Welcome to my April e-newsletter in this sixth week of the coronavirus lockdown. The commitment people have shown to social distancing rules has had a big impact. It has prevented the NHS from being overwhelmed in the way that was feared. The effort made by the general public, together with the heroism and dedication of NHS and social care workers, has saved many lives. I thank everyone for the role they are playing to tackle this grave health emergency.
Parliament is back in session, with a new way for MPs to take part in proceedings. For the first time, we can make speeches in the Chamber remotely from home. I asked my first virtual question in Parliament whilst sitting in my kitchen in Arkley. I asked the Chancellor to publish a phased plan to modify lockdown measures and lift them in a safe way. That will be important if we are going to revive the economy as quickly as possible after this emergency draws to a close.
Working from home I have been trying help constituents benefit from the Government’s big package of support for jobs, businesses and incomes. Although sadly not everyone qualifies for assistance, it is reassuring to know that four million people’s jobs have been protected by the Chancellor’s furlough scheme. £34.75m has been paid out in grants to small businesses in Barnet which have been required to shut because of the emergency.
I visited the Barnet Council help hub which is providing thousands of grocery deliveries to vulnerable people and I have been doing what I can to resolve problems for local charities involved in important work during this crisis.
Turning to non-Covid matters, I was very happy to be able to address a virtual meeting of Barnet Rotary – the first time I have made a speech to a computer screen!
I’ve strongly condemned the decision by the Mayor of London to make drastic reductions to the route of the 384 bus. These changes are opposed by many residents in New Barnet and the Bevan Estate, particularly elderly people who will have a much longer walk to catch a bus if the Mayor goes ahead with his plans.
Many constituents are also against proposals to build blocks of flats of up to ten storeys on the Victoria Quarter gasworks site in New Barnet. The developers should stick to the planning consent they were given in 2017 and withdraw their application for a 75% increase in the number of flats they want to build. This new scheme would be a massive over-development.
If you are one of the many people who want to stop the new plans from being approved, please click here for details of how to send an objection to the Barnet Council planning committee. This is urgent because the deadline for submitting objections is on 19th May. So you only have a little over two weeks to make sure your voice is heard!
With warmest wishes
Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers
Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet
Villiers slams Mayor’s decision to cut 384 bus route
The decision by the Mayor of London to press ahead with cuts to the route of the 384 bus has been strongly condemned by Chipping Barnet MP, Theresa Villiers.
Urgent update on Victoria Quarter!
The campaign against plans for 10 storey blocks of flats on the gasworks site in Albert Road in New Barnet has been stepped up by Theresa Villiers MP and Cllr Felix Byers as the 19th May deadline for objecting to this development approaches.
Financial support from Government during the Covid emergency
As part of her efforts to keep constituents informed on the latest information and advice on Covid-19, Theresa Villiers has issued the following update on financial support during this health crisis.
A glimmer of hope may help thousands of firms on the brink
The Times Red Box column recently published an article by Theresa Villiers MP on why it is now safe to talk about when and how the Covid shutdown can start to be lifted.
Suspend controversial planning applications during Covid crisis
Controversial planning applications in Barnet, such as Whalebones and the Victoria Quarter, should be stopped during the Coronavirus lockdown because the public cannot properly take part, MP Theresa Villiers said.
Covid crisis is a reminder of the importance of food security
This article on food security and trade by Theresa Villierswas recently published on the Conservative Home website setting out why your local MP believes we should not let UK farmers be undercut by food imports produced to lower standards of animal welfare and environmental protection.
Villiers backs campaign to help local newspapers
MP for Chipping Barnet Theresa Villiers has backed a campaign to help local newspapers during the Covid crisis.
Covid-19 related links and information
A link to the Covid-19 pages of the www.gov.uk website can be found here. Advice from the NHS is available here. Guidance on local matters related to Covid-19 can be found here on the Barnet Council website. If you need to get help with groceries etc for a vulnerable person information is available here (or contact Barnet Council on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0808 281 3210).
For information on whether you are eligible for the Government support schemes for businesses, jobs and incomes, click here. Suggestions on how to volunteer to help people during the Covid emergency are on my website here.
How to contact Theresa
Your local MP and her team are working hard to respond to constituents’ concerns, both on Covid-19 and the other issues routinely raised with MPs. However, some changes have had to be made to the way Theresa and her staff are working in order to comply with social distancing rules and public health advice
If you need Theresa’s help you will need to email her on
email@example.com, ring her constituency office on 020 8449 7345, or write to Theresa Villiers MP, 163 High Street, Barnet, Herts, EN5 5SU.
Face-to-face surgery meetings are still possible, where they are absolutely necessary, but these are being kept to a minimum to reduce risk and to comply with the rules on social distancing. Surgeries will therefore generally take place by phone. That means that Theresa’s regular drop-in surgery that normally happens on the first Saturday of the month has been cancelled for April and May. No surgery face-to-face meetings will take place without a pre-booked appointment.
Promoted by Dominic Lowe on behalf of Theresa Villiers both at 163 High Street, Barnet, Herts, EN5 5SU.