaf in to talk about my role as an MP. It was great to go and answer their questions and to talk about how I can represent them in London.
Last week we also had mental health week. 2020 has been really tough for people’s mental health, especially given lockdown and the pressures caused by coronavirus. It’s just so important that we keep talking to each other and checking in on people. Even if it’s just a call, that can go a long way.
I’ve also held quite a few meetings in the constituency that have been really important. I met with the Derbyshire Police Federation for an update on how they’re doing, and what more can be done in London to support them as well as The National Lottery to see how they’re funding has been supporting great causes in Derby North.
This week I will be holding another advice surgery which is one of the most important parts of being an MP. I’m looking forward to speaking with residents and seeing how I can assist in working through any issues they may have.
The two most important pieces of legislation that we’ve had come to the House of Commons these past two weeks were the Agriculture Bill and the Fisheries Bill.
Since we’ve left the EU, the UK will no longer be subject to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.
These two Bills, once made an Act, will replace these two systems with our own. This is really exciting, because it will allow us to farm and fish in a way that much more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Best wishes and stay safe,