The announcement of the roadmap towards re-opening has been widely welcomed, and although I am conscious there has been disappointment from some sectors, it is good news that there is a published plan in place. I very strongly welcome the imminent return of schools, although I recognise some parents are anxious about this. I am hoping to speak in Thursday’s debate on this and the statement about qualifications in 2021. Of course, that is, as ever, subject to the ballot, and I was unlucky when I submitted my name to the ballot on Monday to ask a question of the PM.
I have attended this week a “Wedding Industry Roundtable” with representatives of those working in that sector. I know from my own postbag how desperate the situation is for those running venues, and all the associated services, but also for couples who, in some cases, have seen their weddings postponed several times. My colleague Neil Parish is leading a group of us who are seeking to make direct representations to the PM on this, who maybe needs to declare an interest when it comes to setting wedding dates. There are lots of beautiful wedding venues in this constituency, not to mention the caterers, florists, beauticians, dressmakers, car hire services etc who were all desperate for the greenlight to be given.
On Wednesday the Hampton-Alexander Review launched their 2020 report into the number of women on boards. The review shone a light on the situation in the leading FTSE companies as to how many women served on their boards. The good news is that there are now none of the top 350 with no women on their boards. But there is still a long way to go in reaching parity. Since 2016 the review has acted as an important catalyst for change and this year Diageo was ranked as the number one business for female representation in the UK.
I am looking forward to the meeting of the All Party Group on Motor Neurone Disease this week which I have been asked to attend by a number of constituents. It always used to be a big event in Church House just across from Parliament, and I was always impressed at the number of constituents who attended in person. This year it will sadly have to be virtually, but hopefully that means a great deal more local people will be able to attend.