I’m told that the final week of parliament sitting before Christmas is always a hectic one, and this week certainly has been!
Much of the Westminster week has understandably been dominated by the latest review of local Covid-19 tiers. After so much hard work by local people I was obviously disappointed that here in Hinckley and Bosworth we remain in Tier 3. Unfortunately given the demand on our NHS and data trends worsening it was the right decision.
I am nevertheless pleased that the Health Secretary listened to my argument and agreed to decouple Leicester from Leicestershire, and has now confirmed that, and that future assessments will be made on an individual borough basis - you can see my Leicestershire colleague Neil O'Brien asking about this here: https://youtu.be/XgAOSKCHNKM. This will mean that our Borough will be able to move out of Tier 3 when the data allows it to and our future is in our community’s hands, and not be dependent on other areas.
Of course our hospitality sector, the wedding and events industry and travel businesses continue to suffer. On Monday Night I spoke in the General Covid Debate about this vitally important issue, you can see me speech here: https://www.drlukeevans.org.uk/news/general-covid-debate-14-december-2020; I also had the opportunity to ask the Business Minister in the chamber about the most badly affected sectors and you can see my question here: https://www.drlukeevans.org.uk/news/supporting-hospitality-and-events-sector
Also this week I have:
- Met with Rob Jenrick, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who confirmed the Government has listened to my and fellow MPs responses to the housing algorithm and changed the approach to focus on brownfield regeneration.
- Took part in a roundtable meeting with the Business Minister to talk about support for the Weddings Industry.
- Sat on the Delegated Legislation Committee for secondary legislation affecting the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act.
- Took part in the Health and Social Care Select Committee looking at maternity safety.
- Asked the Secretary of State for BEIS about his department’s plans for the Energy Market: https://www.drlukeevans.org.uk/news/energy-questions
- Spoke to the Conservative Friends of the Commonwealth’s virtual Christmas party.
- Been interviewed by BBC Radio Leicester about Covid-19 and the Government’s plans for Christmas.
- Held a productive meeting about my body image bill with the Advertising Standards Authority.
- Met with legislators in California – unfortunately by Zoom and not in person - who are hoping to enact similar body image legislation.
- Held meetings with local residents about planning matters and discussed how the planning system needs to listen to local people.
- Presented the official date brick at McCarthy and Stone’s new retirement development in Hinckley, Elizabeth Coxhead Gardens.
- Met with fellow Leicestershire MPs, the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner for a briefing on how Covid is affecting policing in the city and county.
- Held conversations with local business owners in the hospitality sector about the support that they need.
Parliament has now risen and isn’t due to sit again until January, obviously that is entirely dependent upon whether the Government is able to agree a future trade deal with the European Union. It is entirely possible that parliament will be recalled for a vote on a deal and, obviously, I will write to you with my thoughts if that does happen.
In the meantime this will be my last weekly update for 2020.
Thank you for you support, advice and constructive criticism over the past year. I hope that I and my team have helped many of you and represented you all to the best of our ability.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.