May 2020 Newsletter Update

Monthly updates from Laura Farris

MP for Newbury

Welcome from Laura

Despite some of the lockdown measures being eased, May remained a difficult month for many people across West Berkshire and I, once again, would like to pay testament to all your hard work in fighting this virus. With the end of lockdown cautiously approaching us, our community continues to support those who are vulnerable and in need up and down West Berkshire. From school teachers to Meals on Wheels rivers, I am reminded every day of the privilege it is to be your MP.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is anything I can help with via my email, Whilst this is a busy time for us all, I am still endeavouring to get you a response within 7 days. My Office is also still taking nominations for 'Community Champions', announced weekly so please do email in!

Constituency updates:

Throughout May, I have continued to meet the wonderful organisations, people and businesses at the heart of West Berkshire. Over the last four weeks I have visited a number of wonderful charities, such as the amazing Fair Close Centre, who are working so hard to deliver food to vulnerable and shielding people across the county. Their energy and dedication in helping their community is so, so inspiring. 

I also had the opportunity to speak to a number of primary school heads, to discuss the re-opening of schools from June. This was a really productive meeting and I have raised the points with the Secretary of State for Education, and I will do my utmost to support them now and in the future. I look forward to speaking to secondary school heads in early June.

To celebrate the resumption of horse racing behind closed doors (after some hard lobbying to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport), I visited the brilliant Jamie Snowden, a leading trainer in Lambourn. Horse racing is such an important part of West Berkshire’s heritage, community and economy and I am so glad the Government listened to our calls for racing to be resumed in a practical and sensible way. 

Finally, May also saw the VE (Victory in Europe Day) 75th Anniversary celebrations. Whilst many of the events across West Berkshire had to be cancelled, I was heartened to see communities come together (whilst still observing social distancing!) to remember those who made so many sacrifices for peace and freedom around the world. Streets and neighbourhoods found their own way to celebrate this historic occasion, from street parties to neighbourhood singing of ‘We’ll Meet Again’. Park House School staff organised a wonderful tribute, which you can watch on YouTube here.

In Parliament:

May’s Parliamentary calendar was primarily taken up with Home Affairs Select Committee business in which we are assessing some of the most pernicious criminality that has been occurring during lockdown – taking evidence from the National Crime Agency on everything from child sexual abuse to online fraud. I also attended sessions in Parliament on important domestic and international issues such as the 12,000 proposed redundancies of British Airways (a number of whom live in West Berkshire) and placing the environment at the heart of our economic recovery – something I plan to push hard on.