The celebration of May Day traditionally centred around forgetting the difficulties of the winter and looking forward to the summer ahead. This year is no different as the nationwide vaccination programme continues apace. With over 85,000 jabs now administered across South Kesteven, the end, like the joys of summer, is getting closer by the day.
Meanwhile in other parts of the world the fight remains fierce. Nowhere is that more true than for India who are facing a significant Covid outbreak, with hospitals overwhelmed and daily cases surging. We in this country received significant support from India over the past year with supplies of vital medicine and PPE.
It is therefore only right that we now support them, and so 1,000 ventilators will now be sent from the UK’s surplus supply to Indian hospitals to help the most severe Covid cases. This is in addition to 200 ventilators, 495 oxygen concentrators and 3 oxygen generation units already dispatched.
This week we have been voting for Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and County Councillors, elections that will have a crucial bearing on street-level issues across our towns and villages.
Throughout the pandemic, it was our local communities that sprang into action supporting those most in need. We were reminded again about the importance of strong local services, having committed local representatives who understand their communities - focusing and caring for the place we call home.
Today, we find out your view on how our local area should be run and who gets to represent you, working with the national Government to deliver on your priorities whether that is about fixing our roads, emptying our bins, delivering good local services or managing money carefully. With so many of the local services, our community relies upon being run by Councils, as the MP I work extremely closely with County and District Councillors and look forward to continuing that work with whoever is elected today.
One of the local services we rely on most is our GP services. Regular followers of my work will know that I am actively engaged with the Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) about the long term strategy for Stamford’s primary care, but the immediate issues people are facing of not being able to get through on the telephone or parking without getting a fine is a real concern to me. While I have received positive assurances that the problems are going to be fixed, I continue to make sure residents' deep frustrations are relayed to those responsible.
As reported in our local paper, I recently had the very difficult job (!) of visiting Grantham’s very own Hawken’s Gingerbread factory to sample some of their biscuits. Gingerbread is of course an iconic part of our town’s heritage and I am delighted to see that this local tradition is continuing to put Grantham on the map.
Hawken’s can now boast a new admirer, as even the Prime Minister was willing to make an exception to his new fitness regime to sample a biscuit when I presented him with a box after Prime Minister’s Question Time!
I fully support all of our businesses, they are so vital to Grantham’s economy - employing our local people, providing local services and promoting our town around the world. Just as I have with Hawken’s Gingerbread, I will do whatever I can, wherever I can, to fly the flag for our local businesses. So, if you run a local business do get in touch and let me know how I can help.