From Vicky Ford MP <[email protected]>
Subject InTouch August 2020
Date August 28, 2020 12:42 PM
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As MPs get ready to return to Westminster next week I thought you might like an update on some of what I’ve been focusing on over the past few weeks.

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** Vicky Ford InTouch August 2020

As MPs get ready to return to Westminster next week I thought you might like an update on some of what I’ve been focusing on over the past few weeks.

Economy Update

Over recent months the Government has been focused on protecting livelihoods and jobs as well as health priorities. Over 15,200 people in Chelmsford have benefited from the furlough scheme, many thousands more from the support for the self-employed and hundreds of local businesses have also received financial support. It is good to see people returning safely to our shops, bars and restaurants and I would like to thank everyone who is supporting local businesses. However, there may be difficult times ahead for many people.

I recently visited the Job Centre Plus in Chelmsford, to hear first-hand how their large team of experienced job coaches are supporting those looking for employment. They offer advice with CV writing, training opportunities and interview preparation. This support is available to everyone registered on Universal Credit, even if they are not currently receiving benefits. The Job Centre team can also give advice to those who are not currently registered.

Back to School News

There is much focus on the return to school. School is so important for children and young people, not only for their education and future opportunities but also for their mental health and well-being. The risk to children from Covid is very, very low and much smaller than the risk to their future of missing more school.

All Chelmsford schools have been working hard to ensure that all children will be able to return to school safely this September. I visited St John Payne Catholic School to hear from their leadership team about the measures they have put in place to keep students and staff safe when school returns next week. Each year group will work in a separate part of the school, they will arrive and leave school from separate entrances, will have separate areas to congregate at break and lunch and will have different collection points for meals at lunchtime. This means that if there was to be a case of Covid contacts can be easily track and traced and the virus can be contained.

Funding for Chelmsford schools will increase by 6.1% next year - well ahead of the national average of 4%. This follows the campaign led by Essex MPs for fairer funding for Essex schools. Eight schools in Chelmsford will also benefit from funding to improve school facilities this year.

This has been a very difficult year for many young people who have been unable to take their exams. I want to make sure that the vast majority of students are able to continue with their plans to further their studies or enter the workplace. To ensure students can progress to higher education, the Government intends to remove temporary student number controls and work with the sector to create additional capacity. Congratulations to all those who received their results in this tremendously challenging year. If you are affected by the results and have an issue with your application to University or other courses please do email me so I can help with the latest advice.

More Funding for our Hospitals

Our local hospitals are set to receive £4.8 million to support A&E capacity ahead of the winter months. This will go to the Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust which includes Broomfield Hospital.

Infrastructure Update

I was very glad to hear that over 1,000 people visited the "virtual village hall" exhibition to learn more about the projects to deliver the North East Bypass and Beaulieu Park station. Work on both of these, and developing the detailed plans for the Army and Navy junction is still continuing.

Police News

Our local police continue to work hard to protect us. I recently joined an operation between Essex Police and the British Transport Police to target county lines gangs bringing drugs into Chelmsford by train. We also were joined by our Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst and 2 year old Dudley the drugs detection dog. A number of people were stopped with cannabis and one was been held in custody. Thank you to everyone who has reported intelligence about drugs related behaviour.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me regarding social distancing around Chelmsford. The vast majority of Chelmsford businesses and customers are operating extremely sensibly and responsibly. One pub, The Bay Horse, has had their licence revoked due to recent incidents. If you do have concerns about social distancing please do submit these via the Essex Police website's online form. Thank you to everyone who has supported local businesses via the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

And Congratulations!

Many congratulations to Chelmsford resident Cait Cotter for being picked by Swim England for their development training program. This is particularly impressive as Cait was born with a very rare disease phenyl ketonuria and is a longstanding campaigner for better treatments for this condition.

And finally, congratulations to Essex Cricket for their fabulous performances in recent games. We are so lucky to have the top team in the country based at our County Ground in Chelmsford.

As ever, do stay in touch and if you need my assistance, please email me on .

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