MP Nigel Evans asks everyone in the Ribble Valley to enthusiastically support their local businesses as the ‘new normal’ takes shape

While Covid is still with us there is light at the end of the tunnel. Things are now re-opening and we can witness the first signs of a ‘new normal’. Like many of you I clapped the heroic work of the NHS and other key workers, who were vital to being where we are today. I thank you once again.

We also remember those who are no longer with us and while the numbers of deaths are way down on the peak, each death is a tragedy.

In Parliament we have had to adapt. Initially there were very few of us physically working. New TV screens beamed MPs into the chamber from all parts of the UK and, to my surprise, it worked rather well.

Back in Pendleton, walking, running, cycling and taking the dog out was the order of the day, sometimes taking a bag with me to pick up the ghastly litter that seemed to be everywhere. I’m delighted to get behind the Daily Mail’s campaign to clean Britain up after lockdown.

The village did manage to celebrate VE day in a socially distanced way and this was the last time we all raised a glass with much loved villager Tony Ormiston. He passed away some days later – he will be sorely missed.

I also want to pay tribute to the workers who braved lockdown to ensure that we had services including supermarket and other essential providers. You were real champions!

As the Ribble Valley opened up I was the first to have my haircut at The Men’s Room in Whalley. It is a brilliant new barber’s shop and I’d like to thank Joseph, the owner, who opened at 7.45am to give me the haircut of my life!

I witnessed the Swan with Two Necks re-open and it was good to see that first pint poured from the tap. I know Steve and Christine were delighted to see so many of their friends turn up to support them.

I would also like to thank the local skilled trades people who turned up to do work on my garden and house – I hope that many people will look at the services that are available on their own doorstep and support them.

But there are some businesses still not open and I do hope the green light will soon be given. They too will need our support. Just think how important the wedding industry is to our area.

Like many others I have become a master of the virtual meeting, and again I am amazed how well that went when I spoke with friends in Australia and the USA. I really believe that many people will decide that hours spent travelling to meetings may well be better spent using the amazing technology that we have relied on during the past weeks!



Tedd Walmsley

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