Worcester’s MP Robin Walker writes for the Observer….
THIS week sees another important step in our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with groups of 30 allowed to meet outdoors, pubs and restaurants to reopen indoors, and groups of six people or two households to mix indoors.
This is a positive step, and the spirit of businesses and individuals in Worcester is to be praised. As restrictions are lifted further, we need to concentrate on supporting our local businesses including our retail and hospitality sector in Worcester as we rebuild from the pandemic.
The vaccination programme continues to make great progress with more and more people being asked to come forward and get a jab. I was fortunate to receive my first dose earlier in May. The number of people who have received their second jab is really ramping up with over 20 million people in the UK fully vaccinated. This means that people can go out with confidence and get back to doing the things we love.
It has been a busy time in Westminster with the official re-opening of parliament taking place yesterday. The Queen’s Speech outlined the Government’s plan to create highly skilled green jobs, to deliver the highest standards of animal welfare, and to set ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions, restore nature and cut plastic pollution.
A key measure announced in the Queen’s Speech was to ban conversion therapy in the UK. This legislation is being introduced to protect people from this harmful practice and will also see the launch a new victim support service. Many forms of the practice are already prevented under current legislation, but this new ban will ensure that it is stamped out once and for all.
Local elections have just taken place right across the country and I was delighted to be able to welcome the return of many longstanding Councillors to both City and County Council and I am also looking forward to working with new Councillors of all parties to ensure Worcester continues to prosper and succeed.
I would also like to acknowledge the long serving councillors who were not re-elected at last week’s election. Your contributions have helped to improve our community and for that, I thank you.