The post office on Ware High St is set to open next month! Contracts are signed and Postmaster Elliot Jacobs, who also runs Hertford Post Office in Maidenhead St, is set to take over the old Martin’s site. This is fantastic news and something I have worked hard to secure since the former post office’s closure. Restoring postal and banking services to the centre of Ware is important and really will make a difference to people’s everyday lives. Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign so enthusiastically from the start. I look forward to celebrating its opening soon.
This campaign really shone a spotlight on the need for local banking services in our area. I remain concerned about the wider trend towards their closure, particularly with both NatWest and HSBC branches in Hertford shutting this summer. I raised this with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury and contacted LINK, the operator of the UK’s largest ATM network, to explore the potential for new access to cash services. Exactly what this might look like depends on their expert assessment of what residents need but it is an important first step in the right direction. I will keep you posted on any updates.
In Bishop’s Stortford, I was thrilled to present a £50,000 cheque from Stansted Airport’s Community Fund to Grove Cottage, an amazing charity that provides support to people with learning disabilities and their families. The money will help refurbish the organisation’s premises and ensure it is fit for their growing needs. I also met with Bishop’s Stortford Climate Group again to discuss a range of issues, from sustainable travel to heat pumps. It was a good meeting with lots to take away from.
I am delighted that new support for local Ukrainians is on its way. East Herts District Council will receive £217,029 in government funding to help Ukrainians move into their own homes and secure employment. Having met and supported many to settle in Hertford and Stortford, I know what a difference this will make. With the extension on how long Ukrainians can use their driving licences in the UK to three years, these measures will undoubtedly help them to thrive in our community. I continue to support this every step of the way.
Our area is filled with commuter towns, meaning problems with trains are especially frustrating. I know there have been some teething issues with Greater Anglia’s new timetable which is why I met with them to raise people’s concerns. Greater Anglia assured me they are monitoring travel patterns in response, including on passenger numbers and train capacity, and will react quickly when needed. The timetable changes are part of their plan to improve services and efficiency following the pandemic. We now have more carriages and more trains. Though progress is good there is more to do and I am on the case. If problems continue to affect you, please email me at email@example.com.