As I write, we are now two weeks into the parliamentary term and it has been a very busy start.
In the recent reshuffle I was deeply honoured to be asked by the Prime Minister to join the ministerial team at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office as Minister for Africa. At a time of global uncertainty, Britain’s case for building deeper economic, security and diplomatic partnerships remains key, especially for example with Commonwealth nations. I am greatly looking forward to the new role. It will necessarily involve more overseas travel so please do bear with me if I need to re-arrange some diary appointments.
Domestically, focus continues on managing the Covid pandemic. But as we continue our vaccination programme and have started the boosters, the Government is working very hard in other areas.
We are making great progress on making sure our police the powers and resources they need. By next April, Essex Police will have 3,553 officers, an increase of 30% or 703 since 2016. Everyone who lives, works, or travels in Essex has the chance to help to make the county safer as Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) for Essex, develops the Police and Crime Plan 2021-2024. Do have a look and have your say: PFCC’s Police and Crime Plan Survey (smartsurvey.co.uk)
The government has also boosted school funding and by 2022-23 the total schools’ budget will have increased by £14.4 billion compared to 2019-20. This is the biggest increase in a decade.
We are also progressing with training more doctors and nurses. Chelmsford is certainly playing its part in this, with more students studying to become doctors, nurses and paramedics at Anglia Ruskin University than ever before. I know that many people in Chelmsford are affected by the NHS backlog due to the pandemic and the government has set out a plan to tackle both the backlog and fix our social care system.
The family science day at the British Science Festival at Anglia Ruskin University, was absolutely brilliant, it was so good to see so many Chelmsford families enjoying the day. The festival’s main themes were on health and the environment. In November, the UK is hosting The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26. The government has set out a Ten Point Plan to unleash a green industrial revolution, creating jobs as we build back greener as we move to meeting out world leading target of being net zero by 2050.
I know many children and young people enjoyed the Holiday Activities and Food projects arranged in Chelmsford. I visited many of these projects across the country this summer, seeing first-hand how much they have helped young people build their confidence and well-being.
Work coaches at Chelmsford Job Centre have been helping many residents into new roles and supporting them in training. Do have a look at the current vacancies: here is the link Jobs vacancies in Chelmsford, Essex (dwp.gov.uk)
I will be holding an Apprenticeship Fair at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford on 27 September from 10am to 3pm. if you are interested in opportunities to learn whilst you earn, please do come along this year’s event. You can register for your free ticket here Chelmsford Training, Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair Tickets, Mon 27 Sep 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite
The vital consultation on the new Army and Navy Junction is open until October 3rd. Please do look online at the different options and give your feedback.
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