Welcome to my February e-newsletter. There are now grounds for hope that an end to the Covid emergency is finally in sight.
Our country has been hit hard by the virus, but our vaccination programme is one of the most successful in the world. UK scientists in Oxford led the way in developing an effective vaccine; the Government’s Vaccines Taskforce made bold decisions to buy millions of doses at an early stage; our regulator was the first in the world to approve a vaccine; and our NHS has now delivered over 17 million jabs.
As the Prime Minister said in his statement in Parliament on Monday, sadly there is no way to eliminate Covid risk, but vaccination has dramatically changed the odds in our favour. It is on that basis that he has felt able to set out a cautious and gradual route out of lockdown.
With significant restrictions due to continue for at least the next three months, it is important that Government support schemes are extended to help people whose livelihoods continue to be hit by Covid restrictions. In my Budget submission to the Chancellor, I asked for this to happen and I hope that targeted help will be confirmed in the Budget next week. I also continue to press the Chancellor for assistance for those who have fallen between the gaps in the Government’s support schemes.
Within the limitations of what is possible during lockdown, I have continued my campaigning and constituency work. For example, I was honoured to visit the Wentworth GP practice in north Finchley to see our local vaccination programme in action. Many of my constituents have received their jabs at the practice and I look forward to being back there soon to receive mine. I recently issued a video message aimed at BAME communities encouraging take-up of the vaccine.
Responding to concerns from local nursery providers, I pressed Early Years Minister, Vicki Ford, to give them the same access to testing as schools and she has recently confirmed that this will happen.
Issues I have raised in Parliament in recent weeks include on improving air quality; helping people live healthier lives through sport and exercise; and tackling problems faced by businesses exporting food to the EU. I also condemned the decision by the Mayor of London to spend thousands of £s on a committee to take down statues and re-name streets. The Hansard reports of my recent contributions in Parliament can be read here.
I was honoured to be appointed by the Prime Minister to the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform which will look at improving the way we regulate our economy so that we do more to support and encourage start-up businesses and boost the growth areas of the future such as life sciences and fin-tech.
More information on my local campaigns and activities is available in the links below to articles on my website. Please pass on this email to anyone you think would be interested to read it or might like to join this mailing list. You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook at facebook.com/theresavillierscb.
With warmest wishes
Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers
Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet
Villiers visits vaccination centre
Your local MP has praised a local Covid vaccination centre for its efficiency after hearing it has immunised more than 12,000 people. Theresa visited the Wentworth Medical Practice in Finchley, just outside her constituency to see how the vaccine programme was going. Read more…
MP backs Apprenticeship Week with virtual visit to Barnet College
MP Theresa Villiers met with two young apprentices from Barnet and Southgate College via Zoom to talk about their experiences as part of National Apprenticeship Week. Read more…
Villiers visits Covid testing centre
Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers has visited one of Barnet Council's rapid Covid testing facilities that allows key workers without symptoms to find out if they have the virus. Read more…
Campaign for cat micro-chipping
Theresa Villiers has backed the call by the charity, Cats’ Protection, that a law should be introduced to make it mandatory for pet cats to be micro-chipped. This would bring the rules on cats in line with dogs. In her former role as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Theresa was an enthusiast for pet micro-chipping. Read more…
Campaign for cleaner air
Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers has asked the Government to make tackling air quality in London a priority because pollution is more serious in the capital than anywhere else in the country. Read more…
Parliamentarians call for a fairer approach to Israel
In a virtual meeting with Middle East Minister James Cleverley this week, Theresa Villiers joined other MPs and peers in calling on the UK Government to support Israel in votes in UN institutions. Set up by the group, Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), the meeting saw a robust exchange between the Parliamentarians and the Minister on various issues relating to his Middle East portfolio. Read more...
How to contact Theresa
Your local MP and her team are working hard to respond to constituents’ concerns; but some changes have had to be made to the way Theresa and her staff are working in order to comply with Covid rules and public health advice.
If you need Theresa’s help you will need to email her on firstname.lastname@example.org, ring her constituency office on 020 8449 7345, or write to Theresa Villiers MP, 163 High Street, Barnet, Herts, EN5 5SU.
During lockdown, all Theresa’s surgeries are now appointment-only and will take place via Zoom unless there are exceptional emergency reasons requiring a face-to-face meeting. The next surgery is on Saturday 6th March. Anyone wishing to see Theresa or her staff will need to make an appointment in advance. You will NOT be seen if you turn up without a pre-booked appointment. Bookings can be made using the contact details set out above.
The waiting room which is normally available during surgeries will be closed. Constituents will need to arrive at the time of their appointment and will be asked to queue outside if they are early, or if there are delays to the appointment schedule. We apologise for this inconvenience but it is necessary to minimise the number of people in the constituency office at one time.