Non-Covid work continues apace as we progress through the 'Roadmap to Recovery'
Column by Gareth Davies, MP for Grantham and Stamford
This week we hit the 30 million mark for vaccinations administered and our local programme continues to go very well, according to our local NHS leaders whom I spoke with a few days ago.
While much of the focus is still on Covid and making sure we progress through the roadmap out of restrictions, non-Covid work for MPs certainly hasn’t stopped.
Last week the Police and Crime Bill passed through the House of Commons and I voted ‘aye’. I have written many times in this column about the need to support our police force, to do whatever we can to protect them, our neighbours, friends and family.
This bill will bring tougher sentences for serious criminals such as child murderers and sexual offenders. It will reform the way we bring justice to young offenders through community sentences, as well as increase the sentence for attacks on our emergency service workers who face danger every day - something Grantham officers in particular are sadly familiar with.
The police and crime commissioner, Marc Jones, and I recently carried out a short online crime survey of residents to hear more about local issues (pictured). Fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour, and burglary all featured heavily in responses from Grantham and I will be taking the survey results up with Lincolnshire Police soon.
Off-road vehicle damage to byways around Grantham is also something that has been raised with me and I recently went to see for myself on a visit to Skillington. While not illegal, motorbikes churning up walkways for local residents is unfair and unpleasant, and so I have asked ministers for advice on what can be done to address this.
As part of the Covid roadmap, schools went back on March 8 and I have been keen to hear how the new testing process and resumption of classes has been going.
On a call with the West Grantham Church of England Academy in the Earlesfield I heard that their reopening has gone very smoothly and just how pleased everyone is being back in class. I plan to visit them soon to see the arrangements that have been put in place for myself.
Finally, this week the Government made further announcements on our defence policy with the Defence Command Paper which sets out how our national defence will be equipped to face new and emerging threats. It follows last week’s Integrated Review of those threats, including cyber and space related issues, and follows the £24bn in new funding announced for the military.
We have one of the largest populations of veterans in the country, the RAF zip over our heads from nearby bases every week and we are home to the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, which trains our new reservists. Therefore more support for our men and women in uniform is something I know many locally will warmly welcome.