It is extremely important that we continue to support our local businesses as they reopen and build back from the pandemic. I have enjoyed listening to local restaurant, bar and club owners and hearing about the measures that they have taken to welcome back customers in a Covid secure way.
Chelmsford’s markets are such a treasure, but traders are still facing lower customers than usual partly because many office workers have not yet returned to the city centre. I am concerned to hear that Chelmsford City Council has put the rent back up to pre-pandemic levels, which seems very short-sighted to me given that we are so close to taking the final steps to reverse lockdown. I have asked the City Council to reconsider. The market is stuffed full of exciting stalls, from foodie delights to an Aladdin’s cave for those who love stitching and sewing. Please do pop down and support our market traders.
I recently visited the Chelmsford ambulance depot and met the team who have been managing our local ambulance services throughout the pandemic. Our paramedics have been phenomenal, and it was an honour to deliver a thank you message signed by MPs from all over Essex.
Essex County Council’s new Cabinet Members recently met with local MPs. I have raised with them the need to improve the services for repairing pot-holes and pavements. The Council are continuing their work to ensure that all residents, but particularly women and girls, are feeling safe on our streets. They are being supported in this work by Roger Hirst, our re-elected Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner who is also focusing on tackling speeding in residential areas, and county lines drugs.
I am so pleased that the vaccine roll out continues to be hugely successful. All adults can now come forward for the vaccination, and so far, the uptake has been truly phenomenal. There were over 700,000 bookings in 24 hours. Thank you to those who are doing their part to ensure we can ease restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so. As I write, over 81.6% of adults have had their first vaccine, and almost 60% have had their second vaccine. Two community pharmacies in Chelmsford are delivering COVID vaccinations - The Melbourne Pharmacy and the Tesco In-House Pharmacy, Princes Road.
There is some good news coming from the Department for Transport - new flexible season tickets for our railways are being introduced. I have been campaigning for flexible season tickets for Chelmsford commuters for many years, recognising that many residents do not want or need to travel to London every weekday. The pandemic has accelerated the need for these flexible tickets and I am pleased to see they are on their way.
I know that a number of residents do have concerns about the Moulsham ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ proposals and I share these concerns. I believe that these proposals will increase, rather than reduce, some car journey times for residents. They will increase traffic on certain local roads, such as Upper Roman Road. I am also extremely concerned that this proposal will create more traffic on Parkway and the Army and Navy, which are already extremely busy. I have written to Essex County Council and have requested a meeting to discuss this in more detail. I would also strongly encourage residents to submit their views to the formal consultation.
It was good to be able to see some of my constituents now that I am able to run my face to face surgeries again. I have continued to run my constituency surgeries throughout the pandemic, however this has had be to via telephone and some cases are better dealt with in person. If you have a particularly difficult case that requires my assistance, please do call my office on 01245 352872 to book an appointment. Alternatively, if you have any enquiries I would be happy to assist via email at email@example.com