Welcome to my November Update.
It has been a busy month both in Westminster, and the Constituency. I have enjoyed making a number of visits in the constituency this month, including visiting several schools to talk to pupils about UK Parliament Week, as well as visiting a Maldon-based business specialising in sustainable energy solutions during the week of COP-26. You will find the full articles for these visits on my website.
COP-26, Glasgow Climate Pact
Following on from this, I am encouraged by the the new global agreement – the Glasgow Climate Pact – that was reached at the COP26 summit. The pact pledges to further cut emissions, reduce coal usage, phase out the use of fossil-fuel subsidies, stop deforestation by 2030, and invest finances away from fossil fuels, towards clean technology such as renewable energy.
I am encouraged by finalisation of this agreement, and agree with the Prime Minister, that the road to achieving these goals will require a lot of work from the UK, and the rest of the world, but this work is absolutely necessary if we are to achieve a more sustainable future.
Covid-19 cases in Essex have been rising in Essex, however fortunately we have not seen this feed into the number of people hospitalised. It is important that, to keep hospital numbers down, we all continue to get our Covid-19 vaccination. Whether it is your first or second dose, or your booster – getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself and those around you from the virus as the vaccinated are less likely to catch Covid-19 or, if they do catch it, much less likely to get severely ill.
The Omicron variant is a reminder that whilst we have made progress, we are not yet out of this pandemic, and we must take some small steps to protect the gains we have made in our fight against the virus. To reduce the spread of this new variant, the following measures come into effect today.
- All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate for ten days.
- Face coverings are now compulsory in shops and on public transport.
- All international arrivals must take a PCR test to come into the country.
We have seen three cases of Avian influenza (bird flu) in Essex in recent weeks. It is important to reassure people that the risk of anyone becoming infected as a result of an outbreak like this is extremely low. Nevertheless, it is important that we put the correct precautions in place, and I know that Essex County Council are working with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), Maldon District Council, Rochford District Council and Chelmsford City Council to ensure that the outbreaks are dealt with and contained.
If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese, or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77). Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. If you suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds, you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
David Amess Funeral Service
On Tuesday 23rd November I was honoured to join the Prime Minister and colleagues and attend the funeral service of Sir David Amess at Westminster Cathedral.
It was a very moving service and touching tributes were made, which included a message from the Pope, to a much missed colleague and a tireless advocate for Southend and Essex.