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Rutland MP Alicia Kearns discusses Covid-19 vaccination, childcare funding and Barrowden being named one of best villages to live by Sunday Times

Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. That’s how we’ve got so far in the fight against Covid-19, and it’s the only way we can achieve herd immunity and stop the spread of this terrible virus, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns.

This week, Rutland’s new vaccination clinic has opened in Oakham Enterprise Park, and has been welcoming 16-plus year olds for their first and second doses this week.

Our vaccination programme has been truly astounding so far – and I want to thank everyone who has had their jab.


It makes a difference. The government has confirmed that the vaccination programme will now be expanding – with booster jabs, and vaccinations for the over-12s, both approved. These are both an important tool in the ongoing fight against the virus – and I urge you to get the jab if offered a booster in particular. It will make you safer from the virus – and that’s what matters.

Last week I met with the prime minister and chancellor in Leicester. I raised with them the importance of levelling up rural areas, more funding for Rutland County Council, childcare funding, and investment in the East Midlands more generally. I hope that we can make progress on these in the coming years.

I had a fantastic time visiting what must be one of the loveliest pre-schools in the country last week. I spent a morning with Belton-in-Rutland Pre-School and was blown away by their provision for our littlest ones. They could not provide a better environment for young children to learn through play – and their outdoor facilities are fab. What my son would love most of all… the mud play area! We need to support our rural nurseries so I’m very happy to raise awareness of all they do. And I look forward to visiting many more of our wonderful nurseries in the future.

We all know how important those first few years of our children’s lives are, and that’s why I raised the issue of childcare costs with the prime minister, and why I backed the review into how we make the first 1,001 days of our little ones lives as safe as possible.

Speaking of wonderful things in Rutland (and let’s face it, this column simply isn’t long enough to lay out all of them!) Barrowden is well known for being a wonderful village in our county. It has now been named as one of the 50 best villages to live in in the whole of the UK – and by the Sunday Times, no less!

I love Barrowden, and it really is well deserved. The list wasn’t ranked, so we can’t know its true position – but we all know that Rutland’s villages are extraordinary, and if I’m honest I think far more of them should have been on the shortlist!

As ever, Rutland is all about having much in little. And there is just so much great in our county. I hope you, your family and your friends have the best of fortnights.

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