Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 9th September print edition.
This week has seen a return to Parliament and the end of the summer recess period.
Over the last several weeks, I have spent significant amounts of my time out and about locally, visiting residents and community groups across the constituency.
Highlights for me have been taking part in the NHS and social care workers’ support event with Women’s Institute branches in Burton, and meeting farmers near Uttoxeter undertaking the harvest.
Most poignantly, I chaired a public meeting with Burton’s Afghan community to hear their concerns about their relatives in Afghanistan, so that I can ensure support is available for those who have left the country, or are trying to leave still. The generosity we have seen from people in Staffordshire and across the country has been incredibly moving, as those who have fled the Taliban begin their new lives here in the UK.
This autumn there is a significant amount in the Government’s in-tray, and a number of bills awaiting debate in Parliament: not to mention the big climate change conference—COP26—taking place in October.
As the Government delivers on plans to build back better, and doubles down on the levelling up agenda, I would encourage residents to take advantage of the opportunities available to comment, and have your say on the Government’s plans.
This week, the Government launched its consultation on making permanent many of the high street changes that were temporarily introduced for Covid-19. From al fresco dining to marquees in pub gardens, these measures allowed businesses to adapt quickly to the coronavirus precautions, and were a lifeline to the hospitality industry. They also transformed our high streets and the way we use our town centres.
Locally, we saw many of our much-loved restaurants and cafés take advantage of these changes, and make our town centre a more vibrant place to visit.
This simple change can ensure that our high streets remain livelier and more interesting places to visit in the future.
To take part in this consultation please visit: https://bit.ly/3z1Ji89, or write to me with your thoughts at 9 St Paul’s Square, Burton upon Trent DE14 2EF.