Gareth Davies MP for Stamford and Bourne discusses Police and Crime Bill, the environment and new artificial pitch at Elsea Park in Bourne in column
This week we hit the 30 million mark for vaccinations administered throughout the country and the programme in Stamford continues to go very well according to our local NHS leaders who I spoke with a few days ago.
While much of the focus is still on covid and making sure we progress through the Roadmap out of restrictions, non-covid work for MPs certainly hasn’t stopped.
Last week the Police and Crime Bill passed through the House of Commons and I voted Aye. I have written many times in this column about the need to support our police force, to do whatever we can to protect them and our neighbours, friends and family. This bill will bring tougher sentences for serious criminals such as child murderers and sexual offenders. It will also reform the way we bring justice to young offenders through community sentences, as well as increase the sentence for attacks on our emergency service workers who sadly face danger every day.
We are fortunate that we have a relatively low crime rate in our town and surrounding villages, but that is not to say that crime does not occur. The Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, and I recently carried out a short online crime survey of residents to hear more about local issues. Flytipping, anti-social behaviour, and rural-focused crime all featured heavily and I will be taking the survey results up with Lincolnshire Police soon.
Part of the solution to anti-social behaviour is having more dedicated community areas where younger people can exercise, play sport and hang out with friends. I was really pleased to swing by Elsea Park in Bourne on Friday last week to see their new £1.4m artificial grass pitch. A surface fit for David Beckham, this new facility is wonderful news for local residents as well Bourne Town Football Club who will play their matches there.
Finally, even during the height of the pandemic, the environment has remained one of the biggest issues which many Stamfordians have contacted me about I was pleased to recently join the Stamford Town Council Climate Action Group to discuss their ideas for a new water fountain on Stamford’s High Street and efforts to reduce single-use plastics in the town. We were also joined by a group seeking to tackle river sewage and I was shocked to hear that 40 per cent of UK rivers are polluted by sewage. I’ve agreed to go out with them soon (wearing wellies!) to help clear up some of the rubbish around the Welland in our area.
As we head towards COP26 later in the year when the world’s leaders will gather in Scotland to discuss climate action, this will become a more prominent issue on the national agenda so I am pleased that here in Stamford, action is already underway.