Local Update: 1st July 2020


Dear resident, 

I hope you are all in better spirits as we slowly move back to “new normal”. The opportunity to see family outside in the garden, socially distanced has certainly been something I’ve really enjoyed. 
As restrictions are slowly eased, please remember that the safety guidance provided by the government is as important now as it has ever been. Social distancing where possible, wearing face coverings in enclosed areas and keeping good hygiene will allow us to go further in the coming weeks whilst lowering the risk of a second peak.
Since my election, I have received more than 12,000 emails. This includes the 5400+ emails from residents that I have actioned, 1231 of which were received in the month of June. The rest of these emails consist of updates from our local organisations, charities, the government, and colleagues. 

I thought it would be appropriate to provide a progress report on the key campaigns I set myself to do as your local MP. 

Progress Report:
Upgrading Scunthorpe Hospital

My question to the Prime Minister during Coronavirus statements regarding routine hospital treatments and Scunthorpe Hospital

What is being done? 

I have spoken to lots of healthcare workers over the last months and I know how incredibly hard and dedicated our local healthcare workers are. 

In addition to the regular calls, meetings, and briefings I receive from our local NHS Trust I have been working with our Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), our Local Trust, local clinicians and North Lincs Council on a bid for an upgrade for Scunthorpe Hospital.

I made sure that the government is aware of our ambitions for the General Hospital by raising this issue to the Prime Minister and to the Health Secretary.

Separately I am also campaigning for routine hospital treatments to resume as soon as possible, I am pleased to say that I have pushed for one of our pain clinics to be opened soon.

What's next? 

I will be chairing a further meeting later this week which will produce a “first outline” of our bid. I have also asked for an appointment with Ministers to discuss our bid. 

Progress Report:
Protecting and promoting our world-class British Steel


I asked the Prime Minister to make sure that there is British steel in HS2. You can read my follow-up letter to him here. 

What is being done? 

As the co-Chair of the Steel Parliamentary group, I have been working cross-party to push the government for more support for our steel industry.

This includes holding discussions with ministers, lobbying them with colleagues and having regular engagements with the steel industry, including our own British Steel. Through our concerted effort, we were able to increase the level of financial support accessible to our Steel industry during this pandemic.

Meeting with HS2
Yesterday I chaired a meeting between MPs, our steel stakeholders and HS2 in order to push for our steel to be used for HS2 and I am pleased to say that we have made some progress with them. This is in addition to my question to the Prime Minister a few weeks back, pushing for HS2 to sign up to the UK Steel Charter.

What's Next? 

I will be following up with a letter to HS2 LTD today setting out the Steel Parliamentary group's views. I will also consult with UK Steel companies on what we can do to ask for more companies to maximise the use of UK Steel as we Build, Build, Build. 

Progress report:
Rejuvenation our local roads 

What is being done? 

Since elected I have made representations about poor road conditions. I hope that you have seen the change in our area and continue to let me know if there is an issue. Having pressed NLC on this I am pleased to see plans for a major redevelopment on Queensway. 

Additionally, roadworks have begun to resurface and renew parts of the M180, M181, A160 and A180. I welcome the essential maintenance being done by Highways England to replace road markings and studs, to resurface between junctions and to resecure bridges on the routes.
Whilst I know that Highways England, working with North Lincs Council, has done its utmost to minimise any disturbances, there will be traffic disruption for a limited time. With any roadworks come closures and diversions, so I have outlined the special measures that are being put in place over the coming weeks on my website.

What's Next? 

I will be in contact with North Lincs Council and the Department of Transport to continue to raise the safety issues concerning our portion of the A15. 

Progress report:
Supporting our local businesses, community groups, and building up our high street 

Last Friday I visited our market and our high street to see how businesses are getting on with reopening 



What is being done? 

Since the beginning of this crisis, my team and I have advised businesses across Scunthorpe on what their options are, pointing them to the appropriate avenues of support, and encouraging them to furlough vulnerable residents. On occasions when advice wasn't enough, I have written to the Chancellor asking for him to take action.
By working with local residents and businesses we were able to successfully campaign for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and the Local Authority Discretionary Fund.
Before the announcement of the Bounce Back Loans, I wrote to and telephoned banks to stand-up for our local businesses, to prevent them from being unfairly denied from critical loans. 
In addition, I have undertaken to provide local "Business Updates" which you can sign up to here. All records of my Business Updates can be read on my website, with the latest edition here.
As a member of the Town Funds Board, I welcome the government has ‘topped-up’ our Towns fund this week. In light of the struggles we face, I will certainly play my role to ensure that our Towns fund project will meet the needs of our residents.

What's next? 

I will continue to provide business updates and advice to our local businesses, charities, and community groups, and will continue to stand up for our businesses in Parliament.

I look forward to visiting our local community groups once I am able to do so safely. I will also work with the Towns Fund group on the immediate projects needed to improve our area. 

Progress report: 
Working with our schools


What is being done? 

With remote education still in place for the majority of pupils, I have been in correspondence with education leaders across Scunthorpe, making sure that they are aware of the provisions being offered to disadvantaged pupils by government, such as laptops and wifi. To help parents, I have compiled a webpage to answer any questions that parents in Scunthorpe may have about what school will look like upon their child’s return, which you can view here.
I also worked with our headteachers to successfully push for Free School Meals to be extended for this summer. It was also important to pass on headteachers’ feedback, in regard to how these meals should be distributed, to the Department for Education.
It was also great to hear this week that John Leggot Sixth Form College, Huntcliff School, and Hibaldstow Academy will be benefitting from the government’s school rebuilding programme announced last week.

What's next? 

I will continue to work with our headteachers so that we will be able to safely return our children to school this September. 

Useful information and links for residents: 

There is no doubt that we will continue to face challenging times but please be assured that my team and I are here to help, if you know of anyone who needs assistance please do ask them to make direct contact. 

Take care and stay safe,