Darren's Update - 10th July

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend and took advantage of the relaxed lockdown restrictions. All week I have been receiving updates from local businesses who were thrilled to reopen their doors and welcome customers again - thank you for supporting them! 

Earlier this week, I joined Caroline Nokes (and other MPs) in writing to the Prime Minister to ask for restrictions on beauty salons and massage salons to be lifted. My inbox has been full of local beauty salon owners, massage therapists and tattooists wanting to get back to work and I understood your worries.  My team has been in conversation with local businesses who have outlined the measures they have taken to ensure you are safe when getting a manicure, pedicure, tattoo or other beauty treatment and I know that this announcement will make many people across the constituency very happy. There have also been further changes such as gyms and swimming pools being allowed to open from 25th July 2020 onwards. You can read the full details here, but I am confident that you are as glad as I am to be moving towards the 'new normal'. 

On Wednesday, the Chancellor also announced a range of new measures to help stimulate the economy including the Job Retention Bonus, removing stamp duty for properties up to £500,000 and (my personal favourite) the Green Homes Grant. When I discussed climate change with Broxtowe residents last week we agreed that reducing carbon emissions from homes would be a positive step and this will help you do that. This will also be a welcome boost for local builders, plumbers and tradespeople and I hope it will unleash the 'Green Van Man' as we move towards more sustainable growth and economic development. You can see the question I asked the Chancellor online and read all of the policies he announced here. I will also be updating my own website in the coming week to sign-post local businesses to further support, in light of the Chancellor's summer statement.

I understand that yesterday's announcement by Boots is both disappointing and worrying news for people in Broxtowe. I have been in regular contact with the Managing Director, Seb James, and his team throughout this pandemic and they are continuing to keep me updated of their plans. We are entering a severe recession and businesses - small and large - will be making incredibly difficult decisions about their future. However, I welcome the Government's plan to protect, support and create new jobs and I will continue to support employees - and businesses - across Broxtowe as best as I can. 

On a more positive note, Broxtowe Borough Council have advised that they have extended the discretionary grant scheme to support even more local businesses who may not have been eligible for other Government support, including the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. The Government initially awarded the Council over £880,000 as part of the Discretionary Grant Scheme. The Council have the flexibility to offer tailored, local support which will no doubt benefit more businesses and self-employed people here in Broxtowe. Please visit this link for more information on the new criteria and apply if you are eligible. Broxtowe Borough Council have offered excellent support to businesses in this pandemic and I am grateful for the work the staff are continuing to do. 

Today marks the 80th Anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain and, as an RAF veteran, this is a very important event for me. Normally, the anniversary would be marked with a flypast and other commemorative festivities, but this year the memorials will be held virtually. The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust are hosting a live virtual event on Sunday 12th July 2020 at 11 am which will be broadcast on their YouTube channel. I will be watching this weekend alongside preparing for my meeting with Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, to discuss veterans' mental health and employability next week. 

As ever, if I may be of assistance, please do get in touch. The Government guidance is updating swiftly so please keep checking the official website for up-to-date information. 

Please continue to enjoy summer safely, 

Darren