This month, everyone in Nottinghamshire was shocked and horrified when we awoke to learn of the tragic deaths of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley Kumar and Ian Coates, as well as the injuries of three others on the morning of 13th June.
Like many of you, I went to Old Market Square to lay flowers and pay my respects to the victims of this senseless and terrible attack.
I want to offer my deepest condolences to the families of Barnaby, Grace and Ian, and all of those who have been affected by this tragedy. I also want to thank our emergency services for their brave actions on the day.
I know that many of you will be worried about the current rate of inflation. It has remained stubbornly at 8.7% this month and has led to higher interest rates as the Bank of England works to bring it down.
As higher interest rates impact people’s mortgages, the Government has been working with lenders to secure protections for mortgage holders.
Last week the Government agreed a Mortgage Charter with lenders, to offer security to those who are being affected by rising interest rates.
The Charter will ensure that customers can talk to lenders about altering their mortgage repayments without negatively impacting on their credit score. They will also have the option of switching to interest only mortgages for six months. Additionally, if you are approaching the end of your contract, you will be able to lock in a fixed rate deal for the next six months.
The Charter also guarantees that people will be protected from having homes repossessed for 12 months after missing their first missed payment. This is to give them time to work with lenders to find a solution.
The Government is committed to protecting struggling families and, taken together, our package of support to help households with higher bills is worth £94 billion (£3,300 per household). If anyone is struggling to access these services, you can find more information here.
It was great to welcome Education Minister, Claire Coutinho, to Rushcliffe this month to visit Serendipity nursery in Cotgrave.
The minister has been travelling across the country to hear directly from those working in the childcare sector. She has been listening to their feedback on the Government’s childcare reforms announced earlier this year.
The Government will be offering 30 hours of free childcare for every child over the age of 9 months, with support being phased in until every eligible working parent of under 5s gets this support by September 2025.
This month, the Government also announced that thousands of working parents in receipt of childcare benefits will also see them rise by 50%, from £951 to £1630 per month. The childcare costs will be paid upfront rather than in arrears. This will remove a key barrier to childcare for those on universal credit.
This will all ensure that new parents have access to affordable childcare and will give them the freedom and security to choose when they go back to work after starting a family.
Last week was Women’s Enterprise Week, which I marked by co-hosting a networking event with Obu Invest, the Federation of Small Businesses and the University of Nottingham. It was brilliant to celebrate some of the fantastic women entrepreneurs that we have in Rushcliffe, as well as take part in the discussions about investment, inclusive recruitment, and resilience in business.
You may remember that I successfully campaigned with the team at Obu Invest to make the Government’s Seed Enterprise Investment Schememore accessible to women.
Women founded businesses still only get 1% of the venture capital funding in the UK. Their experiences are different from men, and they face different barriers, but could potentially unleash up to £250 billion of growth into the wider economy if their potential was realised. That’s why it’s so important that women work together across business, politics, and academia to support women entrepreneurs and help create the conditions for them to flourish.
Finally, you may have seen that I will be zip-lining over Trent Bridge Stadium next month to support local Nottinghamshire dementia charity Forget Me Notts. They are a wonderful group who use sport to build a community between people with dementia, their carers and those experiencing isolation and loneliness.
Dementia is a personal issue for me. Like many others, my grandfather died from it and one of my aunts suffers from it. If you want to support Forget Me Notts, you can sponsor me here or alternatively you can join me in the challenge by signing up here