May has been a busy month for Westminster. Parliament was officially re-opened for a new Parliamentary term by The Queen. The Queen’s Speech sets out the Government’s agenda for the next year, and we have an ambitious plan of over 25 new pieces of legislation. These include major bills on the Environment, Police and Crime Sentencing and Planning Reforms, that will benefit Tamworth, Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
The Environment Bill, will make our Government the greenest in the history of the United Kingdom. It will reinforce our commitment to reaching carbon net zero by 2050 and makes our environmental policy one of the most ambitious in the world. The £640 million Nature for Climate fund will see tree planting revolutionised with up to 74,000 acres of trees planted per year by 2025 and our wildlife protected, air quality improved and businesses encouraged to supply eco-friendly products. I know this is important to Tamworth, as our green spaces like Tameside and Hodge Lane nature reserves and Wigginton Park will be protected for future generations.
The Police and Crime Sentencing Bill will build on the Government’s commitment to law and order in our country – as it already passed the Domestic Abuse act earlier this year. This bill will give the extra 20,000 police officers that the Government is already ahead of schedule in recruiting the powers and support to crack down on serious crimes and make sure there are tougher sentences for offenders. This will include targeting knife crime by supporting the police’s stop and search powers as well as stopping the automatic halfway release for the perpetrators of serious crimes. I know that for our police to be able to effectively protect our homes and communities, we must provide them with the support they need. For more information on other legislation, do contact me or check the GOV.UK website.
Back here in Tamworth, I was pleased be able to persuade the HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson, to visit our bit of the world and see sites where the rail line is to be built and discuss the effects with local residents and businesses. Being able to get out onto an affected farm, alongside the local NFU representative too, brought home the real story and impact of HS2 Ltd on people's lives. It was positive to hear of the work the Minister is doing in Government, especially at improving that experience in dealing with HS2 Ltd and insisting the organisation communicates more effectively with the community.
As we have eased restrictions and hit the next milestone on the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown, it looks as if we have reached another small victory in the fight against Covid-19. However, we must still be careful and follow the rules and guidance; to allow our successful vaccination programme to continue working. We must still remember to be safe whilst we are out and about and remember, Hands, Face, Space.
As always, my team and I are here to help if you think we can support or advise you in any way so do not hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.