Rutland MP: As sun shines on county, let's support local businesses
The sun finally returned to Rutland this last week. I am sure I am not the only one who was worried that the summer ahead of us was going to be rain, clouds, storms and even more rain, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns (Con).
Luckily, we have lots more sun ahead of us, and I hope everyone takes this opportunity to enjoy our beautiful towns and countryside.
I’ve so enjoyed seeing our county in all its glory, and in particular visiting the newly re-opened Rutland Zoo, which has new owners who are focused on building a wonderful community zoo where all the animals (bar one!) are rescued. Please do go and support them! It has been brilliant to see so many people out and about, being respectful to one another, and supporting our local hospitality and tourism industry. Of course, England being England the weather is never guaranteed, so let’s support our local businesses while we can!
The weather isn’t the only thing that got an upgrade this week. I am very pleased that over 11,000 premises in Rutland will be upgraded to full fibre broadband in the coming months. This is part of the Government’s targets to expand broadband across the country, and part of a huge effort by Openreach in rural areas. I have been pushing for Rutland to be prioritised, and I know that I expect to hear from them soon to discuss even more homes who will be upgraded. I am so glad that my advocacy has made a difference.
This kind of levelling up investment is a reminder of how much Rutland has to offer. You may have seen the campaign I’ve launched to open a Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs office in Melton. I am pushing this knowing full well the huge agricultural and food contribution Rutland and Melton makes to our economy and hoping to secure the job opportunities and economic benefits a Defra office would also offer to Rutland.
I know too that as the weather gets better, many businesses are looking for the foot traffic and support they need to protect and boost jobs, and many parents are returning to more normal working hours. That’s why I am working hard with deputy leader of our council Lucy Stephenson (Con) to make sure the Manton bridge closure ends on schedule, so local families and businesses are impacted for as limited a time as possible by the works. We all want the bridge to be safe, and these works should ensure future works and disruption is not needed.
I’ve also been contacted by a number of parents who are returning to work, but their children’s schools have earlier closing hours than normal as well as concerns around access to primary care in Rutland. I am working to support residents and put in place immediate improvement measures on all accounts.
Together we can determine the future of our county. You may have seen the council’s Future Rutland Conversation. This is a great opportunity to have your say on the future of our wonderful county and shape our future, together, so please do take part.
But for now, let’s appreciate the wonderful place we are lucky to call home. I wish you all a superb and sunny start to our summer!