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Westminster Diary – 09/10/20

This week we’ve seen yet more questions being asked of the Government in their handling of the Test and Trace system. As if missing nearly 16,000 positive Covid cases wasn’t bad enough, the error meant that a potential 50,000 close contacts weren’t traced and did not self-isolate, putting all of us at greater risk. After all the well-documented failures in the system – including when I exposed the Ricoh arena testing centre being incredibly quiet whilst constituents were facing huge difficulties in booking a test – it’s no wonder why cases are still rising, and restrictions are being imposed. To ensure we control the virus, save lives, and also save livelihoods, we must have an effective Test and Trace system.

Harrowing pictures have emerged of trees being felled by HS2 Ltd in the local area. Given the impact of the pandemic, why isn’t the Government reviewing the project anyway? We face a climate emergency, so we need to protect our natural environments, not destroy them. I’ve been calling on the Government to save the woodlands by rerouting HS2, just like they did previously to save a golf course in Kenilworth. If that can be saved, why can’t our beautiful woodlands? I’ll continue to work on scrutinising the Government’s plans to ensure the public’s concerns – and their money – is being spent well. I fear that it currently isn’t.

With earnings likely to fall this year owing to the economic crisis, it’s important that pensioners are still able to enjoy the protections of the ‘Triple Lock’ policy. I welcome the Government’s move last week to allow for the potential uprate in pensions for this year, but I’m concerned that a single year isn’t enough. Similarly, with the Chancellor warning us that cuts will be on the way to pay for our response to Covid, the Triple Lock may be one of the targets in the Conservative’s sights once more. I’ll be working hard to protect it.

As ever, if you would like to get in touch with me, I can be contacted by email at ‘matt.western.mp@parliament.uk’ or by ringing my office on 01926 882006.