Kemi Badenoch MP for Saffron Walden and district on shops and businesses reopening
PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 July 2020
I was very pleased to see shops and businesses in Saffron Walden and surrounding villages re-open following the easing of restrictions.
Thanks to the fantastic effort and hard work by our local businesses, the Saffron Walden BID team and many others, they have been able to provide a safe and, in some cases, new experience for customers while they shop.
I have had virtual meetings with Shara Vickers, Chair of the BID, and others, where we discussed the type of preparations required in Saffron Walden which included a big town clear up, hand sanitising stations and proper signage.
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I welcomed the government’s support for Uttlesford district through the ‘Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund’. The council received over £80,000 to help them introduce a range of safety measures to kick-start our local economies.
As a Treasury Minister, I know the Chancellor’s top priority has been to support people, protect jobs and businesses through the crisis. Across the constituency, the Government’s job retention scheme has protected 13,600 jobs so far and a further 4,800 people have been supported through the self-employment scheme. Following correspondence with residents and businesses I am pleased to hear their positive feedback on how these schemes have helped alleviate financial hardship in the short term.
As the lockdown forced us into a new era of virtual meetings, my team and I have been exploring alternative spaces to hold constituency ‘visits’. Prior to the lockdown I regularly visited local schools and last Friday I ‘virtually’ visited a primary school, which has welcomed back reception, year 1 and year 6, and has been remained open for children of key workers.
The headteacher explained the challenges they are facing as they work hard to maintain social distancing measures amongst the children, but how pleased they are to have some of their pupils back with them. I am grateful we have such dedicated teachers prioritising children’s safety and education and reassuring parents they will make school days as normal as possible. I will continue to share feedback from headteachers with the relevant minister’s on how local schools are managing and what they feel is best for their pupils.
If residents have any enquiries regarding our local high streets, businesses, government support schemes or anything else, please get in touch by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office on 0207 219 1943 and my team and I will support you as best we can.
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