MID Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston writes for the Standard in this week’s Westminster Diary.
WE ARE in our seventh week of lockdown and our recovery strategy and some cautious lifting of some lockdown restrictions was laid out by the Prime Minister on Sunday.
Restrictions are now loosening for outdoor activities and more people are being encouraged back to work.
Hopefully we are now past the peak of the pandemic and thanks to all of you who abided the social distancing measures, we did not overwhelm the NHS.
But it’s important to note that even as some measures are relaxed, if the number of infections begin to head in the wrong direction, advice will be subject to change.
In these strange times, even Parliament has had to adapt and we’ve been faced with all the challenges and mishaps of technology.
I took to the despatch box at the end of last month for my first DCMS oral questions session in a largely empty chamber of the House of Commons, answering most questions from my MP colleagues via Zoom remotely.
It was a strange experience having to direct my questions at a television screen, but there were no major technological failures, which I have to say I’m thankful for.
In my ministerial role, every week I hold a series of stakeholder calls with industry representatives in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to discuss Coronavirus, how Government policies are working and what needs to be done next.
I also hold calls with my counterparts in other countries about co-ordinating efforts internationally, for example with the Tourism Ministers from the G20.
Needless to say, like many of you I am spending a lot of my time at home in Worcestershire getting familiar with video-calling.
I keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the constituency through regular calls and video conferences with the NHS and Acute Trust, County Council, District Council, local charities and community bodies as well as with individuals and companies who contact my office.
I’m hopeful the new rules will allow us to start heading in a new direction on way to recovery.
But, as ever, please stay safe and look after each other.