This week lockdown measures were eased completely across the country. However, many metro mayors, including our own in Greater Manchester, announced that masks would still be required on the region’s Metrolink tram network as part of a condition of carriage, and Andy Burnham also urged people to continue wearing masks as an “act of solidarity” on buses and trains. I believe that is the right thing to do to protect all of us and our loved ones as masks are proven to reduce the rate of Covid infections, which are sadly on the rise once again.
In recent weeks, several constituents have written to me about the frustrating experience they’ve had when trying to book a driving test at the Stockport test centre. Sadly, this experience is replicated across Greater Manchester and England as a result of processing delays at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. I raised this in Parliament and urged the Transport Secretary to make a statement in the House of Commons explaining why the Government chose to block a deal that would have brought an end to the industrial dispute with the Public and Commercial Services Union at the DVLA over health and safety. Sadly, it seems it’s the latest example of the Government putting ideology ahead of people.
I also spoke in Parliament about the Armed Forces Bill and raised the shameful treatment of serving and former military personnel. I mentioned Mr Peter Milns from Stockport Veterans Breakfast Club, who has worked tirelessly to support our local community of ex service personnel. Peter had a long and distinguished career in the military, including a tour of Bosnia while serving in the 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regiment during the conflict in 1993. The work he and many like him do is crucial to providing the support and camaraderie that many serving personnel and veterans need.
Finally, a belated but well deserved congratulations to the England football squad, who performed heroically at Euro 2020. While the result was disappointing, England reached only its second major tournament final in its history – a truly remarkable feat. Sadly, the completely unacceptable abuse faced by many of the players took the shine off the achievement, and much more needs to be done by social media companies to stamp it out once and for all. Abuse of any nature has no place in our society.
As always, if you live or work in my Stockport constituency and require any support, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.