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Grantham and Stamford MP urges people to get their Covid-19 vaccination as he gets first jab

Last Friday I was delighted to join 38 million other British people who have now received a covid vaccine, writes Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies (Con)

When I got the notification I booked my first jab at the Grantham Meres Leisure Centre and feel very fortunate indeed. I would like to thank all the vaccinators and administrators for making the experience quick and easy as the entire process took just 20 minutes. I urge everyone to accept the offer of a vaccine when it is your turn.

More broadly, while we are making good progress in re-opening the economy, we have seen the continued spread of a variant of the virus that first originated in India called the ‘Delta variant’. This variant is said to be more transmissible, and so the Government is taking additional measures to mitigate the risk, such as accelerating the provision of second doses to the over 50s and clinically vulnerable, new targeted activity to accelerate vaccine take-up and enhanced testing and contact tracing.

Stamford MP Gareth Davies (Con) has had his first coronavirus vaccination
Stamford MP Gareth Davies (Con) has had his first coronavirus vaccination

Ultimately though, we must continue to get tested, get a jab when eligible, and exercise caution and common sense.

Covid aside, I decided to take advantage of this superb bank holiday weather and visit local constituent, Hannah Westropp, to meet her and her lovely horse, Flash, to discuss the safety issues owners face while riding on the roads.

This is not a subject we often read much about, but for horse owners in our local area, they will tell you terrible stories about their experiences while riding on the roads.

Riders often have no choice but to ride on the roads because they need to reach bridleways and other off-road facilities. Nationally, the Department for Transport has been working with interested groups to conduct a review of The Highway Code focused on improving safety for horse-riders and the results are set to be published shortly. I hope they will provide reassurance to horse-riders and look to improve safety.

I have also been out and about with the team at InvestSK, which is the part of South Kesteven District Council responsible for distributing Government financial support through the crisis. I learned that they oversaw £51m in support to over 3,000 local business and so it was a good opportunity to thank them for their hard work.

Young people have been hit particularly hard by the crisis and so a key focus is now on boosting more employment opportunities for the young. This week the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, therefore announced that employers of any size can now apply for extra funding to help them take on new apprentices.

The boost to the apprenticeship incentive scheme means that local businesses can now claim £3,000 for each new apprentice hired as a new employee from April 1 until September 30. I hope our local businesses will take up this new scheme and help expand opportunities for jobs in the town.

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