Saffron Walden MP on Covid vaccine successes and new planning rules

Kemi Badenoch MP

Kemi Badenoch MP - Credit: Kemi Badenoch

The local vaccination rollout is now well underway.

I am delighted that thousands of residents eligible under the priority groups set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation have now received their first and some their second dose of a vaccine.

This is thanks to our great NHS and the many volunteers working round the clock on this major operation.

Some of you may recall that I have been taking part in the Novavax vaccine trials since last year and it was recently announced that the vaccine has shown to be 89.3 percent effective.

This is very promising and if approved by regulators, will form part of our vaccination programme as soon as possible alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford University/ AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.

At the start of this week, over 10 million people across the UK have been vaccinated and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute in some small way to this success.

There is still some way to go and I recognise residents are impacted by the current restrictions in place in so many different ways.

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As a mother with young children, I know the challenges that come with home-schooling and trying to work from home. I have heard from many businesses that have been impacted in a number of ways as a result of the restrictions.

I have also been regularly corresponding with our local NHS trusts, Uttlesford district, Chelmsford City and Essex County councils to discuss the challenges they have been facing and the feedback they are receiving from residents.

I agree with the Prime Minister that, while the weeks ahead will be hard, we are entering the last phase of the struggle.

It is good to see that the number of cases across Chelmsford and Uttlesford continues to decrease, however our hospitals are still under significant pressure and I urge everyone to continue to play their part by following the rules.

Alongside the unprecedented support for residents and businesses, the Government continues to make additional announcements that benefit our constituency.

Most recently, under new rules, all developments must meet local standards of beauty, quality and design. This is a matter that I have continuously raised with ministerial colleagues and in response to consultations on planning.

The proposals will ensure that local communities are fully involved in how they want developments to look and feel, which I know will be welcomed.

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