Nigel Huddleston's Westminster Diary - The Evesham Observer

Nigel Huddleston's Westminster Diary

Evesham Editorial 5th Nov, 2020   0

Evesham’s MP Nigel Huddleston writes for the Observer

LAST weekend, the Prime Minister announced the decision to enter into a national lockdown lasting one month.

I appreciate that this is not the outcome we wanted, but we felt it necessary to bring in national measures because the infection rates are rising across the country, not just in the tier 3 areas, but also in regions where infection rates were relatively low.

My ministerial colleagues and I have been continuously working with business representatives to ensure businesses have additional support. The Chancellor also announced last week the extension of the furlough scheme until March, as well as further business grants.

Looking back these last few weeks – prior to news of the lockdown – I was pleased to visit the Severn Valley Railway station in Kidderminster in my role as Heritage Minister earlier this month. This visit coincided with the announcement of over £100 million in heritage funding as part of the £1.5 billion Culture Recovery Fund. Hartlebury Castle and St Lawrence’s Church in my constituency are another two of the 400 sites across the UK to be awarded grants from the first tranche of this funding which will help save them for future generations to enjoy.

I am also working with the Treasury on a support package for sports that were unable to open to fans on 1 October as originally planned.  I know many sports fans in the constituency- especially rugby and football – are keen to see their teams play live again and while the planned reopening has been paused, we continue to work on plans to support our sports as well as other businesses whose operations have been constrained to open up as soon as it is safe to do so.

Elsewhere in the constituency, I’ve spent time visiting local community centres, charities and businesses. It’s been heartening to see so many volunteers and charity workers contributing so much to our communities and to our local area, ensuring that, even in immensely difficult times, Worcestershire remains one of the best places to live in the UK.

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