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Welcome to my monthly e-Bulletin for April, just in 
time for Easter!

Thank you everyone who kindly gave me feedback on the
first of my new M.P.’s e-Bulletin in March. It is nice to know this new way of keeping in touch with my constituents has been so well received.

Also, let me welcome new subscribers. I hope my monthly e-Bulletin will prove useful and informative.

The month of March was, I believe, a time of growing optimism in our country. That doesn't mean we didn't find the continuing lockdown enormously difficult.

However, seeing children back in school, the easing of some measures related to social mixing, the improving weather and the continuing success of the vaccination programme are real cause for hope. I myself received the vaccine at the Victoria Centre in Pettits Lane two weeks ago and would urge everyone offered one to do the same.  We all need to move on and get back to normal again.

More importantly we now have a real, concrete date around which to build our summer plans. From 21st June, all coronavirus restrictions will be lifted. This is a date the Government I believe will, and must, stick to, to ensure a brilliant, British summer!

As always, I am happy to speak to my constituents directly on whatever local or national issue is important to them.

If you want to get in touch, please e-mail me at andrew.rosindell.mp@parliament.uk and further contact details are available below.

Remember to always include your address, postcode and telephone number when e-mailing me, so that I can get back in touch with you easily.

If you know anyone who might be interested in receiving my regular M.P.’s e-Bulletin, please forward it to them so they can sign up.

This weekend, on Good Friday and Easter Sunday in particular, remember and reflect on the huge sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for the good of all mankind at a time when all of us have made our own sacrifices for the good of others.

For now, let me wish you a very Happy Easter as well as a great celebration for St. George's Day on 23rd April!

With my very best wishes,



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My Emerald Birthday!

On the 17th of March, I celebrated my 55th birthday. How appropriate that it was my Emerald Birthday, given it coincided with St. Patrick's Day!

I want to say thank you to all those who joined my birthday Zoom call. There was a fantastic range of people who joined to say some kind words, including many friends, family and constituents as well as M.P.s, Ambassadors from Ireland, Switzerland, Nicaragua and the High Commissioner of Australia, along with my wonderful friends from show biz, Su Pollard, Russell Grant, Vicki Michelle M.B.E., Patti Boulaye O.B.E. and Jenny “The Booby” McCririck!

I want to thank everybody for taking the time to make the day so very special for me!

Union Jack to fly all year round!

At last, my campaign for over twenty years to fly our Union Jack or Union Flag on all public buildings 365 days of the year has finally been given official backing by Her Majesty’s Government.

My campaign started in 2001 when I proposed a motion to Havering Council calling for the flag to fly all year round.  This was opposed by Labour and the Residents' Association councillors, of course.

However, a public outcry led them to back down and I won the battle the fly the Union Jack all year round.  Then when I became an M.P. I launched the same campaign to get our flag flying from the Victoria Tower of Parliament all year round.

It took nine years to persuade the powers that be to agree to this and in 2010, our national flag was flown every day and has remained up ever since!

Now, the Government have agreed the same should happen on all Government buildings.

So Government Departments, Town Halls, Civic Centres
and other buildings should always fly the flag, politically correct excuses are no longer acceptable!

My next aim is for every school across the nation to fly the flag outside their building and in their assembly halls, to give the next generation pride in our nation and promote patriotism as a way of bringing everyone together, as part of one great British family!
 

Britain "a model for other white-majority countries" according to report

This week’s report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities tells us something that most of the country already knew to be true: that Britain is one of the most open and tolerant societies anywhere in the world, regardless of what the hard left and so-called ‘progressives’ claim.

I wrote about the report for Spiked, in which I argued that it "brings shame on the left-wing radicals responsible. It reveals their claims for what they really are: the distortions and lies of writers without much to write about."

Read it in full.

My Tours of Parliament are back!

I'm delighted to announce that my free, exclusive tours of the Houses of Parliament will be returning, subject to change, in September 2021 after a hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic. If you are a constituent of mine you can now register your interest in taking part in a tour around the ‘corridors of power’ as my guest and you can bring your family, friends and neighbours too!

Being Member of Parliament for Romford, my home town, has been the privilege of my life and it is always an honour to be able to invite my constituents right into the heart of our great democracy and see the place where I work, on their behalf!

Simply click on this link to register.

Sarah Everard

As I made clear in my article to the Romford Recorder, what happened to Sarah Everard, who was murdered in March, was a hideous, heinous crime.

