The tourism and hospitality sectors are at the heart of our local economy and the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs will provide a much-needed boost. VAT will be cut from 20% to 5% for six months for all businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and attractions industries. 610 businesses in Wealden could benefit from the measures.
Additionally, up to 225 businesses in Wealden could benefit from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. The scheme will entitle everyone to a discount of up to 50% on their meal, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August. Eligible businesses can register for the scheme HERE.
New support update:
- Job Retention Bonus Scheme. A one-off payment of £1,000 will be paid to a business for every employee who was furloughed previously and who is successfully kept on continuously until January 2021.
- A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, to give young people the best possible chance of getting a job. The scheme will directly pay businesses to create new jobs for any 16-24-year olds.
- Temporarily scrapping stamp duty. From 9 July 2020 until 31 March 2021, the threshold at which stamp duty applies will be increased from £125,000 to £500,000.
- Green Homes Grant, to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes across England. Low-income households will be eligible for up to 100 per cent of Government funding, up to £10,000.
More information is available HERE.
🎉 CELEBRATING WEALDEN HEROES 🎉
I cannot thank Wealden residents enough for their collective efforts over the last few months to fight the pandemic. I have met and spoken to so many heroes who have made personal sacrifices to help others. These individuals are our ‘invisible’ heroes and it is important they get the recognition they deserve.
If you know anyone who has gone to extraordinary lengths to help you, your family or your community during the pandemic, please do nominate them for a Wealden Hero Award via my website HERE.
Great local news over the last few weeks!
🎓 I am delighted that we were successful in applications for local funding for Wealden’s Beacon Academy, Hailsham Community College, St Mary’s School and Sir Henry Fermor Church of England Primary School. The Department of Education’s fund for facility upgrades is very competitive and I am pleased we secured local wins. More information is available HERE.
🏘️ Motorists passing through Crowborough will be pleased that the old surface on Croft Road was removed, recycled and replaced, improving the road safety and appearance. Resurfacing work has now moved to Whitehill Road before further improvements are made to Eridge Road and Beacon Road. Click HERE for more information.
🚂 I am delighted that following my successful campaigning to secure accessibility improvements at both Crowborough and Eridge train stations, Eridge station will be refurbished this month as part of an additional £50 million of Access For All Funding.
⚽ I am excited that after raising the issue of lack of investment in local football clubs with the Premier League, seven grants worth £14,500 in total have been awarded to clubs in Wealden to get their natural and artificial playing surfaces match-fit and ready for when it is safe for football to resume.
Alderbrook playing field in Crowborough was one of the successful applicants and used this funding for the maintenance of the main pitch inside the stadium, where the Crowborough Athletic FC First Team plays. However, the Club is raising funds to also get their junior pitches ready for when the season resumes. If you can, please support the Club’s fundraiser by donating HERE.
🚨 Although the levels of crime in Wealden are low, sadly, incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic violence are still an issue. I hold routine meetings with Sussex Police to raise the cases of constituents who have been the victims of crime. I am sure you will be pleased to hear that two weeks of high-profile policing have been dedicated to combat rural crime in Wealden, in addition to nearly 500 hours of existing police patrol activity in the area.
As ever, please report any concerns to the police by calling 101 or visit the Sussex Police website HERE. If you are in danger, always call 999.
Since my election in 2015, I have personally campaigned for the law to recognise all forms of domestic abuse as a crime and to ensure additional resources to support victims. I am delighted that the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill has passed its remaining stages in the House of Commons. The Bill will see victims of this heinous crime better protected and ensure perpetrators are punished and feel the full force of the law. Click HERE for more information.
🐥 Celebrating Sussex Day 🐥
Me and my Sussex colleagues marked Sussex Day (16 June) by reading out the official Sussex Charter on the terrace of the Houses of Parliament.
Successful campaign to support the beauty industry
In response to the large number of businesses in the beauty industry, who have not been included amongst the businesses allowed to open on 4 July, I have written to the Chancellor raising the issues. I have encouraged the Government to reconsider its position on the reopening of these businesses this summer and to consider further financial assistance to support the sector. I have also added my name to a letter to the Prime Minister, calling for the beauty industry to be reopened.
I am delighted that as a result of these efforts, beauticians, tattooists, nail bars, tanning salons and other services are allowed to reopen from this Monday, 13 July.
This is my letter to the Chancellor👇🏾
My work in Parliament
Since returning to Westminster last month, I have focused on supporting local businesses, schools, charities, care homes and thousands of families. Dealing with COVID on a local casework level as well as trying to support our national response to a pandemic has been a whole new experience. Everything from weddings, festivals, hairdressing, gyms, PPE, grants and schemes for businesses has been dealt with.
Here is a flavour of what was caught on TV:
To keep our supermarket shelves stocked we need imports. Around 95% of our imports and exports in goods are moved by sea and the pandemic has had a disastrous impact on maritime, with many seafarers stuck at sea. I have raised this issue with the Prime Minister (video here), and written articles for the Telegraph (here) an City AM (here). I am pleased that my campaigning to secure desperately needed repatriations for ship-workers has been successful and they will get enhanced rights as key workers.
In the Chamber, I also spoke about the shocking figure that the majority of health worker deaths are from the BAME community (video here), and asked the Health Secretary about local lockdowns (video here).
While face-to-face surgeries are not currently possible, I continue to host virtual surgeries and the next virtual surgery will take place on Friday 17th July 2020. To set up an appointment, please click HERE.
I know from your correspondence that you are shocked and dismayed at the actions of the People's Republic of China in Hong Kong and in Xinjiang. Like you, I am deeply concerned by recent developments. I urge Britain not to stay silent on China's ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims in my article here and I talk about our responsibility to help Hong Kongers by offering a clear route to British citizenship in my article here. Britain must be a stronger global force for good and stand up for victims of human rights violations and abuses around the world.
I am also delighted to share with you my two recent appointments. After beating stiff competition, I am proud to be appointed to serve on the House of Common’s Panel of Chairs. As Chairman I will oversee the passage of legislation and Westminster Hall debates. I look forward to declaring ‘Order, Order’ at my first sitting soon.
Secondly, I have been appointed as part of the UK Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Parliamentary Assembly, with oversight of Science and Technology. The Parliamentary Assembly is made up of delegates from NATO member countries and I will be focusing on the science of pandemics and how we manage technology security.
I am in daily contact with residents to help with urgent cases and crisis support. If you need my help urgently, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care and stay safe.