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Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans encourages his constituents to take advantage of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and support local businesses, as we endeavour to return to a ‘new normal’

The new normal is still a long way off. While I was in London I travelled by tube at midday and my carriage was deserted. I even managed to take a picture at Horseguards with no tourists in front of the guardsmen.

We also need to safely bring our workforces back to boost our businesses.

Eat Out to Help Out, the £10 off a meal Monday to Wednesday, is helping to do that. I visited Tastebuds in Whalley last week and Holmes Mill in Clitheroe – both businesses are participating along with many Ribble Valley eateries. Look at the Eat Out to Help Out website for participating restaurants and book a table. It’ll be a boost to you and the restaurant!

While in Whalley I popped into Cosgroves and they told me one of the reasons businesses are doing well is that shoppers feel safe and they know the staff are all working flat out to ensure that the experience is enjoyable. I was really pleased to see customers milling around Clitheroe, Whalley and Longridge as they don their masks going shopping.

One Clitheroe business going from strength to strength is Ultraframe. They are investing in new product and are hiring extra staff. Ultraframe have been a major employer in the town for the 28 years I’ve been MP and I was very impressed with their enthusiasm and their commitment to research and development. I really wish them and their brilliant staff the very best of luck for the future as they continue to be UK leaders in their field.

I joined a few people on the Clitheroe Castle ramparts to commemorate VJ day. It was very moving to see veterans turn out resplendent with medals and I’m delighted the Mayor Stella Brunskill and vicar Andy Froud, ensured that the day passed off with aplomb. The town crier Roland Hailwood was also in strong voice and looked terrific.

I visited a farm in our area too and was delighted to hear that farming has continued to ensure we are well fed during the lockdown. I pay tribute to our farming community and hope that you will use local shops and look for locally farmed goods to give a further boost to our economy – they deserve our support.

I returned to London to finish casework and as I walked to work, I saw an amazing floral tribute at St Thomas’s hospital. I thought I would share this message each of us have taken to heart over the past few months.

I wish all the recently re-opened businesses well for the future. Each of them deserves our support and our thanks. As my reference to London at the start of this article proves it is going to be a sporadic restart towards getting back to normal, but it is important we give it our best. The more we can safely get back to pre-Covid practices the better it will be for all of us.

September will be an important month as schools safely reopen and other businesses extend their offerings. Let’s all do what we can to give Ribble Valley businesses and their wonderful friendly staff the support they need. Sadly a few places have closed – we now need to do our bit to ensure those that remain have a strong and profitable future.



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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