Politically Speaking: By Mark Eastwood, MP for Dewsbury
We are leading the global fight back against coronavirus with our vaccine programme
I hope that you all enjoyed a happy and relaxing Easter period. I managed to sample some good old Yorkshire fresh air while helping our local Conservative election candidates deliver leaflets.
I also recently welcomed the impressive Conservative West Yorkshire Mayoral candidate, Matthew Robinson, on the campaign trail in Dewsbury. We discussed how we could work together to secure vital new investment to help support local jobs, which is one of my key priorities.
Since I last put pen to paper, I have been working hard for our community, fighting the corner of constituents with casework issues and taking part in a range of meetings, including the Department for Work and Pensions, Football Association, and the Dewsbury Town Board.
My meeting with the local Department for Work and Pensions was to discuss the Kickstart scheme and follow how plans are developing in our area and how best I can support them.
I am encouraging private, public and third sector employers in our local area to create as many Kickstart jobs as possible, and I want to see young people in the Dewsbury constituency benefiting from this opportunity.
I have also spoken a number of times in parliament. I highlighted local furniture manufacturers concerns about potential global shortages of steel and foam. As many will know, Dewsbury is the third-largest hub for furniture manufacturing across the UK, and I will continue to do all I can to ensure this key industry continues to thrive.
And in response to my question about safe standing at football, it was good to hear Jacob Rees-Mogg confirm that our manifesto pledge to establish a fan-led review of football governance had not been forgotten. The review will work with fans and clubs towards introducing safe standing.
I was pleased to recently receive my first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. A big thank you to Julie, who administered my jab, plus all the team at Dewsbury Health Centre for their fantastic work in getting us all inoculated at such a rapid pace.
We are leading the global fight back against coronavirus with our vaccine programme, having administered over 35.6 million vaccines so far across the UK – to over 31 million people.
This means more than half the adult population in the UK have now been vaccinated.
From Monday, April 12, we will embark on the next step in our roadmap. This means shops will open, including hairdressers and nail salons, libraries and community centres, zoos and theme parks, drive-in cinemas, campsites and holiday cottages. Indoor gyms will also open up - but we have to go on our own or with people in our household. Restaurants, cafés and pubs will be able to serve people sitting at a table outside. We should keep to our household group or bubble. We can have up to 30 people at a funeral and up to 15 people at a wedding or an event to remember someone. And of course, we should still keep two metres away from people.
Finally, as always, the team and I are here to help. Please feel free to contact me via email: [email protected] or telephone 01924 939 007.