The Budget has, of course, dominated the political headlines this week and I was pleased to see the Chancellor recognise the importance of supporting businesses through the pandemic recovery. We need SMEs to thrive to provide employment, to reinvigorate our high streets, and importantly to stimulate the economic recovery.
Away from Westminster I was pleased to be able to attend the Romsey Male Voice Choir concert last weekend, where they were brilliantly supported at the last minute by Romsey Voices, who stepped in as the billed choir, Notability, had too many people off with covid or self isolating because they had been in contact with someone who had the virus.
A timely reminder , if any were needed, that it is important to still be cautious about the spread of the virus. I have been struck over the last fortnight or so by the number of emails and letters I have received advocating the return of mandatory mask wearing, and many have commented that I have tried to consistently wear one in the chamber. It is not so easy to keep one on when trying to Chair Bill Committees or Select Committees, as I have been much of this week, but I am doing my best.
Cllr Cooper, Test Valley’s current Mayor, and Cllr Hatley, TVBC’s “covid” Mayor were both planting an apple tree in the North Garth at the Abbey last weekend, to remember all those who have lost their lives to covid in the Borough. It was the first of many trees, throughout the Borough, which will be planted over the coming months and I think a very appropriate way for us to come together and remember.