What a start to the week! Over 34 million people vaccinated and (some) sports are back – I personally can’t wait to get back out on the golf course, and I’m sure everyone is excited to be able to play the sports we love, socialise outdoors in groups of 6 or in two households, and take that next step back towards regaining our normal lives. This has all been made possible thanks to all of your sacrifices, our incredible NHS staff, key workers and the unprecedented vaccination roll-out. March 29th marked the completion of Step 1 of our Roadmap out of Lockdown, with Step 2 beginning no earlier than April 12th. April will be ‘2nd dose month’ for vaccinations, while we remain on track to vaccinate everyone by July.
As Easter comes upon us, there is real reason to be hopeful for the rest of the year. I understand why some constituents were concerned about the extension of the Coronavirus Act last week, but I do want to make it absolutely clear this does not change the plans to ease restrictions in line with what has already been announced - I’m still as excited as anyone at the very real possibility of an end to all restrictions by June.
After ‘Global Recycling Day’ last week, my colleagues in DEFRA confirmed consultations are now underway on two major, landmark waste reforms, which will tackle plastic pollution, boost recycling and reduce litter, while overhauling the waste and resources sector. I know recycling means a great deal to so many of us - we love our green spaces and the natural beauty around us – and these reforms will be crucial in protecting this. More information can be found here: https://www.mimsdavies.org.uk/news/government-announces-reforms-tackle-plastic-pollution
Importantly, the Home Office announced our New Plan for Immigration last week, which includes several measures which will: help us increase the fairness and efficacy of our system so we can better protect and support those in genuine need of refuge, deter illegal entry into the UK, thereby breaking the business model of people smuggling networks and protecting the lives of those they endanger plus, more easily remove those with no right to be here from the UK. More details on this can be found on my website.
Finally, I had a fantastic Zoom Q&A session with Harlands School’s students last week and the 5th Burgess Hill Scouts, and I wanted to take the opportunity to praise the tough, challenging questions they asked during our chat. It’s always heartening to hear the interest our younger generations have for current affairs, the environment and our community, as well as their desire to use their voices and ‘be the difference’, both now and in the future.