Over the last week there has been huge demand for vaccination as the rollout was extended to all over the age of 18. I know that many young people are desperate to get jabbed as soon as possible not because they are anxious about becoming ill but because they want to be able to go big events, sports and music, and start going abroad again. Having studied the data I am convinced that all domestic restrictions should have been lifted on Monday. I have made that point to the Government and hope we will soon see the its position evolve.
Earlier this week I spoke with Luke Hall, Minister of Regional Growth and Local Government, to discuss funding and regeneration programmes. As I mentioned last week, I am working as closely as possible with the Government as we look to reform and improve local government here and make sure we do not miss out on future opportunities for funding and other ways of regenerating our town centres.
I also had a call with the Prime Minister on Wednesday to highlight the huge potential we have in the South West to build back stronger from the pandemic. The upcoming dualling of the of the A303 corridor will open up a whole new range of possibilities for local investment and if Leonardo can supply HM Forces' need for a new medium lift helicopter that would set the stage for our area to make a strong contribution to growth and exports.
Leonardo's new logistics facility in Yeovil is brilliant news and shows the appetite for investment and transformation. The new facility won’t just further Leonardo’s partnership with the local community but can also drive real innovation, efficiency and scalable solutions into the Leonardo supply chain that supports so many good jobs across the wider area.
On a similar note, I caught up with EDF recently and there are great opportunities to get involved in the supply chain at Hinkley Point C. In South Somerset the gross value added to our local economy is around £37.8 million with around 150 jobs being supported by the project in the construction phase. More contracts are becoming available so if you work for a company that could get involved do visit www.hinkleysupplychain.com to see if part of the Hinkley Point C supply chain could be a good option.
After the success of establishing the terms of our new trade deal with Australia it was very exciting to see the Government launch negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The CPTPP consists of some of the world’s biggest and fastest growing economies which make up a £9 trillion free trade area and the US may well return to it in time. A deal would open new markets for our service industries, lower tariffs on goods like cars and whisky, and create new opportunities for UK farmers which would be a great win for us in the South West, with our exports to these countries set to increase by £37 billion by 2030 even without the US. I am looking forward to seeing the detail and working with ministers to make the most of the opportunities for all our local farmers and businesses.
As always, if I can be of help or if you would like to contact me on any of these issues please do call 01935314321 or email email@example.com