Nigel Evans MP meets the new Trade Adviser to the UK and the Qatar ambassador and urges everyone in his constituency to support local businesses
They say, ‘pray for the best but prepare for the worst’ and that could not be truer when it comes to Covid-19. Just when we thought we were out of the woods, the forest was getting deeper and while the NHS are doing a sterling job in stemming deaths, the new infections and hospitalisations are vastly increasing. Tier 3 for Lancashire, alongside a growing number of other areas, is hugely disappointing. I will be working with the Health Secretary to devise a clear and understandable roadmap, which will lead to these onerous restrictions being lifted as soon as it is safe to do so.
Businesses need time to prepare for any tier movements and I have asked the Health Secretary to give as much notice as possible. One business that has been affected is RV Pure Clean, a new service industry to the hospitality sector based on the Twin Brook Business Park. The Hook family have invested heavily in being able to manage the laundering needs of hotels and restaurants in the area and I have been hugely impressed by their ambitious plans as soon as Covid restrictions are eased. In a short space of time they have managed to win some impressive contracts and I wish them well.
Another Ribble Valley success story is the newly revamped Mytton Fold. The owners proudly showed me around this premier hotel with its superb restaurant and I returned the following Saturday to dine – it was superb! Let’s support these local businesses where we can.
This month, I was pleased to publicise the new Veteran’s Rail Card. There is up to a third off rail travel with this card so please let veterans in your area know about it. They deserve our support for the service they have given.
I met two impressive leaders – the new Trade Adviser to the UK and former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who told me how excited he was about his new role. We need top class professionals to help with the trade policy post Brexit and we are less than two months away from ending the transition period.
The second leader was the Qatar ambassador to the UK. His Excellency, Mr Yousef Ali Al-Khatar enthusiastically told me about plans for the 2022 World Cup. He also told me about the investment that Qatar has made into the UK – from the iconic Shard to Harrods, and the site of the former US Embassy, soon to be a world leading hotel with 137 bedrooms and six restaurants. In total well over £35 billion has been invested in the UK.
I will close by urging people to support the Ribble Valley businesses that are open and, those that are closed due to Government guidance, visit them when they re-open. It is amazing how important the hospitality trade is to the Ribble Valley and many of these businesses have been badly affected. I will continue to pray for them and for our UK scientists working on the vaccine.
Yes, we must prepare for the worst, but I am hugely optimistic by the advances that have been made. Keep safe within your households, especially the elderly and vulnerable. Be vigilant, it could save their lives.