Newsletter 10: Friday 17th July

Today we have been given an update by the Prime Minister on changes to lockdown rules in the coming weeks and months which you can read below. I hope this gives people some optimism on where we are heading and confidence that we can return to more of our normal lives. This is all predicated on the virus remaining under control. The Government has pledged an extra £3 billion for the NHS and an extra £500 million for local councils to help prepare for winter and to continue to battle the virus. The focus more and more will be on local lockdowns and test and trace which is now aiming to be able to test 500,000 people a day. When you think it started at 2,000 and is now at 300,000 you see what a gargantuan effort has been made.

It is short notice for this email but I am starting to hold face to face surgeries again and this weekend you can find me in Crewe and Nantwich. I will be outside the Conservative Office at Churchyardside in Nantwich (adjacent to the Conservative Club) 10-12 tomorrow and in Crewe on Sunday at my new office 249 Edleston Road, CW2 7EA, again 10-12. Feel free to come along if you want to raise an issue with me or just say hello.

Last week we emailed about a HealthWatch survey but the link we put in didn't work. The correct link is https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DXMCRK9. As explained last week Healthwatch Cheshire are using the views of residents to 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.  I encourage you to complete the survey and share it with friends and family via social media. 

Nantwich Food Festival are doing online awards this year so check out how you can get involved. And also, there has been an official announcement of the Crewe Town Board which I have mentioned to you before, so early details on that as well.

Kind regards
Kieran

Updated Lockdown Rules
Nantwich Food Festival Awards
Crewe Town Board
Face-Coverings in Shops and Supermarkets
Queen’s Park Litter Pick
Huawei removal from UK 5G
Barony Perimeter
£5.2 Billion Plan to tackle Flooding
CAT Community Hero Award-Georgia Speet
Traffic Report

 

Updated Lockdown Rules:

Earlier today the Prime Minister updated the nation on the further relaxation of measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes:

- From today anyone can use public transport. You no longer need to avoid public transport if that is the best or only way for you to get around

-  From August instead of everyone being asked to work from home, employers will be able to work with their staff to agree whether they need to continue to work from home, or can return to work in a Covid-secure setting.

- Most remaining leisure settings such as bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos can reopen from August 1st. Although nightclubs and soft play areas need to remain closed.

If we continue to make progress controlling the virus then the next steps are:

-From October, audiences will be able to return to stadiums for sports and performances

Additionally from tomorrow, local authorities will have new powers, able to shut public spaces and close down events. Local lockdowns will be increasingly important as we make progress overall. We may have one, if we do, I would ask everyone to be patient and understanding. I know it will be frustrating.

Nantwich Food Festival Awards:

Unfortunately the Nantwich Food Festival has been cancelled this year and instead they are hosting the Nantwich Lockdown Awards. These awards will thank individuals and organisations that have gone above and beyond at this difficult time.

If you know of any people, organisations or businesses that deserve recognition you can nominate them until the 30th August at the link below:

https://www.nantwichfoodfestival.co.uk/lockdown-awards/

Crewe Town Board:

You can read this article that covers the official announcement from myself and others in the team who have come together to create a plan to use up to £25 million from Government to deliver a better future for Crewe:

https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/2063181-new-town-board-aims-to-lead-renaissance-through-25m-funding-bid

As I say in the article, I know people will believe it when they see it, and I am determined we will deliver.

Face-Coverings in Shops and Supermarkets: 

This week the Prime Minister announced that face-coverings should be worn in all shops from the 24th July onwards.  

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) continues to advise the Government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and I know that the Government continues to be led by the scientific evidence.

You are required to wear a ‘face-covering’ not specifically a mask, this can be a scarf or another item that effectively covers your face.  This measure will be in place until the R-value has fallen further and remains consistently low. It is important that as the highstreets return and people begin to go back to work we take this extra precautionary measure to prevent the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.  
 
I appreciate some may be against wearing face coverings in shops and this is understandable, however it is important that we all do our bit to protect ourselves and others as the highstreets begin to open up again. This decision has been made to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and prevent further infection. We have seen much higher rates of the infection amongst retail staff and so I think wearing one if it helps protect them is the right thing to do.
 

Queen’s Park Litter Pick: 

Last Saturday, I joined a litter pick  at Queens Park organised by ANSA. We collected a substantial amount of litter ranging from plastic bags to water bottles – most of which can be recycled.  A lot the people that took part are part of Crewe Clean Team.

I would encourage all my constituents to register with the Clean Team (https://www.facebook.com/CreweCleanTeam/ or email enquiries@crewecleanteam.co.uk and participate in their litter-picks and other community projects like bulb planting to improve our local area. I would like to thank all the volunteers I worked with for their efforts, and I am confident that the space is now cleaner and safer for residents to enjoy. 

Huawei removal from UK 5G: 

The government has recently announced that the mobile phone provider HUAWEI will be completely removed from the UK’s 5G networks by the end of 2027. Ahead of this, there will be a total ban on the purchase of any new HUAWEI 5G kit after 31st December 2020. 

The decision was made in a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by the Prime Minister, in response to new US sanctions that have threatened the company’s supply chain and its ability to support UK operators in the long term. 

I took part in meetings with Ministers ahead of this decision and made it clear that I thought the risk of working with them was too great and I support this new plan.

Barony Perimeter:

Finally, after too long of seeing nothing tangible happen, a perimeter fence is being erected around the Barony. I know lots of residents will be pleased that finally something is being done. I want to thank everyone that has campaigned and supported me and Friends of Barony Park on this issue.

But, after trying to get things sorted behind the scenes, I also want residents to know what is happening is not what we agreed based on what we knew would be likely to get the most amount of support from residents. It is very sad to see Cheshire East yet again simply failing to listen.

