Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who completed the Kimberley Leisure Centre User Consultation! Nearly three hundred responses were received, that I delivered to Broxtowe Borough Council earlier today, and I was touched to read some of the feedback. Many of you spoke about the benefits a local centre brought for your physical and mental health and - leaving lockdown - how eager you were to return to exercising again. I was most moved by the anecdotes of the Centre being an integral part of Kimberley’s community spirit whereby residents offered each other support in trying times, children made life-long friends and generations of families would come together to enjoy each other’s company and stay fit. This has only affirmed to me how important it is that we have facilities for long-term use, and I will continue to make sure your views are heard throughout the negotiations.
In Parliament this week, I had the opportunity to raise the importance of support for people with mental health conditions with the Prime Minister. I understand lockdown has been even harder for people suffering with anxiety, depression and other conditions and I want to make sure that, as we move to a ‘new normal’, people who are suffering with these hidden disabilities are not left behind. I have meetings with local and national mental health charities over the coming weeks to discuss what I can do to help. An important theme that has come up so far is isolation and how important it is to ‘check-in’ on neighbours, friends and family. You have done a great job so far but please continue to ask how your loved ones are feeling and, if needed, ‘ask for help for your mental health’!
I also raised the plans for the Toton Link Road with the Cabinet Office. The Government is committed to levelling-up our economy and I welcome this. However, I often find that when people think of ‘The Midlands’ they mean the ‘West Midlands’. It is my job in Parliament to make sure the East Midlands, and more specifically Broxtowe, is not overlooked and I will continue to fight for our fair share of investment in infrastructure and development.
As I am sure you are all aware, face coverings become mandatory in shops from Friday 24th July 2020. You can make your own fabric face covering at home or buy one. I bought mine from ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ who operate a ‘buy one, give one’ scheme for keyworkers. This is a great social enterprise scheme and I recently supported them in their successful application for a £2000 grant from the Broxtowe Borough Council Emergency Covid-19 Community Support Grants scheme. If you would like to buy one from them, please follow this link. The guidance on when and where to wear a face covering is available on the Government’s official website.
On this note, I would ask you to all be understanding of people who cannot wear face coverings for medical reasons. The exemptions are outlined online, but these are often hidden disabilities so not immediately obvious. Please be conscious and understanding of people who may not be wearing a face covering and maintain a social distance. If you do have a hidden disability and cannot wear a face covering, you may wish to look at the Sunflower Scheme which offers discreet methods of identifying yourself as someone who needs additional support - this scheme is supported by businesses and retailers nationally.
Finally, the Prime Minister has announced further steps to ease lockdown, such as resuming all beauty treatments, enjoying leisure activities and returning to work in a covid-secure way. This is all conditional on keeping the coronavirus under control so please stay alert, maintain social distancing, wash your hands and follow the other necessary guidelines. You can read more here but I know that many of you will be as relieved as I am to be able to plan to enjoy summer and get back to normal.
I wish you and your loved ones a lovely and safe weekend,