Straight Talking: February Newsletter by Andrea Jenkyns MP
I hope you are all keeping safe and well.
In this month's newsletter I have updates on my work over the past month, as well as information on some upcoming zoom events I am holding to stay connected in our community.
Residents will be aware of the recently announced roadmap out of lockdown, which I welcome as a relief to us all! This is only possible because of the amazing British vaccination success that we are seeing, and once again I would like to thank all the brilliant NHS teams and volunteers for making our rapid roll out - one of the best in the world - possible.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we are heading towards it. I encourage everyone to stick to the rules so that our country can continue down the path outlined by the Prime Minister, and so we can enjoy a Great British Summer, free from restrictions.
I am pleased that the Government has outlined a roadmap out of lockdown and towards greater freedoms. It will be useful for businesses and families across the country to know when to expect things to change, and I hope that both our vaccine program continues to go from strength to strength and that no huge case rises force the Government to delay these steps in order to protect public health.
Key dates and more information: https://www.andreajenkyns.co.uk/news/andrea-welcomes-roadmap-out-lockdown
Reasons For Hope
Vaccine Roll Out: Huge Success
Over 19 MILLION people have received their first dose of vaccine, protecting those most at risk from coronavirus.
AND recent studies in the UK have shown that by the fourth week after a first dose, the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines reduced the risk of hospitalisation by up to 85% and 94% respectively. Great news!
Roughly 28,815 people (28.8%) in Morley and Outwood have already had a jab!
Reproduction Rate: Declining
The current R rate is between 0.6-0.9.
The Chief Medical Officers in all four nations of the UK have decided to move the COVID Alert level down from level 5 to level 4
I'm really pleased that the Morley Town Transformation Plan, bidding for up to £25 Million of Government funding, was submitted this month.
Ever since Morley was selected as one of the 101 towns that could bid for the Towns Fund, I have been extremely excited by what it could mean for the people of Morley. From developing jobs and skills in the area to growing our greenspaces and developing our transport connectivity, I am delighted by the diverse range of projects found in this submission.
I truly believe the vision laid out here will help Morley stand out for years to come and hope to see the submission accepted so work can begin in earnest on this exciting next chapter.
Read more about this exciting plan, here: https://www.andreajenkyns.co.uk/news/andrea-welcomes-ps25million-bid-morley-town-transformation-plan
This month, I held my Faith Leaders Round Table via zoom with local faith leaders. I was pleased that so many faiths were represented, from Protestantism, Sikhism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.
Thank you also to Lord Stephen Greenhalgh, who is the Minister responsible for a wide range of issues including faith and communities, for joining us to speak directly with local leaders.
This was a really positive opportunity to hear about how our communities have adapted to the COVID pandemic, and how they have helped one another during these difficult times.
I am also pleased that faith leaders were able to take this opportunity to speak directly with the Minister to voice any difficulties or concerns that he may be able to assist with.
During Prime Ministers Questions I asked the PM, Boris Johnson, what work is being done to ensure that any future health emergencies are prevented so that local economies such as ours in Morley and Outwood can be certain that this is our last lockdown.
On Friday, March 5th, I am holding a Debt Management & Financial Services Round Table with local stakeholders & charities. I am looking forward to hearing more about how we can all work together to support our communities.
I am also hosting an Animal Rights Stakeholders Round Table, on March 19th. As a lifelong animal welfare advocate, and vegetarian for 20 years now, I am keen to hear how the pandemic has impacted on this area, and any way I am able to assist.
If you are a local stakeholder, organisation, or charity in these areas of work, and would like to attend, please let me know: Andrea.Jenkyns.MP@Parliament.UK
I'm proud that the Government has provided an additional £355 Million for West Yorkshire since March 2020, to support vital local services and families.
Local leaders are free to decide how to use much of this funding, & it is vital local needs are met!
I want to see better and safer local roads.
Residents frequently contact me about the disappointing state of local roads. From ever increasing pot holes that damage cars, cause drivers to swerve suddenly, or recently - fill with water and splash pedestrians, to poor road markings in desperate need of repainting to make our roads safe, it is clear that more needs to be done.
This issue is the responsibility of the local Councils, and I spend a lot of time speaking with both Leeds City Council and Wakefield District Council officers to try and address these issues
The Government has supported local authorities across the UK, and the spending power of local authorities is expected to increase by 4.5 per cent in 2021-22.
Separately, over £3 billion additional funding is being provided, which includes £1.55 billion for service pressures, £670 million for council tax support and £762 million to compensate lost tax revenue. Funding to address homelessness and rough sleeping is being raised to over £750 million, alongside £1.3 billion toward adult and children's social care. £220 million is being allocated to help local areas prepare for the Shared Prosperity Fund and £621 million will be made available through the Towns Fund.
My article in full: https://www.andreajenkyns.co.uk/news/andrea-wants-see-better-safer-local-roads
I welcome the announcement that pupils across Leeds and Wakefield have benefited from 15,690 laptops and tablets to date, as the Conservative Government hits an important milestone in its rollout of devices to support disadvantaged young people.
More than 1 million laptops and tablets have now been delivered to schools and local authorities across England, as part of a £400 million investment that will support schools and young people for years to come.
Very good news that West Yorkshire is getting an extra £3,370,000 to go towards Violence Reduction Units, to help tackle crime in our area!
Residents can read more detail on my website: https://www.andreajenkyns.co.uk/news/andrea-welcomes-ps3370000-funding-boost-tackle-serious-violence-west-yorkshire
This month we marked National Apprenticeship Week, in a very different way to normal times. My article on the importance of apprenticeships is on my website.
My article in full: https://www.andreajenkyns.co.uk/news/andrea-continues-support-drive-more-apprenticeships