Over the past few months I have received many emails from constituents who are passionate supporters of Leicester Tigers and other rugby clubs who were understandably concerned about the future of the game in a world dominated by coronavirus.
Professional clubs like Tigers, Wasps and my own beloved Bath do not have the financial resources of their counterparts in Premiership football, equally the semi-professional game with teams like Hinckley who need financial support, and the grass roots game – which relies so much on physical contact – has not been able to return, thousands of children here in Leicestershire have been unable to play the sport they love.
I’m delighted that this week the government have announced £135 million in financial support for rugby union as part of their Sports Winter Survival Package, the sport is the largest beneficiary in a package of funding for major spectator sports.
Of course, the funding doesn’t mean we are safely able to watch our favourite teams live in the stadiums just yet, and it doesn’t mean amateur players can get back on the playing field; but it does mean there will be a sport for them to return to when it is safe to do so.
Away from rugby it’s been a busy week again in the office and in just 11 months this week we have now tipped over the 15,000 mark for emails from constituents! It won’t surprise you to know 36% of our cases are about health services and medicine, and 15% relate to agriculture, animals food and rural affairs.
Aside from that this week I have:
- Taken part in the Health and Social Care Select Committee where we discussed burnout in NHS staff with the Chairman of the BMA.
- Had meetings with the management team of the Mallory Park racing circuit. The circuit of course is an important part of our leisure economy and nationally an important historic venue for motorsport.
- Met with Schools Minister to discuss funding for capital projects in the constituency.
- Met with parish council representatives to discuss speeding traffic along the A444.
- Visited St Martin’s School in Stoke Golding to hear about how they are coping with the limitations of coronavirus and preparing for Christmas.
- Held a remote surgery for constituents.
- …and chose the winning design for my 2020 Christmas card competition, huge thanks to the staff and children of St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, Hinckley for creating so many wonderful designs. More about this next week!