The days and weeks after the Budget are always a busy time of year for all MPs and Ministers, and it’s been great to hear the thoughts of constituents on the announcement, which I can feed-back to colleagues in Westminster. I believe this Budget strikes the highly difficult balance between continuing to protect businesses and individuals affected by Covid-19, starting to strengthen our public finances, while investing in a greener, more diverse economy. Further thoughts and details here: www.mimsdavies.org.uk/news/budget-2021
Last week, we also reached a key agreement with the US to suspend all tariffs currently being applied to UK exports to the US for an initial period of 4 months, as part of the ongoing Airbus dispute, worth £500 million to UK trade. This is the new ‘Global Britain’ in action - setting our own tariff regimes, securing new opportunities and striking new trade agreements.
I was delighted to see WSCC reject the latest Balcombe drilling plans. I had previously written to the planning committee, as had Horsham MP Jeremy Quin, to share both constituents’, and our own, deep concerns about the potential impact these plans would have on Cuckfield and the local environment. I commend the Council for reaching this decision and I will continue to ensure we are focusing on ambitious, environmentally-friendly projects across the constituency.
WSCC have also pleasingly reported that the Woodlands Meed College rebuild project in Burgess Hill, at a cost of £20 million, will be completed 5 months early, allowing the new facilities to be open for use from January 2023. I want to mention Cllr Anne Jones MBE and Cllr Sujan Wickremaratchi, who have both engaged relentlessly on this project at WSCC, in order to make sure it’s delivered. This will bring huge benefits to all those who attend this wonderful college, as well as the staff and leadership teams there.
It was an honour to mark International Women’s Day with the mentors & mentees of Accor’s ‘for Women by Women’ mentoring programme. Organised in partnership with EDACUK, the programme provides women affected by domestic abuse tailored support to help take the next step in their careers. As Minister for Employment, I called on all employers to sign up and pledge to support women affected by domestic abuse to help them enter/re-enter the workforce or to be better supported to stay in a place of work they enjoy. Through our DWP Jobcentres, we’ve seen just how vital employment support can be to helping survivors rebuild their lives. That’s why we’re actively working with our Work Coaches and staff across DWP to support survivors & address the unique challenges they face in the workplace, or in getting back into work. https://edacuk.org/get-involved/