Originally I worked with a small group from Friends of Barony Park to produce a set of plans for what a perimeter could look like (https://www.drkieranmullan.org.uk/…/provisional-plan-barony…). Hundreds of residents kindly gave their feedback on these ideas. The whole point was to show you didn't need a great big fence all the way around which is what some residents didn't want because we all value the open nature of the park.

The plans we proposed had a whole range of different obstacles designed to fill gaps. Flower beds, trees, boulders, park benches. All possibilities. And yes, some low fencing in some places.

We held a meeting with representatives from ANSA and Cheshire East and reviewed a plan for a perimeter they developed taking into account our ideas and Everybody Leisure wanting a running track.

We had the meeting earlier in the year and at that meeting we agreed you couldn't please everyone, but a basic starting point of a low knee rail fencing as a first step, and then consulting residents about more permanent features like the ones we suggested, would be the best way forward.

We agreed to another meeting 6 weeks later to go over more detailed plans. Unfortunately representatives from CE and ANSA simply failed to turn up to that meeting.

And then, without any further consultation with Friends of Barony park or myself, construction started last week on fencing that is twice the height it should be all down Sandford road. After half of it was done I tried all weekend to get the rest done at a lower height before work restarted on Monday but my requests have been ignored. Yes a fence is a fence, but when there is strong support for it to be low, why, without consulting anyone, build it differently? It simply makes no sense.
We have a perimeter being built, of course I am glad. But I am left yet again hearing from residents who just don't understand why they can't be listened to or consulted.
And then, today we have seen an encampment on Coronation Gardens/volunteer fields. Both I and Friends of Barony Park have said again and again that it is equally important to get perimeter fencing on Coronation Gardens. At our last two meetings representatives from Nantwich Town Council were given permission from Cheshire East to proceed with doing this. I have raised and reminded Nantwich Town Council representatives of the need to move ahead with this and as far as I can tell, little progress has been made. I hope they will now be prompted into action.

All I have ever been able to do is to be the voice of residents, making sure you are heard alongside Friends of Barony Park. Ultimately getting things done and done in the right way rests with others. Myself and Friends of Barony park are determined we are going to carry on pushing regardless. And I am glad we have made progress, but unless Cheshire East and others start being proactive and listening then these frustrating totally avoidable issues will carry on.

£5.2 Billion Plan to tackle Flooding:

I’m very pleased to see the Prime Minister announcing a new long-term plan to tackle flooding, backed by £5.2 billion, which will better protect a number of homes, businesses and livelihoods. I’ve witnessed first hand the misery and upheaval can cause for the residents of Crewe and Nantwich and know there is much work to be done.

The Government’s plans will see around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences be created in England by 2027, alongside support to help households and businesses get back on their feet more quickly after flooding.

In total, the Government’s flooding strategy will see the delivery of flood and coastal defences by 2027 that will prevent £32bn in economic damage, as well as creating areas to store water during flooding and greater use of nature-based solutions to reduce flood risk. It also sets out proposed changes to the joint government and insurance industry Flood Re scheme to lower premiums on properties that invest in flood resilience measures and allow claims to include an additional amount so that flood resilience measures are included in repairs.

The pledge to harness the power of nature to reduce flood risk, while protecting and restoring habitats, will also play a part in the UK’s world-leading work to tackle climate change, especially ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 where the restoration of nature and resilience and adaptation will be major theme. I will continue to raise the concerns of flooding on behalf of residents for Crewe and Nantwich.

CAT Award:
This week’s Community Hero for The Cat 107.9 is Georgia Speet. Georgia has been nominated by members of the Stapeley Community for everything she has done during lockdown. During lockdown Georgia has helped the community by:
 

  • Organising the happy trail in Stapeley- the children have painted and decorated stones, pebbles in all different ways, these have then been placed in a “happy trail” which made the community both children and adults smile while out on the “one walk of the day”. Georgia has been out on a regular basis tidying the area and keeping on top of the happy trail. 
  • Georgia then set up a ‘Sponsor A Stone’ just giving page so the community could all come together to raise money for the charity “Mind” the target was £1000 which has been hit and more.
  • Georgia set up ‘Waving Hands to Keyworkers’ which encouraged children to draw round and decorate their hands which were placed on canes and on show for all keyworkers to see and enjoy on their way to work.
  • Set Up a drop off point for cards, pictures and letters and organised by Georgia so the children could deliver these to residents at Clarendon Care Home. 
  • Candy court sweet shop was set up by Georgia, she welcomed lots of children to help out on the sweet stall giving then the opportunity to keep busy and help raise money, she made up lots of goodie bags, sweet cones, popcorn movie night packs and much, much more, again all monies raised was put to the just giving a page for the mind, now the target has been hit Georgia is working on a second charity.
  • Georgia also set up ‘All you need is Love’ outside Pear tree school, this was to encourage children to write messages to teachers, friends they missed during this difficult time so we could all enjoy this out on our walks.

 
I want to pass a massive well done on to Georgia! It’s a truly outstanding achievement and I hope she enjoys her 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.   
 

Traffic Report: 
 

- Shelburne Drive, Haslington - Closed till the 28th July 

- Stoneley Road, Crewe - Closed 23rd July 8:00 -17:00 

- Chapel Street - Closed 22nd July 9:00 - 16:00 

- Flag Lane – Closed until further notice 

 
Closed for Town Centre Social Distancing: 

Heath Street, Crewe 

Earle Street, Crewe 

Sandon Street, Crewe 

Market Street, Crewe 

Queensway, Crewe 

Victoria Street, Crewe 

Pillory Street, Nantwich