Last week saw Parliament in recess to coincide with the fact that it was school half term week. I hope you and your families were able to take advantage of both the improved weather and the easing of restrictions in order to meet up safely in person.
It is safe to say that the vaccine rollout has, on the whole, been an incredible success and our thanks should go to all those who have made the process possible, including all of the local volunteers at both Newton Abbot Racecourse and Dawlish Community Hospital. Of slight concern are the reports from these sites about the number of people booked in for second jabs who have failed to turn up. In order to gain as much protection as possible for both yourself and your loved ones, please turn up and receive the second dose.
Per NHS guidance, people in eligible groups are being reminded to:
- Book your second vaccination if it wasn’t booked at the time of the first.
- Attend both appointments.
- If you have had a second dose elsewhere, please cancel the original appointment.
- If you haven’t booked at all because the timing of the second dose will clash with a planned holiday, keep checking the National Booking System for new dates.
When you are eligible to have the vaccine please book and turn up to both appointments. Having both doses of the vaccination gives better protection against Covid-19. It’s completely understandable that things sometimes come up that mean you can’t make an appointment. In that scenario, If you can’t attend your appointment, please cancel it.
At the latest stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, it has been fantastic to hear from a number of businesses about the positive response from customers, especially in some the cafes. Whilst it is great to be out and about again it is important to remember that certain rules are still in place, including social distancing and the wearing of masks where necessary.
Another issue that came up when speaking to local businesses has been bookings. Firstly, whilst this largely applies to visitors coming into Devon rather than the local community, please do not travel on holiday somewhere without booking accommodation. There have been a number of people turning up here in Devon without pre-booked accommodation expecting it to be available once they get here. This places an unnecessary burden on those running holiday parks, hotels and other accommodation.
A secondary booking issue is people booking tables at restaurants and other venues and then not turning up or notifying the business. This means that businesses are not getting the custom they assumed and they’re also not able to re-allocate the table to other parties. If you have made a booking and are no longer able to make it – let them know!
To conclude, I would like to raise another issue of concern currently, litter and the problems it is causing the local community. Fly tipping and litter have been a long-term issue and something I led a debate on in the House of Commons back in 2017. It was thoroughly disheartening to visit one landowner a couple of weeks ago to see the sheer amount of rubbish that people were dumping on the roads. The summer + an influx of tourists invariably leads to more litter (mainly fish & chip boxes) in Teignmouth and Dawlish. Whilst both the town councils and I have raised the issue of needing more bins in public places, it is vital to find an alternative bin to dispose of your rubbish, rather than simply leaving it next to a full bin.
As things are now opening back up again, I am able to conduct in-person surgeries whilst also maintaining the option of a virtual surgery. If you would like to arrange a meeting, call or raise a specific issue, please call my office on 01626 368277 or email email@example.com to arrange an appointment.