With Spring now upon us, and the lockdown restrictions beginning to lift, it has been great to once again get out and about and visit people in person (while of course socially distanced).
Over the last year, our high streets have benefited from a huge amount of support from central Government, and in particular I’m delighted many of our shops have been able to access restart grants of up to £6,000 to help them reopen – something I raised in the chamber with the Chancellor. But there is always more we can do, and that’s why I this week I held a meeting with the Secretary of State for Business, Kwasi Kwarteng, alongside Peter Fleming, Sevenoaks District Council Leader, to discuss the current Government support available, and how the schemes are operating.
As well as those who are reopening, there are a number of new shops due to open in Sevenoaks Town, including a baker, a butcher, with a fishmonger possibly to follow. This fantastic news comes hot on the heels of Sevenoaks being placed as sixth best retail centre in the country by Harper Dennis Hobbs, and one of the top 10 South East towns to live in by the Sunday Times – the only town in Kent (other than Deal) in the top 10. It is brilliant to see our fantastic home being recognised in this way.
I am also pleased that next week will see the return of local democracy. Residents across the constituency will be invited to visit the polling booths to cast their votes in the Kent County Council and Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election. There is also a Sevenoaks District Council by-election for Brasted, Chevening and Sundridge, should you fall within that ward.
A many of you will know, County Council elections have a direct effect on the individuals, families and businesses in Sevenoaks; be it the maintenance of our roads, our local infrastructure, providing provision of local services such as adult social care and education, or litter and fly tipping – the list is extensive. The County Councillors you choose will also need to work with Parish Councillors, Town Councillors, Sevenoaks District Councillors and myself as the Member of Parliament to gain a joined-up approach to local affairs.
Over the last few weeks, alongside my duties as your Member of Parliament, I have been on the campaign trail supporting our fantastic Conservative candidates. We are incredibly lucky in Sevenoaks to have a brilliant District and County Council, with the leader of Kent Country Council, Roger Gough, right here in our district, alongside PCC Matthew Scott in Swanley. Proof once again that Sevenoaks is the thriving centre of Kent.
As ever, if I can help or support you please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office on firstname.lastname@example.org. I am keen to meet as many of you as possible so do please also get in touch if you know of somewhere I should visit, or someone I should meet.
MP for Sevenoaks and Swanley
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