Darren’s Update 15th May including COVID-19 recovery strategy Broxtowe

This week the Prime Minister has set out the first sketch of a road map for reopening.

We in Broxtowe must stay alert. We must continue to control the virus and save lives.

It is thanks to the sacrifice and resilience of the British people that we have succeeded in slowing the spread of coronavirus. The death rate and hospital admissions are coming down, and we have protected the NHS and saved many thousands of lives.

We must not relent now - or else there is a very real risk of a second peak of the disease that could overwhelm the NHS and throw away all our achievements to date.

To chart our progress and to avoid going back to square one, the Government have established a new COVID Alert System.  The COVID Alert Level will be determined primarily by R, a scientific measure of how fast the virus is spreading, and the number of coronavirus cases. It will tell us how tough we must be in our social distancing measures. There will be five alert levels - the lower the level, the fewer the measures - see image attached.

For more on our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy please see this link: https://www.darrenhenry.org.uk/news/our-plan-rebuild-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy

East Midlands Chamber of Commerce Meeting - Listening to Broxtowe Businesses

Today I held a virtual meeting with Chris Hobson, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the East Midlands Chamber; Councillor Milan Radulovic MBE, Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, and Phil Sudlow, Head of Revenues, Benefits and Customer Services at Broxtowe Borough Council.  We had a wide-ranging mix of businesses online and conversations included business support, return to work and the longer-term vision for Broxtowe growth.  I am planning another virtual meeting with businesses soon so please contact me if you would like to chat so I can hear your views too. Email darren.henry.mp@parliament.uk

Businesses across Broxtowe given boost with furlough scheme extension

The Chancellor and I are listening to businesses in Broxtowe.  I welcome the further extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will help businesses eliminate some of the uncertainties that they and their employees are still facing.  The potential to keep the scheme running to October, albeit with employers contributing, and allowing flexibility to bring people back into the workplace on a part-time basis where it is safe to do so, will help to aid the transition back to work.

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, said:“The furlough scheme has seen the Government provide an unprecedented level of financial support to workers affected by the pandemic with the objective of protecting jobs and businesses, for which it should be applauded. The focus now needs to shift more towards safely restarting the economy as quickly and as safely as possible so businesses can start the process of building the UK’s economic recovery. This is the best - and most sustainable - way of securing people’s livelihoods.”

Recycling Centres in Broxtowe

Nottinghamshire County Council is now beginning to reopen recycling centres across Nottinghamshire, and I am pleased to say that Beeston is one of the sites that will be reopening on Monday 18th May (albeit with strict controls in place).  Please see link for full guidance.

https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/recycling-centres/reopening-faqs

Holiday and Flight Refunds Help 

In recent weeks, I have been contacted by a number of constituents who are understandably frustrated and upset at their holidays being cancelled in light of COVID-19 and are struggling to get refunds.  I have raised this with Government ministers and had success at representing Broxtowe’s residents to individual holiday companies.  However, I thought it would be useful to share with you what action is being taken by the Government, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority to protect customers, and what more you can do to ensure you are being treated fairly.  Please see this link for more details: https://www.darrenhenry.org.uk/campaigns/holiday-and-flight-refunds-help

Garden centres reopened in Broxtowe 

Two weeks ago, I wrote to Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) urging him to allow garden centres to safely reopen soon. I am thrilled to share that on 13th May popular, family-run garden centres in Broxtowe reopened. The team at Trowell Garden Centre, Stapleford Road, Trowell, are especially pleased to have reopenedthis week.  David Henshaw, the owner, said on Tuesday “We know that gardening offers many physical and mental health benefits, so we are pleased to be able to reopen TrowellGarden Centre tomorrow.  As well as continuing to offer home deliveries, the team have been working very hard to make sure customers can shop safely.” See morehere: https://www.darrenhenry.org.uk/campaigns/garden-centres-reopen-broxtowe

A COVID-19 antibody test kit has been approved by Public Health England

I have spoken to scientists based in Broxtowe who are very excited about this breakthrough which could be key to easing the UK's Lockdown restrictions.  You can find the new guidance here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

For now, here in Broxtowe we must still stay alert and limit contact with others.

Darren