I hope you are well as winter (and Christmas!) comes ever closer.
I understand that residents are interested to know why I defied a three-line whip to vote against the government on the Standards Committee's Report Amendment last week.
Beyond the headlines, I think there is a very valid argument that we need to balance the incredibly delicate and complicated Parliamentary standards system. It is also a very difficult case to look at on a human level, following the tragic death of Owen Paterson's wife last year.
Whilst I can definitely see both sides, tying-up reform of the standards system with one particular case was something I couldn’t square. I also had concerns about the retrospective element. Last Wednesday was just not the right time. The next day, I spoke to Burnsy on BBC Humberside, and you can listen to my full explanation here.
I am pleased that the government are reassessing their plans. It is important for the public to be able to trust our political system.
Lest We Forget
On Monday, I placed a commemorative Poppy in the House of Commons Garden of Remembrance on behalf of residents in Scunthorpe and surrounding villages.
This year, we mark 100 years of the Poppy Appeal, and it remains as important as ever to recognise the incredible sacrifice made by our armed forces, in the past and the present, for our country.
As ever, please find below my progress reports on key local issues:
- Protecting and promoting our world-class British Steel
- Improving our local health offering, upgrading Scunthorpe Hospital
- Improving Our Local Roads
- Supporting our local businesses, community groups, and building up our high street
- Working with our schools
- Useful information and links for residents
Protecting and promoting our world-class British steel
What is being done?
I recently secured a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the impact of high global energy prices on our steelworks and how he can support our local industry. I was travelling home to North Lincs when I heard the meeting was confirmed, so I turned around and drove straight back to London. The meeting was constructive and I really do believe that the Prime Minister "gets" the importance of our steel industry.
I am also pleased to update residents on steel safeguards. Following the renewal of import protections in summer, the government have now put in place plans for further laws to protect our steelworks. I am delighted that the government has shown leadership on this important issue- you can read more about this here.
I will continue to work closely with steelwork colleagues, and the government, to build a more competitive environment for the sector.
Improving our local health offering, upgrading Scunthorpe Hospital
What is being done?
The decked car park at Scunthorpe General Hospital has now been completed and is being used by public and staff alike. Our local health team has also confirmed that the ongoing extension of the MRI unit is progressing well. It is these sort of widescale, holistic improvements that our Hospital needs, and I am pleased to see these works being done.
Nationally, the booster vaccination programme has accelerated over recent weeks, with over 10 million jabs in arms across the country and the local CCG providing doses for over 30,000 residents. North Lincolnshire CCG are publishing weekly timetables of walk-in pop-up centres in Scunthorpe, and I share these posts on my Facebook page so keep an eye out for those if you are due a jab. You can book your booster vaccine appointment here.
A couple of weeks ago, I raised residents' concerns about the reimposition of Covid restrictions, and asked the Health Minister to ensure that MPs get a vote on any future proposals.
I look forward to progress being made on our new Emergency Hub and will help in whatever way I can to advance my campaign for more comprehensive refurbishments to SGH.
Improving our local roads
What is being done?
Earlier this month, I tabled two Written Questions to the Transport Secretary on facilities for lorry drivers at work. Following the Budget, I am pleased to say that the Chancellor has announced £32.5 million to improve roadside facilities for HGV drivers on the road. I look forward to hearing more details on this.
Along with the Fuel Duty freeze, the HGV Vehicle Excise Duty freeze and the 12-month suspension of the HGV Road User Levy all announced on Wednesday, I hope this will help ease the current pressure on the haulier industry. You can also see a letter from the Transport Minister on further measures being taken here.
A National Highways consultation on motorways and major A-roads potential future projects is still considering stakeholders' views on future projects in England. They want to know where people regularly experience congestion or safety concerns, or where we see opportunities for better facilities. Please do raise any ideas for our local roads you may have here.
I will keep pressing the government to deliver on road improvements, and to provide the resources that our local authority needs to fill potholes. As ever please do get in touch if there are any local road issues you would like to raise.
Supporting our local businesses, community groups, and building up our High Street
What is being done?
North Lincolnshire Council have opened up a £250,000 pot for hospitality and tourism, recognising that a lot of businesses in our area are still trying to return to pre-pandemic levels. Grants will be focus on safeguarding and creating jobs, with more information available here.
Over the last few months, I have been campaigning with local Councillors and local residents to gauge how best we can develop the area around Laurel Way. Residents local to this area will know that the green open space there contains an old Roman Farmstead with early Iron Age Origins, first identified in 1994. I can confirm that the Council has committed to a number of measures to preserve the area.
It is good to be able to work with residents on local campaigns so please get in touch.
I opened North Lincolnshire Council's Job Expo at Baths Hall last month, where more than 44 employers spoke to hundreds of job-seeking residents. Of those who attended, more than nine out of ten found a vacancy which they would apply for- a fantastic outcome for an event like this.
It was also brilliant to see that four community projects in our area have secured £1.3 million funding from the Community Wealth Fund. This money will go to business incubator space, skills training for young people amongst other schemes that will come into fruition by Summer next year.
With many businesses growing back to pre-pandemic levels, I will continue to do my bit to help firms create and safeguard jobs locally so that residents have employment opportunities here at home.
Working with our Schools
What is being done?
I was really pleased to be able to arrange for Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire to have the FIRST school tour of Parliament since the pandemic started.
Despite starting their journey at 5am in the morning to make the 9am top spot, the students were bright, attentive, and polite. We learnt so much from our fantastic guide Hayley, about the history of Parliament and visited places in Parliament that I have never been to before!
After the tour, we were able to find a spot to have a chat. I particularly enjoyed hearing from Headteacher Anesta and Business Lead Jen about the amazing students present. A great time was had by all.
The first week of November was Parliament Week, where resources are available for schools to teach students about the law-making process. As part of this, I was able to visit the St. Lawrence's Academy last week, and had a chance to speak to the pupils. The students were an asset to their school and listened attentively, clearly very keen to learn. I hope they were inspired to become future MPs in their Character Lessons!
It was also a pleasure to meet the 6th Scunthorpe (Messingham) Beaver Colony last week. The Colony have been doing some fantastic activities recently and it was really fun to add to their learning in Parliament Week. Their questions certainly kept me on my toes!
In September, I attended the official opening of the fitness trail and obstacle course in Valley View Park, Bottesford.
Bottesford Town Council and Kompan Play really have done a fantastic job in ensuring that there is something for everyone and it was great to hear that the children of Bottesford Junior School had the opportunity to have their say in what play equipment they wanted.
This fitness trail is for both adults and children alike, I even had a go myself with the assistance of pupils from Bottesford Junior School!
Looking back, I never had the opportunity to visit Parliament before I was elected - in fact, this was my first guided tour - and I want more of our young people to have this exciting and important opportunity.
If you are a local school or youth organisation, please get in touch via my email or my contact page www.hollymumbycroft.org.uk/contact, and my team and I will do our best to facilitate a visit.
Useful information and links for residents:
- Latest Business Update
- BBC Humberside Interview with Burnsy on MPs Security following tragic death of Sir David Amess MP
- Statement on recent vote regarding Sewage Management
If you need anything else, please get in touch with me and I will get back to you when I can.
Take care and stay safe,