I know that for many of us here in Rugby and Bulkington, 2021 has been a difficult year with new challenges for everyone as we have continued to have to do things differently in light of the coronavirus pandemic. As the year draws to an end, we can reflect that the great success of our vaccine rollout has ensured that the vast majority of the population are protected against the worst illnesses caused by the virus.
I want to thank everyone who has done their part over the past year – from those who stayed at home in January and February as we began the vaccination programme; to the key workers who have kept our supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential services open throughout the year; the teachers who have ensured that our children continued to get a great education both at home and when they were able to return to school; and our amazing NHS staff who have delivered one of the most successful health programmes in history. Over 51 million people in the UK have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and this has only been possible thanks to the extraordinary work of doctors and nurses, supported by thousands of volunteers at vaccine hubs across the country, including at Locke House here in Rugby. I would also continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to have their booster jab at one of the sites offering them.
With the restrictions lifting in July, many of us were able to safely return to the things we enjoy including meeting friends and family; attending sporting events; and coming back to the high street. This has meant that many of our great local businesses have been able to reopen and resume trading. It has been great to see that alongside the package of support which the Government has provided over the last year, local residents have supported our great businesses around the constituency, and I hope we will continue to be able to into 2022.
As 2022 approaches we should look towards it as a year to rebuild and deliver the Government’s levelling up agenda. The Government has set out a Budget which will enable investment in both infrastructure and skills to provide economic growth, alongside bringing forward a plan to reform Adult Social Care to make the system fairer for everyone and ensure that there is a cap on the costs that people who need care have to pay.
The challenges ahead remain significant, but I know that local residents here in Rugby & Bulkington have the resolve and resilience to overcome whatever will be thrown in our way. Whether you have supported a vulnerable neighbour, helped out in your local community or simply done the right thing to help control the spread of this disease, you have played an enormous part in helping us get through this most difficult period in our history.
My office remains open to all those who need my help and support as we navigate the coming weeks and months, and if you are struggling to access any of the support available then please do contact me directly.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.