News Letter 9: Friday 10th July

A real mix of things to update you on including the latest rule changes on the lockdown, the changes to Furlough, updates on what I have been raising in Parliament and news about the Barony perimeter fence.

I want to just flag that wherever we can, those that can afford it, please do support your local high street retailers and restaurants. They will really need the help to bounce back from lockdown successfully. In August if you eat out in a restaurants Monday-Wednesday you will get 50% off food and non alcoholic drinks up to £10. So make the most of it and help our hospitality sector get back on its feet!

Best wishes,

Kieran

Budget Update-Stamp duty and VAT cuts, 50% to eat out:

The Chancellor on Wednesday announced a £30 billion plan to help protect jobs, focused on jobs for young people, helping people find new work and backing skills.  

It includes: 

- A Retention Scheme Bonus to encourage employers to keep their employees on. It consists of a one-off payment of £1,000 to the business for every employee who was furloughed previously and who is successfully kept on continuously until January. 

- From 15 July 2020, we will cut the rate of VAT applied across the UK to hospitality, accommodation and attractions from 20 per cent to 5 per cent until 12 January 2021.

- An Eat out to help out scheme so that anyone who eats at a participating business, Monday to Wednesday for the month of August, can receive up to 50 per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to a value of £10 per person. Businesses can claim the money back from the government weekly, receiving funds within 5 working days.

- Temporarily scrapping stamp duty on all homes under £500,000. From 9 July 2020 until 31 March 2021, we are increasing the threshold at which stamp duty applies from £125,000 to £500,000. Everybody buying a main home will see their tax cut, saving up to £15,000. Stamp duty for the average buyer will fall from £4,500 today to nothing tomorrow.

- Creating hundreds of thousands of new fully subsidised jobs for young people through a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, to give young people the best chance of getting a job. 

- Paying businesses £1,000 to take on Trainees, with triple the number of places there are now, to get young people ready for work. 

- Providing £2,000 to employers for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, helping more people into the workplace while developing key skills. We will also provide £1,500 for any apprentice over 25. 

- To give young people who have just left school the skills they need to find work in high-value sectors, such as engineering, construction and social care, we will provide £101 million to help 18 and 19 year olds to take high value courses at Levels 2 and 3 where work opportunities are not available. 

During questions to the Chancellor, following his Summer Economic Update, I asked if he could confirm that the lowest income families had proportionately benefitted the most from the support provided by the Government. I was pleased that the Chancellor could confirm that the Government's support packages have reduced the losses for working households by up to two-thirds in general and that support for the poorest households has been the highest. 

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=924245361382078

The new measures of support announced by the Chancellor will give a much-needed boost for tourism and hospitality businesses. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme and cuts to VAT will help businesses get back on their feet, the public get back on the highstreets, and staff get back to work in Crewe and Nantwich. 

 

The Barony:

After years of nothing being achieved this week thanks to all your efforts and support in our campaigning, we have achieved something. They have started to construct a perimeter fence on the Barony.

But despite sharing the designs and ideas that we all put so much effort into so residents would be happy, for some unfathomable reason Cheshire East have started building fencing that is totally out of keeping with what we have already on the Barony and not resembling what we put in the designs.

At meetings with them, Cheshire East and representatives from Friends of Barony Park all agreed knee rail would be a good first step for a perimeter which over time could be replaced with hedging and trees and other even more attractive features. Instead they have started a perimeter fence much higher than normal knee rail.

That is going to reduce access to the park for residents on foot. I have contacted Cheshire East to make it clear what they are doing was not what we had managed to gain support from residents for. I know some of you just wanted anything put up if it helped reduce illegal encampments and I have to be honest in still being pleased that we have made this breakthrough. They have already confirmed the higher fencing is just for Sandford road but I have asked that the rest of it is done at a lower level.

I will let you know what Cheshire East say back. Also keen to hear your views

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Travel Corridors:

The Government have announced that from today you will not have to self-isolate if you’re arriving and staying in England from a country or territory on the travel corridors list. Arrivals will still be required to provide your journey and contact details.
The list of countries exempt from the 14 day quarantine can be found here along with additional guidance on international travel: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors Individuals will still be required to self-isolate if you have visited or stopped in any country that is not on the list in the previous 14 days.

