It was great to see a wealth of celebrations, says Sleaford MP Caroline Johnson
It was truly wonderful to see the wealth of celebrations taking place last weekend across the Sleaford and North Hykeham constituency to honour Her Majesty as we thank her for her dedicated and selfless service over the past 70 years, says Dr Caroline Johnson, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham.
Villages and towns locally came together in true British fashion to mark the Platinum Jubilee, such as through summer picnics, village fetes and even more unique ways like the dog show in Metheringham and a scarecrow competition in North Kyme!
I am incredibly grateful to all parish councils and voluntary organisations who have been planning local events for months so that communities could come together this past week and people of all ages were able to celebrate the joyous occasion. It was particularly welcome that such events are now able to happen after a difficult two years for everyone.
I was pleased to hold my Senior Citizens’ Fair in North Hykeham recently, an event I have missed being able to host during the pandemic. Loneliness and social isolation have only been further exasperated by the necessary but difficult restrictions in lockdown, and I am incredibly keen to continue the great neighbourly spirit we have seen during the Jubilee and reach out to elderly members of the community.
The fair provided a chance for social groups, clubs and support services to engage with residents to inform them of the great things that our area has to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with residents, some of whom it was their first outing since the pandemic!
I enjoyed also being invited to spend time with parish council representatives for villages between Grantham and Newark in the Hough Division with County Councillor Alexander Maughan. I took time to listen to their current priorities on local and national matters, including broadband provision for rural areas, transport connections and road safety, which are all matters I am aware are of great importance and I am continuing to feed these back to Ministers.
I know that the cost of living remains concerning for constituents, and I welcome the Chancellor has announced further measures of support. This includes a £400 grant for energy bills that will not have to be repaid. This is on top of the £150 council tax rebate for bands A-D and discretionary funding previously
The Government has also gone further to support the vulnerable and elderly people, including a £650 cost of living payment for every household on means-tested benefits, a £300 pensioner cost of living payment and a £150 disability cost of living payment. I also welcome the National Insurance personal threshold which will rise to £12,570 from July– a tax cut worth £330.