When I was first elected in 2010 I can remember meeting Janet Williams and Emma Murphy from INFACT, the National Valproate Campaign. This last week I met them again as part of the Safe Mum Safe Baby round table, which was hosted by the Epilepsy Society.
The campaign is disappointed that more action has not been forthcoming following the publication of the Cumberlege Report last year, which looked at the safety of medicines and medical devices and reviewed hormone pregnancy tests, sodium valproate and pelvic mesh.
Emma and Janet are two of the most determined campaigners I have ever met, and their stories would move anyone to tears. Yet despite the difficulties they and their families have faced they were so supportive and encouraging to other young women on the call with epilepsy.
We have also just seen the launch of the Test Valley Business Awards 2021. The last awards were in 2019 and the intervening period has been incredibly difficult for businesses throughout the Borough. Whilst normality has slowly been returning, and it has been great to see retail and hospitality re-open, we are all waiting for the news on 14th as to whether 21st June really will be freedom day. I really hope so, and recognise that here at least the vaccination programme has been stunningly successful, and both businesses and their customers are desperate to get back to normal.