Support for British Culture: Crewe Lyceum Theatre:

The UK’s phenomenal cultural, arts and heritage institutions will receive the biggest one-off investment in UK culture in history and this will support businesses in this sector during this exceptionally challenging time. I was delighted by the recent announcement that the Government will provide £1.57 billion in investment to protect Britain’s cultural, arts, and heritage institution. Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans. 

 Recently, I raised the Chamber the specific challenge faced by Crewe Lyceum Theatre in Parliament (https://www.facebook.com/372926399915233/videos/1133475633684143) and I have been meeting with Ministers privately to press their case. Crewe Lyceum Theatre is a tremendous asset to Crewe and I am sure they, and many other businesses, will be able to benefit from this package of support. 
 
A breakdown of this unprecedented package is as follows:  

  • £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants. 

  • £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust. 

  • £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million). 

I recently asked the Chancellor when this support would be available and was told that this package would be made available as soon as possible. 

Supporting UK Sanctions Against Human Rights Abusers:

Yesterday the Foreign Secretary's made a statement on the sanctions this country will introduce against human rights abusers. These sanctions seek to punish those who have committed human rights abuses and will prevent them from walking the streets of this country. 

In my question to the Foreign Secretary, I paid tribute to incredibly brave Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer killed in 2009, and asked the how the House plans to work with and cooperate other countries in effectively implementing these sanctions. 

The Foreign Secretary informed me that both the US and Canada have similar mechanism in place, and the Australian Government were considering taking similar measures. He also said that it was important that we closely with our partners to ensure these sanctions are effective.  

The UK is one of the first major countries to draw up and put in place this regime. I am confident that these sanctions will allow the UK to build a strong and resilient model for raising human rights. 

 

Domestic Abuse Bill:

I was delighted that the Domestic Abuse Bill was passed in the House of Commons this week. The Bill will strengthen protections for domestic abuse victims whilst also tackling perpetrators at the earliest stage and ensuring they face the full force of the law. The Government have also appointed a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims and survivors; raise public awareness; monitor the response of local authorities, the justice system and other statutory agencies.  

This is very important piece of legislation. During my time as a special constable I volunteered in the domestic violence unit and saw just what a devastating impact domestic violence has. Every week women are still murdered by partners and ex-partners. This needs to be stopped. I am aware that this bill has been welcomed by domestic abuse charities, such as Refuge, and the director of the Centre for Women's Justice, Harriet Wistrich, has described the bill as "a landmark piece of legislation". 

 

Healthwatch Cheshire Healthcare Survey:

 Healthcare services have played a crucial role in our constituency over the past few months. Healthwatch Cheshire are key partners in the health and care system that inform priorities across Cheshire using the views of residents. Healthwatch have recently asked Cheshire residents to complete a survey regarding their healthcare experiences, which I invite all my constituents to complete here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DXMCRK9https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DXMCRK9 

Healthwatch Cheshire feeds findings from this ongoing survey to Cheshire East Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group, and to local healthcare providers. Survey responses help healthcare services to understand what is working well and what could be improved, as well as considering people's mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. 
 
At present, they have received over 1000 responses across Cheshire. Many of you will agree that feedback from residents is vital to ensuring the continued effectiveness and regular improvement of healthcare services, and so I encourage you to complete the survey and share it with friends and family via social media. 

Nantwich Market:

I visited Nantwich Market on Saturday to see how both traders and shoppers are adapting to the social distancing measures. There was a steady flow of customers following the one-way system around the indoor market and the Market has worked hard to ensure that the traders are able to open for business and shoppers remain safe. After chatting with the stall owners, it is clear that everyone is excited to be back and they are all working exceptionally hard make shopping COVID secure and safe for both customers and staff.

I also spoke with Liz from InNantwich who has been making posters to publicise that Nantwich market is back to business.

Highstreet retailers have been some of the worst hit businesses by the COVID-19 lockdown and that is why it is so important that we all get back out there, get shopping, and support our retailers!

Click on the picture below to see a short video of my visit and interview with Liz.

 

Visiting Businesses:

I spent time visiting businesses in Nantwich, Haslington & Weston after visiting shops in Crewe last weekend. They have all done a great job getting ready and a real optimism that we can make the most of this difficult time. If you feel comfortable please do get out there supporting local business! Thanks to the The White Lion Hotel at Weston for tasty fish and chips to finish! 