This must now act as a watershed moment for the safety of women and girls on our streets. I urge all my constituents to do their bit in helping to achieve this.

I submitted two questions to the Government to ask what steps are being taken to ensure the police retain the public's trust and what the Government is doing to support local authorities to keep people safe.

Getting my COVID jab

Two weeks ago I was vaccinated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at Victoria Centre, Romford. All went fine, it was over and done with in seconds and it didn’t hurt one bit! The experience was made so much easier and even a pleasure, thanks to the kindness and efficiency of Shallet, Jacky and James who looked after me so well!

I want to thank all those that helped me from the bottom of my heart!  What a great job you and all the NHS staff are doing for the people of Romford and across the United Kingdom!

I would urge all those who are eligible to get the vaccine - it is safe and effective.

How you will be contacted about the vaccine

The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the coronavirus vaccine. You do not need to do anything. You could be contacted by text, by email, or by letter. 

The NHS is basing its vaccination programme on a list of priority groups, which can be found here.

If you are one of the following priority groups, you can also book your vaccine online:

  • you are aged 50 or over
  • you have previously received a letter saying you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • you have a learning disability
  • you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

Everyone over 60 should have now been offered a vaccine. If you have not, please get in touch with your GP, or with me, at romford.mp@parliament.uk

You will be offered your second dose approximately 12 weeks after your first dose. You will be contacted by the NHS when the time comes.

The twelve week gap between vaccinations is a public health approach centred on doing as much good for as many people in the shortest possible timeframe. The short-term efficacy for the Pfizer vaccine is around 90 per cent, and around 76 per cent for the Oxford vaccine.

Nurses pay

Firstly, I want to echo the praise for our frontline NHS staff, who have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic, in very difficult circumstances, to save lives and help us in our fight against the virus.

I would like to see them receive a larger pay rise, but unfortunately, the Government cannot ignore the consequences of the pandemic on our public finances and have to take into consideration of our country’s economic position.

I believe the Government have given as much of a pay rise as can be afforded at the present time, but I hope that it will increase this as soon as it is possible to do so.

In the rest of the public sector, all but the lowest earners have had a pay freeze and this 1% pay rise is above the rate of inflation.

The pandemic has had a damaging impact on jobs and wages across the country. Many people have been living on 80% of their wages while on furlough for the past year and unemployment is predicted to rise over the coming months.

Private sector workers are also facing cuts to their wages, or risk losing their job altogether.

Whilst I too want to see the NHS staff get a bigger pay rise, the Government do not believe that it would be possible at this time, without being forced to make cuts in other areas of the NHS.

I hope that as our economy re-opens and the finances of our nation return to a more healthy position, we will be able to give a further pay rise to our NHS staff and I look forward to supporting that.

Changes to COVID rules

From 8 March: 

Outdoor recreation

You can spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation on your own, with your household or support bubble, or with one other person. This means you can sit down for a drink or picnic. You must continue to maintain social distance from those outside your household. This is in addition to outdoor exercise, which is already permitted.

Education and childcare

Pupils and students in all schools and further education settings should return to face-to-face education. Wraparound childcare can reopen and other children’s activities can restart only where it is needed to enable parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group. Vulnerable children can attend childcare and other children’s activities in all circumstances.

Students on practical higher education courses at English universities who have not already returned and would be unable to complete their courses if they did not return to take part in practical teaching, access specialist facilities or complete assessments will be able to return to higher education.

Travel out of the UK

There will continue to be restrictions on international travel. Holidays will not be a permitted reason to travel. Those seeking to leave the UK must complete an outbound declaration of travel form ahead of departure.

Visiting a care home

The rules on visiting care homes have changed to allow regular indoor visits for a single named visitor.

From 29 March:

  • you will be able to meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible)
  • you will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities will be able to reopen)
  • childcare and supervised activities will be allowed outdoors for all children
  • formally organised parent and child groups will be able to take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be counted in this number

From 1 April, if you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable you will no longer be advised to shield. However, you should continue to take extra precautions to protect yourself. It is important that you continue to keep the number of social interactions that you have low and try to limit the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing. If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. Contact your local authority or speak to your GP if you have any concerns.

Police funding boost to tackle violent crime

I'm delighted to see that the Government has announced an extra £130 million to tackle serious violent crime including £8,060,500 for the Metropolitan Police.

There will also be funding to expand domestic abuse perpetrator programmes, investigate gang related material on social media, increase employment opportunities for those at risk of serious violence and more money for homicide reviews to help prevent future deaths.

