Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown questions Government on covid vaccine roll-out

4th February 2021

Following the Government statement on the covid vaccine roll-out, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown asks when it is expected that the all nine priority categories will be completed and how this will influence the reopening of businesses and the wider economy.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con) [V]
I am sure my hon. Friend would like to join me in paying huge tribute to the NHS colleagues and volunteers who have rolled out the vaccine with such speed in Gloucestershire. However, is he able to tell the House whether there will be any clarity about when the nine priority categories are likely to be completed? Will that inform the Government on how they can produce a road map for a roll-out of the wider economy, as my businesses in the Cotswolds are desperate for clarity on that matter?
 
Nadhim Zahawi 
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his question. I will certainly join him in thanking the NHS family and army of volunteers. They have done phenomenally well. I can tell him that in his STP in Gloucestershire, 94% of the over-80s have received their first dose—that is pretty good going. He will know that we have built a deployment infrastructure than can deploy as much vaccine supply as we are able to bring in. A couple of Saturdays ago, we reached a record of just shy of 600,000 doses in a single day. That is, I guess, a demonstration of the capability of the infrastructure. We continue to grow it, as I announced today. It is very much dependent on vaccine supply. We have good visibility from here to the end of March, with more volume coming through beyond that. My focus should—I hope he agrees—be on the mid-February deadline to vaccinate those top four cohorts of the most vulnerable. That is 88% of mortality and, if we can get them done by mid-February, we will have achieved a real milestone in our fight against this virus.
 

PUBLIC MEETING

THE COTSWOLDS
FLOOD RESILIENCE

An opportunity for residents of Bledington, South Cerney, Cerney Wick, Siddington, Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade and Moreton-in-Marsh to hear and ask questions of the continued flood resilience work taking place and to speak with officials from the County and District Councils, Parish Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency about ongoing issues.  

PUBLIC MEETING

 Friday 5 March 2021
1030-1245

VIA ZOOM ONLY

Please email Bettertonj@parliament.uk if you wish to participate in the call and also include any questions or concerns you would like to have discussed.  I will then forward the Zoom invitation.

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Planning White Papers

I have submitted my responses to the two planning consultations: “Changes to the current planning system’ and “Planning for the future’.

These planning changes are one of the most significant events to affect the Cotswolds since WWII. I think that both papers contain positive proposals, in our case commitments to protect the AONB. The proposal to abolition Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should speed up the planning process and it is important that the money is retained locally so that the infrastructure can be built at the same time as the development. 

Too often we see a development being built long before the supporting infrastructure, which I know can cause significant issues for existing residents. The proposals to simplify and speed up local plan-making and retaining neighbourhood plans where possible are welcome, in that design codes can be specified so it should be possible to protect our unique Cotswolds vernacular.   

I spoke in the planning backbench business debate on the 8 October and called for a change to the algorithm the Government uses in its planning White Paper which fails to take account of local variations and concentrates all new house building in the south-east and central south of England. 

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