Next phase of businesses reopening:

Like many of you I have been waiting to see when more of our businesses and services can safely open. From 11 July many of the nation’s beloved theatres and performances venues will be back up and running, as outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music performances resume. From 13 July, Beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses and spas across England will be able to reopen, with strict measures in place to ensure the safety of both workers and the public. 

Outdoor pools will be opening as well, followed by indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres on 25 July (see below).

Indoor Gyms and Swimming Pools Re-Opening:

Following the recent government announcement, I am pleased to inform my constituents that indoor gyms, sports facilities and swimming pools are able to re-open from 25th July. I know that this is the news that many of you have been waiting for, and I believe this is a significant step towards our gradual return to normality. 

Sports and leisure centres across Crewe and Nantwich will be preparing their facilities for re-opening in the coming weeks, ensuring they are safe for public use. New measures we can expect include: 

  • Limiting the number of people using the facility at any one time, for example by using a timed booking system; 

  • Spacing out equipment or taking some out of service to maintain social distancing; 

  • Enhanced cleaning and providing hand sanitizer throughout venues. 

In addition to these measures, users will be encouraged to make use of outdoor facilities and to shower and change at home to avoid the use of shared changing rooms. Not all indoor sports and leisure centres in Cheshire East will be opening on these dates and individual private facilities will confirm their own dates - always contact centres beforehand to confirm opening times. 

While I am equally as excited to return to the gym, I must remind all residents that the pandemic is not over, and that we must all take extra caution to stay at home where possible to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the NHS. 

CAT Award:

This week’s Community Hero for The Cat 107.9 is Kobie Birchall. Kobie has spent time during lockdown by baking fantastic treats for key workers. Teresa Birchall, Kobie’s grandmother said in his nomination: 

He is only 10 and has been making fudge for the staff at his local care home and his neighbours and the postie and delivery drivers. He has also been baking cakes, bread, sausage rolls, shortbread, and more for some of his neighbours. 

Well done Kobie! What a great achievement and I hope Kobie enjoys his special cake made by local baker Gill Clark at Baked by Gill. I'll be continuing to highlight the award but if you know of any other stories please get in touch. Version:1.0 StartHTML:000000236 EndHTML:000080927 StartFragment:000011146 EndFragment:000080834 StartSelection:000012175 EndSelection:000080778 SourceURL:https://us19.admin.mailchimp.com/campaigns/preview-content-html?id=6386…% off eating out in August, latest lockdown rules, stamp duty cut

Welcome to my latest newsletter! A real mix of things to update you on including the latest rule changes on the lockdown, the changes to Furlough, updates on what I have been raising in Parliament and news about the Barony perimeter fence.

I want to just flag that wherever we can, those that can afford it, please do support your local high street retailers and restaurants. They will really need the help to bounce back from lockdown successfully. In August if you eat out in a restaurants Monday-Wednesday you will get 50% off food and non alcoholic drinks up to £10. So make the most of it and help our hospitality sector get back on its feet!

Best wishes
Kieran

Budget Update-Stamp duty and VAT cuts, 50% to eat out:

The Chancellor on Wednesday announced a £30 billion plan to help protect jobs, focused on jobs for young people, helping people find new work and backing skills.  

It includes: 

- A Retention Scheme Bonus to encourage employers to keep their employees on. It consists of a one-off payment of £1,000 to the business for every employee who was furloughed previously and who is successfully kept on continuously until January. 

- From 15 July 2020, we will cut the rate of VAT applied across the UK to hospitality, accommodation and attractions from 20 per cent to 5 per cent until 12 January 2021.

- An Eat out to help out scheme so that anyone who eats at a participating business, Monday to Wednesday for the month of August, can receive up to 50 per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to a value of £10 per person. Businesses can claim the money back from the government weekly, receiving funds within 5 working days.

- Temporarily scrapping stamp duty on all homes under £500,000. From 9 July 2020 until 31 March 2021, we are increasing the threshold at which stamp duty applies from £125,000 to £500,000. Everybody buying a main home will see their tax cut, saving up to £15,000. Stamp duty for the average buyer will fall from £4,500 today to nothing tomorrow.

- Creating hundreds of thousands of new fully subsidised jobs for young people through a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, to give young people the best chance of getting a job. 

- Paying businesses £1,000 to take on Trainees, with triple the number of places there are now, to get young people ready for work. 

- Providing £2,000 to employers for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, helping more people into the workplace while developing key skills. We will also provide £1,500 for any apprentice over 25. 

