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Hertford and Stortford's Conservative MP Julie Marson on the Government's rule of six guidelines

Hertford and Stortford MP Julie Marson writes her latest column for the Indie...

It's a week which sees the start of the Government's new 'rule of six' instruction, meaning we have to meet in groups no larger than six people (with a range of exemptions, including schools and work).

After the previous six months, I know we all would like to see a trend of relaxation of rules, but Covid-19 does not respect our wishes or plans and is rearing its ugly head once more. We really must act decisively now to prevent this latest outbreak from overturning our progress.

Gatherings of more than six people are not allowed under the new rules. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA
Gatherings of more than six people are not allowed under the new rules. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Our brilliant local police will help to engage with residents to enforce the new rules and I hope that everyone will understand the need for such action and help them to do their job of protecting us. The sooner we can get a handle on the latest surge of new cases the sooner we will be able to return to more of a semblance of normality.

It was another particularly busy week in Parliament last week and included a debate on the economy and jobs. I had hoped to speak in this debate to put Hertford and Stortford in the spotlight, but with Covid-19 restrictions as they are and slowing down operations of the chamber, I was not called by the Speaker.

I would have spoken about the impact Government support initiatives have had for so many businesses in and around Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford.

Regular readers of my column may know that I am joint chair of the Innovation Corridor All Party Parliamentary Group, which promotes the interests of business in our area and its links along the M11 corridor up to Cambridge, via Stansted Airport.

Throughout the crisis, I have championed the belief that the Government should give what support it can to people and businesses but it must also be done with a keen eye on the future.

We should always maintain our country's attractiveness as a place to invest in and build a business, particularly in high-growth sectors of the future, such as fintech, green energy and AI.

Sustainable jobs like those won't be created by the Government; they've got to be created by creative, talented, skilled entrepreneurs who have confidence in the UK and especially in Hertford and Stortford.

This is what much of my work with the Innovation Corridor focuses on – campaigning to build the infrastructure and environment needed in our constituency to attract businesses and enable them to grow and flourish.

In addition to debates in the House of Commons, I held important meetings related to primary health care capacity in Bishop's Stortford and the surrounding area.

Ongoing developments in the constituency and just outside will bring thousands of new homes to our area over the next few years, and as such we need to make sure our health provisions are able to meet the growing demand.

I am in touch with the Government and the three CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) about bringing forward plans for a new surgery on South Street in Bishop's Stortford. The aim here is to ensure capacity is never reached and the delivery of care remains excellent for everyone. I hope to be able to report back on progress in the coming months, and while this will not be a quick fix, I expect to see a new practice in place within three to four years.

I hope those of you who have read my columns over the past month or so will understand my regular promotion of our Online Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair, but as it is this Friday it would be remiss of me not to plug it one last time!

Between 10am and 1pm we will be exhibiting 26 fantastic businesses via Zoom, including the Army, Active Recruitment and Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors, each with opportunities available for those entering the jobs market or wishing to make a change.

For those not in search of a new role, businesses will also be offering advice and support, including Natwest conducting one-to-one business start-up support surgeries. Full details can be found on my Facebook page and I will be publishing the various Zoom links via my website and social media on the day.

Finally, next Friday (Sept 25) Macmillan Cancer Support, a fantastic charity which has helped my family on several occasions and whose work is absolutely worth supporting, is hosting its World's Biggest Coffee Morning. Like most events this year, things will be run a little differently. You can find a virtual or socially distanced coffee morning venue at https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/about/search/ . Alternatively, do look on Macmillan's website to find out how to host your own. I hope to be joining some myself, so perhaps I will see you there.

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