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Gareth Davies MP for Stamford and Bourne discusses littering and easing of covid restrictions in latest column

This week the UK passed another covid milestone with 10m people across the country having received a second vaccine dose, writes Gareth Davies MP for Stamford and Bourne.

Locally, more than 63,000 people in this constituency have received at least one dose and so things continue to go well.

This continues to help us fight back against the virus and it has been such a relief to see our shops, hairdressers and other businesses reopen their doors. It has been a real pleasure walking around our towns with people out and about again, seeing friends, family, spending money and getting overdue haircuts.

Gareth Davies, left, with litter pickers at Colsterworth
Gareth Davies, left, with litter pickers at Colsterworth

Our joy at reaching the next phase in the roadmap out of restrictions was, however, tempered by the very sad loss of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh who after 99 years of remarkable life and service, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle. Like so many, I watched the deeply moving funeral on Saturday, not just sad for our country at the loss, but sorrowful that a family had lost a husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

Many have said to me in the past year that they have an enhanced appreciation for time spent with family and friends, as well as the outdoors. Sitting in the sunshine on the Stamford Meadows I have enjoyed seeing people together.

Some of you may have seen my question to the Prime Minister about littering last week. This is something that unites us all in dismay and I continue to applaud those who give up their time to clear it up and keep our community tidy. But there is another group who help keep Stamford in particular looking beautiful. The Stamford in Bloom volunteers do so much, planting flowers and maintaining many of our grass verges. I went to meet them and see their latest project and came away so impressed at their dedication.

Similarly, last Friday I went to hear plans for a new skatepark in Bourne, which after many years is coming to fruition with an impressive amount of fundraising activity driven by a small but committed group of community volunteers. Their plans will provide an outdoor facility for young people to let off steam and hang out with friends - certainly something many will welcome.

As the nights get longer and the sun starts to shine brighter, I hope we will all continue to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate all the work that goes on behind the scenes by a dedicated few, to make them enjoyable places to see our friends and family.

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