- To give young people who have just left school the skills they need to find work in high-value sectors, such as engineering, construction and social care, we will provide £101 million to help 18 and 19 year olds to take high value courses at Levels 2 and 3 where work opportunities are not available. 

During questions to the Chancellor, following his Summer Economic Update, I asked if he could confirm that the lowest income families had proportionately benefitted the most from the support provided by the Government. I was pleased that the Chancellor could confirm that the Government's support packages have reduced the losses for working households by up to two-thirds in general and that support for the poorest households has been the highest. 

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=924245361382078

The new measures of support announced by the Chancellor will give a much-needed boost for tourism and hospitality businesses. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme and cuts to VAT will help businesses get back on their feet, the public get back on the highstreets, and staff get back to work in Crewe and Nantwich. 

The Barony:

After years of nothing being achieved this week thanks to all your efforts and support in our campaigning, we have achieved something. They have started to construct a perimeter fence on the Barony.

But despite sharing the designs and ideas that we all put so much effort into so residents would be happy, for some unfathomable reason Cheshire East have started building fencing that is totally out of keeping with what we have already on the Barony and not resembling what we put in the designs.

At meetings with them, Cheshire East and representatives from Friends of Barony Park all agreed knee rail would be a good first step for a perimeter which over time could be replaced with hedging and trees and other even more attractive features. Instead they have started a perimeter fence much higher than normal knee rail.

That is going to reduce access to the park for residents on foot. I have contacted Cheshire East to make it clear what they are doing was not what we had managed to gain support from residents for. I know some of you just wanted anything put up if it helped reduce illegal encampments and I have to be honest in still being pleased that we have made this breakthrough. They have already confirmed the higher fencing is just for Sandford road but I have asked that the rest of it is done at a lower level.

I will let you know what Cheshire East say back. Also keen to hear your views

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Travel Corridors:

The Government have announced that from today you will not have to self-isolate if you’re arriving and staying in England from a country or territory on the travel corridors list. Arrivals will still be required to provide your journey and contact details.
The list of countries exempt from the 14 day quarantine can be found here along with additional guidance on international travel: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors Individuals will still be required to self-isolate if you have visited or stopped in any country that is not on the list in the previous 14 days.

Support for British Culture: Crewe Lyceum Theatre:

The UK’s phenomenal cultural, arts and heritage institutions will receive the biggest one-off investment in UK culture in history and this will support businesses in this sector during this exceptionally challenging time. I was delighted by the recent announcement that the Government will provide £1.57 billion in investment to protect Britain’s cultural, arts, and heritage institution. Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans. 

 Recently, I raised the Chamber the specific challenge faced by Crewe Lyceum Theatre in Parliament (https://www.facebook.com/372926399915233/videos/1133475633684143) and I have been meeting with Ministers privately to press their case. Crewe Lyceum Theatre is a tremendous asset to Crewe and I am sure they, and many other businesses, will be able to benefit from this package of support. 
 
A breakdown of this unprecedented package is as follows:  

  • £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants. 

  • £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust. 

  • £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million). 

I recently asked the Chancellor when this support would be available and was told that this package would be made available as soon as possible. 

Supporting UK Sanctions Against Human Rights Abusers:

Yesterday the Foreign Secretary's made a statement on the sanctions this country will introduce against human rights abusers. These sanctions seek to punish those who have committed human rights abuses and will prevent them from walking the streets of this country. 

In my question to the Foreign Secretary, I paid tribute to incredibly brave Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer killed in 2009, and asked the how the House plans to work with and cooperate other countries in effectively implementing these sanctions. 

The Foreign Secretary informed me that both the US and Canada have similar mechanism in place, and the Australian Government were considering taking similar measures. He also said that it was important that we closely with our partners to ensure these sanctions are effective.  

The UK is one of the first major countries to draw up and put in place this regime. I am confident that these sanctions will allow the UK to build a strong and resilient model for raising human rights. 

 

Domestic Abuse Bill:

I was delighted that the Domestic Abuse Bill was passed in the House of Commons this week. The Bill will strengthen protections for domestic abuse victims whilst also tackling perpetrators at the earliest stage and ensuring they face the full force of the law. The Government have also appointed a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims and survivors; raise public awareness; monitor the response of local authorities, the justice system and other statutory agencies.  

