WORCESTER’s MP Robin Walker writes for the Observer…
There is a lot happening at Westminster with Parliament resuming after the summer recess and we are getting back to some of the previous ways that we have operated, which will take some adjusting to again.
On Tuesday I spoke on the elections bill which I voted in favour of as I believe a secure electoral system is a vital component of a healthy democracy. The Elections Bill will update elections law and deliver on manifesto commitments to protect our democracy and ensure that it remains secure, transparent, and fair.
In the bill it includes provisions on, overseas electors, the voting rights of EU citizens, the accessibility of polls, identification to vote at polling stations and digital imprints as well as provisions aimed at tackling postal vote fraud, undue influence, and intimidation at elections.
I welcome the return of schools, which I am sure will be a relief for many parents across Worcester as well as the rollout of vaccines for older teenagers. We are making great progress in Worcestershire, with 80 per cent of the population above 18 years of age fully vaccinated, and with 7 per cent of under 18’s vaccinated, I am sure this will continue to increase.
There is plenty happening around Worcester this week and Worcester Job Centre Plus held their jobs fare on Tuesday as part of their Kick Start Scheme. Over 25 employers were in attendance, all with job vacancies. This comes as figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of job vacancies has topped 1 million for the first time on record as the economy recovers from the pandemic.
The Towns Fund bid continues to progress and the board met recently to approve the projects and the focus is to create new jobs and providing opportunities for Worcester’s most deprived communities including the regeneration of Shrub Hill, improved transport links, active travel and a centre for health & wellbeing.
I strongly welcome that the General Medical Council gave the go-ahead for those wishing to study the Three Counties Medical School to be able to apply from next month for entry in September 2022.