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Column by Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies

I know that the queues forming outside petrol stations across the local area have been a cause of concern over the past fortnight. It is important to stress that there is no shortage of fuel in refineries and in storage across the country, but there has been a surge in demand at certain petrol stations.

Ministers are working closely with the industry to manage this short-term demand, including relaxing competition laws on a temporary basis to allow industry to prioritise the delivery of fuel to parts of the country most in need.

From left: Coun Martin Hill, LIVES CEO Nikki Cooke, Gareth Davies MP, Coun Kelham Cooke. (51703541)
From left: Coun Martin Hill, LIVES CEO Nikki Cooke, Gareth Davies MP, Coun Kelham Cooke. (51703541)

I am also aware that there are longer-term challenges within the wider HGV sector which ministers are working hard to tackle. Indeed, the Government announced a package of measures to tackle this shortage and ease pressure on industry through boosting skills, increasing testing availability and easing competition law.

For example, £10 million will be invested to create new skills bootcamps and train up to 3,000 HGV drivers – with an additional 1,000 to be trained through local courses. The Government are also making available 5,000 visas for HGV drivers for a three-month period, to provide short-term relief for the haulage industry in the build up to Christmas.

Meanwhile, progress is being made in the government’s efforts to improve internet safety and combat personal abuse on social media. These ground-breaking laws will protect children online and tackle some of the worst abuses on social media, including racist hate crimes. While it is important to strike the balance between online anonymity - an important principle of a free and open internet - and the need to protect people from harm online

The Online Safety Bill will place duties of care on companies and will give Ofcom, the UK’s independent communications regulator, the functions and powers to oversee the regulatory regime. Ofcom will set clear safety standards, backed up by mandatory reporting requirements and strong enforcement powers to deal with non-compliance.

It was great to see such a strong turnout for my CPR workshop in Folkingham on Saturday, August 25. Working alongside Lincolnshire Lives, the county’s largest first aid training charity, the village was invited to attend a drop-in session in the market square to learn essential lifesaving skills. Every minute without CPR being applied reduces the chance of a patient’s survival by 10 per cent, and so the earlier you give CPR to a person in cardiac arrest, the greater their chance of survival.

We are hoping to organise other training sessions in the future, so if you think your local community would benefit from free CPR training, please get in touch with Lives.

Visit www.lives.org.uk to find out more.



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