A First 2021 Message from Ed Argar our Charnwood MP & Minister of Health:
“As we begin 2021, although Covid remains a very real and potent threat, with hospitals still treating over thirty thousand Covid patients, and over 110,000 of our fellow citizens in the UK having died from the disease, hence the need for the continued tough restrictions to suppress its transmission - we do start the year with reasons for optimism and hope for the months to come.
The scientific team effort to develop the vaccine, and then roll-out effective vaccines that has rapidly ramped up since the first vaccinations were given in mid-December has seen over 13 million of those most vulnerable to the virus and frontline health and care workers vaccinated so far, and is a phenomenal achievement. It means we are on course to meet the PM’s target of 15 million people vaccinated by 15th February. Locally here in Leicestershire the roll out has seen tens of thousands of our older friends and neighbours, and health and care workers, vaccinated and given a high level of protection from the virus in recent weeks.
While it is too early at the time of writing to start easing the current restrictions, the Prime Minister has been clear that he plans to start easing them in the weeks and months ahead as the vaccine is rolled out to more people and as infection levels and the numbers of those in hospital with Covid continue to fall. Neither I nor the PM want to see these restrictions in place a day longer than necessary and I look forward to their gradual easing as soon as it is safe to do so, to allow us all and local businesses to begin getting back to normal. One sign of this is the recent announcement by the Government that the May County and Police and Crime Commissioner elections will go ahead and are not going to be postponed.
This campaign will be very different from what we are used to in our election campaigns, but these elections are more important than ever. Our County Councillors and the Police and Crime Commissioner make a fundamental difference to our day to day lives, and those of everyone in our communities, in the decisions that they make. They determine how our area is policed; public transport policies and how we get around our area; the social care services that are there for people when they need them; they determine policy on huge aspects of education and schools; and a host of other things, each and every one of which makes a real impact on us.
That is why we are so lucky to currently have such a strong team of Conservative County Councillors (all 9 of our county seats in Charnwood being Conservative currently) and why we need to do everything we can ahead of May to retain all nine of those seats, and to win back the Police and Crime Commissionership from Labour for our excellent Rupert Matthews.
You will all know our County Councillor team locally, and those who are standing to replace those who are retiring this time round. They are all fantastically dedicated public servants who always put their local community first. It will be a tough campaign, in challenging circumstances, but it is absolutely vital we do what our Association always does so well,which is to come together as a team, do what’s needed, and get a fantastic result for our Party and for the people we serve. I look forward to seeing many of you either virtually, or in person if that is possible, on the campaign trail in the lead up to the vote in May - and wish you good health and all the best for the coming months.”