James Wild: So good to be back enjoying pubs and a Plan for Jobs
The latest column from North West Norfolk MP James Wild during the pandemic period, Friday, July 10, 2020
A plan to protect, support, and create jobs – a Plan for Jobs.
The main event in the House of Commons was the Chancellor’s financial statement setting out phase two of a three-part strategy to secure our economic recovery.
The Plan includes a £2bn Kickstart Scheme to create thousands of new government subsidised jobs. These are urgently needed given the increase in Universal Benefit claims particularly for young people. There is also more funding for traineeships.
One of the big successes of the last decade has been the fall in youth unemployment – we must do all we can to help this generation through this crisis.
With young people working in sectors particularly affected by the pandemic it is important to support the re-opening of the economy.
It felt good to be back supporting the Crown Inn, the Black Horse and other local venues as their doors re-opened. Businesses went to great lengths to be Covid-19 secure including use of sanitiser, face coverings, screens, table service, and taking contact details to help with any trace and test.
People queued for haircuts. More trains are running. Churches have begun services. Libraries have re-opened. Holiday parks and hotels are welcoming guests. Restrictions on those shielding have also been eased.
By remaining vigilant and following social distancing guidance we are all playing our part in helping our economy restart.
Unfortunately, not all sectors have been given the green light. I know how frustrating it is for beauty salons, nail bars, and tanning studios as they see hairdressers and similar firms open. I am calling for them to reopen as soon as possible and am making their case to ministers. Holding wedding receptions is another issue that I am pressing on.
Many constituents have contacted me about the future of theatres, music venues and other arts organisations.
I spoke to the Culture Secretary about the need for action and welcome the generous financial package announced this week. I hope arts and cultural organisations in North West Norfolk will get the support they need. While open air music performances are not yet permitted, Festival Too continues in virtual form this weekend.
In Parliament, the House of Commons also passed the Domestic Abuse Bill. This landmark legislation transforms the response to domestic abuse, helping to protect victims and ensure they have the support they need.
Importantly, this Bill puts into law that domestic abuse is not just physical violence – it is about emotional, coercive, and controlling behaviour as well as economic abuse. Children who see, hear, or experience the effects of domestic abuse are also to be regarded as a victim. Charities, including the Pandora Project which has received £80,000 in funding to support its work in isolated parts of West Norfolk, are playing a vital role in helping victims.
Throughout this crisis, people across West Norfolk have been doing amazing things to help others. Nominations are now open for the #lovewestnorfolk heroes scheme which is a great opportunity to recognise those who have made a real difference.