Keeping Havering safe is one of my top priorities and this announcement will make a real difference.

The Police and Crime Bill

On a related matter, March saw the Second Reading of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. A "Second Reading" is the first chance for M.P.s to debate proposed legislation (the First Reading is a formality, where the name of the Bill is simply announced to the House of Commons).

I know there are concerns about provisions in this Bill. Fortunately, there is plenty of time for scrutiny, to ensure it is a balanced piece of legislation. As a result, I voted for this Bill, because I believe in the principles of what it is trying to do. 

In my statement I said:

"The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is an important piece of legislation, which will create a stricter sentencing regime for the most dangerous of criminals. This means tougher sentences for sex offenders, child murderers and others. 

This Bill is still in its early stages and there is much to still be scrutinised. While it is clear that legislation needs to be updated to ensure proper powers for the police to deal with the most damaging and disruptive protests, such as those we have seen from Extinction Rebellion in recent years, concerns have been raised about the provisions of the Bill, particularly in light of the disastrous handling of the Sarah Everard vigil. 

I am absolutely clear: the police must be given the powers to deal with protests effectively. However, the police must use these powers proportionally and only when absolutely necessary.

I will be voting for this Bill at the Second Reading and I look forward to a proper process of scrutinisation to ensure that this Bill adequately balances the right to protest, with the rights of those whose lives may be severely impacted by such protests."



Questions in the House! 

This month I asked Government Ministers questions on the vaccine rollout, financial support for businesses, street safety, upgrades to Gallows Corner, pet theft and more.

You can find a full list of my written questions, as well as all my activity in the House of Commons chamber, on the "They Work For You" website.

Save our traditional Boats on the River Thames!

As an M.P. within the authority area of the London Borough of Havering, located on the Thames estuary and having spent much of my life in London, I am appalled at new proposals that will put so many of our traditional passenger boats on the River Thames out of business.  I gave a speech in a Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons last month about this topic, calling on the government to re-think their plans and look at alternatives.

To read my speech in full, see link here.

I also called for a fair system in how boats are charged for using the piers on the River Thames operated by Transport for London.  Currently, independent operators pay landing fees, whilst Uber Boats do not.  The Mayor of London is not helping, but there is no surprise there!

I am all too conscious of the role that our great River Thames has played in our nation’s history, and the role that it will undoubtedly play in our future. So I am pleased that to the east of London, the River Thames has once again become crucial for our trade, and in central and west London it continues to play a hugely important role for tourism and the London leisure economy.

I enthusiastically welcome the new Thames freeport, where thousands of new jobs will be created close to my Essex constituency, serving Romford, Havering, east London and the whole of the south-west Essex area. That is great news that we can celebrate today!

My response to the budget

On the 3rd of March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered a budget to the House of Commons which will provide billions to support businesses and families throughout the pandemic, ensure an investment-led recovery as we come out of lockdown and make some tough decisions on the public finances.

As I said in my statement to the media:

“The Budget outlined today will provide economic security to thousands in my constituency, who have relied on Government support as businesses have been forced to temporarily close by the coronavirus restrictions. 

It is right that, as restrictions will continue in some form until 21st June, the Government continues to provide unprecedented economic support to get the country through the final stages of the pandemic.  

Our economic future will ultimately depend on ending lockdown and restrictions once and for all. Given the mounting evidence that the vaccine causes significant drops in deaths, hospitalisations and transmission, the Government must make clear that the 21st of June is not the earliest that restrictions will be lifted, but the latest. 

A great, British summer will do more good for businesses in Romford and across the country than any measure the Chancellor could announce.” 

Read more about the budget.

Congratulations

Every month I see stories about people in Romford and Havering doing incredible, heroic things for our community. 

So let me say a huge well done and congratulations to Alok Shukla, from Gidea Park for walking from London to Brighton for charity, raising over £160. Also to Kian Crowley who was one of just 21 dancers chosen to join the UK’s flagship National Youth Dance Company of England. Also to Lisa Shukri, who has been volunteering at Victoria Hospital, helping with the vaccination programme.

If you know of someone doing great work to help the community, do get in touch and I'll give them a shout out!

A beautiful early spring day delivering newsletters with
Cllr. Judith Holt and my Campaign Co-ordinator Aaron Young!
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This M.P.'s e-Bulletin is published by Andrew Rosindell M.P., House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA


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