This is very important piece of legislation. During my time as a special constable I volunteered in the domestic violence unit and saw just what a devastating impact domestic violence has. Every week women are still murdered by partners and ex-partners. This needs to be stopped. I am aware that this bill has been welcomed by domestic abuse charities, such as Refuge, and the director of the Centre for Women's Justice, Harriet Wistrich, has described the bill as "a landmark piece of legislation". 

 

Healthwatch Cheshire Healthcare Survey:

 Healthcare services have played a crucial role in our constituency over the past few months. Healthwatch Cheshire are key partners in the health and care system that inform priorities across Cheshire using the views of residents. Healthwatch have recently asked Cheshire residents to complete a survey regarding their healthcare experiences.

Healthwatch Cheshire feeds findings from this ongoing survey to Cheshire East Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group, and to local healthcare providers. Survey responses help healthcare services to understand what is working well and what could be improved, as well as considering people's mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. 
 
At present, they have received over 1000 responses across Cheshire. Many of you will agree that feedback from residents is vital to ensuring the continued effectiveness and regular improvement of healthcare services, and so I encourage you to complete the survey and share it with friends and family via social media. 

Nantwich Market:

I visited Nantwich Market on Saturday to see how both traders and shoppers are adapting to the social distancing measures. There was a steady flow of customers following the one-way system around the indoor market and the Market has worked hard to ensure that the traders are able to open for business and shoppers remain safe. After chatting with the stall owners, it is clear that everyone is excited to be back and they are all working exceptionally hard make shopping COVID secure and safe for both customers and staff.

I also spoke with Liz from InNantwich who has been making posters to publicise that Nantwich market is back to business.

Highstreet retailers have been some of the worst hit businesses by the COVID-19 lockdown and that is why it is so important that we all get back out there, get shopping, and support our retailers!

Click on the picture below to see a short video of my visit and interview with Liz.

 

Visiting Businesses:

I spent time visiting businesses in Nantwich, Haslington & Weston after visiting shops in Crewe last weekend. They have all done a great job getting ready and a real optimism that we can make the most of this difficult time. If you feel comfortable please do get out there supporting local business! Thanks to the The White Lion Hotel at Weston for tasty fish and chips to finish! 

Next phase of businesses reopening:

Like many of you I have been waiting to see when more of our businesses and services can safely open. From 11 July many of the nation’s beloved theatres and performances venues will be back up and running, as outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music performances resume. From 13 July, Beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses and spas across England will be able to reopen, with strict measures in place to ensure the safety of both workers and the public. 

Outdoor pools will be opening as well, followed by indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres on 25 July (see below).

Indoor Gyms and Swimming Pools Re-Opening:

Following the recent government announcement, I am pleased to inform my constituents that indoor gyms, sports facilities and swimming pools are able to re-open from 25th July. I know that this is the news that many of you have been waiting for, and I believe this is a significant step towards our gradual return to normality. 

Sports and leisure centres across Crewe and Nantwich will be preparing their facilities for re-opening in the coming weeks, ensuring they are safe for public use. New measures we can expect include: 

  • Limiting the number of people using the facility at any one time, for example by using a timed booking system; 

  • Spacing out equipment or taking some out of service to maintain social distancing; 

  • Enhanced cleaning and providing hand sanitizer throughout venues. 

In addition to these measures, users will be encouraged to make use of outdoor facilities and to shower and change at home to avoid the use of shared changing rooms. Not all indoor sports and leisure centres in Cheshire East will be opening on these dates and individual private facilities will confirm their own dates - always contact centres beforehand to confirm opening times. 

While I am equally as excited to return to the gym, I must remind all residents that the pandemic is not over, and that we must all take extra caution to stay at home where possible to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the NHS. 

CAT Award:

This week’s Community Hero for The Cat 107.9 is Kobie Birchall. Kobie has spent time during lockdown by baking fantastic treats for key workers. Teresa Birchall, Kobie’s grandmother said in his nomination: 

He is only 10 and has been making fudge for the staff at his local care home and his neighbours and the postie and delivery drivers. He has also been baking cakes, bread, sausage rolls, shortbread, and more for some of his neighbours. 

Well done Kobie! What a great achievement and I hope Kobie enjoys his special cake made by local baker Gill Clark at Baked by Gill. I'll be continuing to highlight the award but if you know of any other stories please get in touch.