My twenty first weekly message to my constituents and local residents across our Royal Town comes the day before we mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War.
Tomorrow the Prince of Wales, accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, will lead the UK in a national moment of remembrance and thanksgiving for all those who served in the Far East. His Royal Highness will lead a two minute silence at 11am at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire as part of a special televised service.
Local Sutton Coldfield hero 93 year-old Albert Leslie Wills who served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Indefatigable will be present at the service alongside a small group of veterans. The coverage starts on BBC 1 from 9.30am.
I'm delighted to report that some of the void left by the closure of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer is being filled by a new website, called www.suttonschoollife.co.uk. The website has been launched by Gary Phelps, former editor of the Observer, who now works with local schools to help celebrate their achievements. It launched this week, reporting on A level results at schools that work with Gary, but it is also full of brilliant stories from recent years. I'd recommend grandparents, parents and students alike take a look at www.suttonschoollife.co.uk to enjoy some great stories, photos and videos from life in the Royal Town's schools.
This week Conservative West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate Jay Singh-Sohal has reaffirmed his commitment to stop local police station closures. From correspondence I have received on this matter it is clear that our entire town is very much opposed to the downgrading of local police activity in Sutton Coldfield and any attempt by the current Police and Crime Commissioner to close our local police station. There has been a disappointing lack of clarity as to whether 8 more police stations due to close across Birmingham and the Black Country this year will go ahead or not, including here in Sutton Coldfield and I welcome Jay’s categoric commitment to keep the Sutton Coldfield Police Station open.
The Government has released some positive statistics relating to the Coronavirus support packages that have been introduced. Figures reveal that in Sutton Coldfield, the Government has supported:
13,400 workers that have been furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (figures up to 30 June);
2,800 self-employed people through the Self-employment Income Scheme (figures up to 30 June);
1,498 local businesses through offers of government-backed Bounce Back Loans and an additional 67 government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme facilities (figures up to 2 August);
663 local business in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector and 31 nurseries, each of which will pay no business rates this year (figures up to 5 July);
Around 100 local restaurants and cafes in Sutton Coldfield have signed up to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme which offers diners a 50% discount (up to a maximum of £10) on food and soft drinks when you eat or drink in from Mondays to Wednesdays until the end of the month. Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-a-discount-with-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme.
Top of my list of concerns remains the economic impact of Covid 19 and I continue to raise points of concern with the Government on behalf of local businesses and employers.
As your MP I am here to help. If you feel I can assist with any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in contact by emailing me on email@example.com