Dominic Raab MP's January 2021 newsletter View this email in your browser ([link removed])
Dom Raab MP's January 2021 Newsletter
As residents are aware, since my last update at the end of November, tough new Coronavirus restrictions have come into force. I am acutely aware of how difficult these measures are and have outlined some of the economic support available below. The vaccination programme offers a clear route out of these restrictions, and I urge residents to get their vaccination when they are contacted by the NHS.
Away from Coronavirus, earlier this month I had a productive virtual catch-up with Bert Dean of Surrey Police, discussing how to keep crime in Elmbridge low. I also had a good virtual meeting on road safety with one of our local headteachers. We ended 2020 with some welcome local news. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government decided not to raise Elmbridge’s housing target, and the Department of Health and Social Care announced more investment in our local hospitals.
In my role as Foreign Secretary this month, I travelled to East Africa to strengthen some key UK partnerships in the region. I also took firm action to help ensure that British organisations are not complicit in or profiting from human rights violations in Xinjiang, China.
Dom catching up with Elmbridge Borough Commander Inspector Bert Dean.
This month, the lockdown measures have meant that I’ve been doing all of my local work remotely. First up, I had a productive catch-up with Inspector Bert Dean, the Elmbridge Borough Commander at Surrey Police, where we talked through his team’s priorities and what they’re doing to keep crime down locally. It was great to hear that we’ve seen a 50% reduction in burglaries in Elmbridge, and that government funding boosts have seen six more officers joining the Elmbridge team. You can read more about this here ([link removed]) .
Next, I had a useful virtual meeting with Damian Tucker, the headteacher of St Lawrence Junior School. Damian updated me on the school’s campaign to have road safety measures introduced on Church Road, where there have been some worrying accidents in recent years. I blogged about our work on this here ([link removed]) .
We’ve also had some very welcome news for Elmbridge recently. First, as residents may be aware, there had been concerns around proposals to increase Elmbridge’s housing target. I and local Conservative councillors took these concerns up with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. They listened to our representations, and our housing target will not be raised. This is a major local victory for us in Elmbridge. You can read more about this here ([link removed]) .
Second, I received a useful update ([link removed]) from Surrey County Council about the maintenance of our local roads and pavements. The council has completed 108 maintenance works in Esher and Walton since 2016, breaking down into 69 roadworks and 39 pavement works, and will be increasing investment in local roads next year. This is welcome news, as I know that poorly maintained roads and pavements can have a real impact on residents’ quality of life.
Finally, the government has allocated Ashford and St Peter’s and Kingston hospitals £1m and £9.6m respectively to tackle important maintenance issues ([link removed]) . This encouraging news follows significant recent investments in the A&E departments of both hospitals.
In my role as Foreign Secretary this month, I travelled to Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia. This was an invaluable opportunity to strengthen key partnerships in the region, boosting trade, security and our ability to tackle global challenges including Coronavirus and climate change. It was particularly good to visit a laboratory in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to hear how Kenyan and British scientists collaborated in developing the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine that has given our vaccination programme here in the UK such a boost.
Also this month, I took action to help ensure that British organisations are not complicit in or profiting from human rights violations in Xinjiang, China. This follows growing evidence of gross human rights violations in the region, including extra-judicial detention and forced labour. The measures include a review of export controls with regard to Xinjiang, and financial penalties for organisations failing to meet their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act.
These actions demonstrate our commitment for the UK to be a force for good globally. This is particularly important this year, as the UK begins a big year of international leadership – taking on the presidency of the G7, hosting crucial climate change talks in Glasgow in November, and chairing the UN Security Council in February.
As residents are aware, earlier this month the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown in England. New restrictions became necessary because of the concerning speed with which a new variant of Coronavirus was spreading. Rising case numbers were in turn putting the NHS under extreme pressure. While new cases have been decreasing recently, both locally and nationally, the situation is still very serious. It’s vital that we keep following the rules, and remember – stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.
I know that these restrictions, while necessary, have been causing real difficulty. New economic support was announced soon after the lockdown began, including grants of up to £9,000 per property for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. You can read more about all of the economic support available here ([link removed]) .
Of course this lockdown is different from before, because with the vaccine roll-out continuing apace we can see light at the end of the tunnel. Over 8 million vaccine doses have been administered so far across the UK, and nearly 80% of everyone aged over 80 has received at least one dose. We are on track to have given a first dose to 15 million of the most vulnerable, across the UK, by 15 February, and to offer all adults their first dose by the autumn.
Locally, the latest data shows that over 110,000 vaccine doses had been given in Surrey by 24 January. With the lag in the data, the true number now vaccinated will be higher. Vaccination centres have been set up across the county, including two in Elmbridge – at The Heart Centre in Walton, and Emberbrook Surgery in Thames Ditton.
You will be contacted when it is your turn to receive a vaccine and should not contact the NHS to ask about it beforehand. I strongly urge residents to get the vaccine when it is offered. You can find more information about the local vaccination programme here ([link removed]) .
Our mailing address is:
Dominic Raab MP
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
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Dominic Raab MP . House of Commons . London, SW1A 0AA . United Kingdom
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