Constituents will have been worried about the emergence of this new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, as we come up to the Christmas season. Our brilliant scientists are analysing this variant and we will know far more soon. In the meantime, it’s important we all continue to remember ‘Hands, Face, Space’ and keep an eye on the updated measures in place to prevent the virus from spreading. I know It is frustrating but getting through this Winter Period was always going to be tricky and we need to work together to come through as safely as possible.
We need to take action against this new variant, by expanding our booster vaccine roll-out, following the JCVI’s approval, making face masks compulsory again in shops and on public transport, as well as PCR tests for UK arrivals within two days of landing. I want to implore everyone to come forward and get your jab - it really could be the difference and protect you from serious illness.
I recently attended the wonderful Coro Nuovo NHS Celebration Concert in Hurstpierpoint, directed by Andrew Rees. It was free to all NHS workers who live or work in Sussex. It was truly an evening of amazing talent -Leo Popplewell on the Cello and Maria Luc on the Piano - and the choirs sounded beautiful. Through its not-for-profit status, it has established a crucial outreach programme to support young musicians across Sussex to progress. Thank you to everyone for this wonderful event and to our ealth workers for everything they continue to do in all sectors.
I am so pleased Dr Liam Fox MP's (Private Members) Down Syndrome Bill is moving forward at the House of Commons. My mum dedicated her much of her working life to people with disabilities, including many who had Down Syndrome. This important Bill addresses inequalities faced by people with Down Syndrome and their families to help them achieve better life outcomes and has my full support.
I’m deeply concerned by ongoing reports of women being drugged via drinks or needles, having previously been a spiking victim myself. I’ve been astounded by just how many people from across the County have shared their experiences with me, and I am pleased to have spoken to both PCC Katy Bourne and the Safeguarding Minister at the Home Office about the action being taken. I was able to speak out about this recently having recognised just how lucky I was and how appalling this ongoing issue is. I’ve written to the Home Secretary about the possibility of introducing additional restrictions on the sale of needles and paraphernalia, to restrict the ability of these would-be despicable criminals. We must act to help women and girls feel safer when they’re out enjoying themselves.