I hope everyone had a restful Easter. It was certainly good weather for a change and there were lots of events in Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and our surrounding villages for everyone to enjoy regardless of their faith or beliefs.
Parliament has been in recess for a couple of weeks which allowed me a few days’ rest, then a trip to Washington DC with some fellow MPs and also some constituency visits.
I went to St Michael’s Church to see the work to renovate the clock tower. Though restoration of the bells remains ongoing, they are a magnificent sight and will be well worth a visit over the coming months.
It was also a pleasure to visit the award-winning Fish Yard which recently won the ‘Best Regional Takeaway’ at the British Kebab Awards 2022. I met with the staff and owner Inan to congratulate them on their accolade.
I also visited East Herts Black Parents Assembly (EHBPA) where I met with members Abdul Momoh and Nii Thompson, and the Sawbridgeworth Town Clerk, Chris Hunt.
The meeting was a chance for me to introduce myself to EHBPA and help support the group in its work and in growing its network of members across East Herts.
The aim of the assembly is to create positive social space for black and biracial families. The group meets to discuss action on EHBPA priorities that include education, policy, planning and local services.
Chris Hunt and the Sawbridgeworth Town Mayor, councillor Greg Rattey, are also developing a partnership engagement event for the community later this year which will be supported by both myself and EHBPA members. I am looking forward to it.
Earlier this month the Government announced its British Energy Security Strategy to ensure we can meet our long-term energy needs.
Over the decades we have imported energy in the shape of electricity from the continent or supplies of oil and gas from across the globe but the rise in energy prices due to a post-Covid spike in global demand and the war in Ukraine has made ministers come up with a plan to ensure our energy security.
The strategy lays out medium to long-term proposals to give the country energy security through a variety of ways and using different forms of power generation.
New nuclear power stations will be built to give us carbon free high-density power but major investment will also be made in renewables like offshore wind and solar plus the development of hydrogen.
In the meantime, licences to extract gas from the North Sea will be given as we transition to cleaner energy and fuels.
This will give all areas of the UK, including Bishop’s Stortford opportunities to be part of this strategy either as locations for green energy or through supply chain opportunities.
We need a good, reliable and clean energy mix if we are to continue to power our homes, industry and the new generation of electric vehicles coming online.