Earlier this month, Julian took part in the minute's silence as part of the National Day of Reflection. His thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has lost a loved one.
Julian continues to monitor the Coronavirus situation across North Yorkshire and has attended weekly briefing calls with local officials, those from the Local Resilience Forum, the NHS and the Police. From the meetings, it has been good to hear that rates of hospitalisation in North Yorkshire are declining and positive progress is being made with the vaccination programme. To date over 53,000 people have now received at least 1 dose of their vaccine in Skipton and Ripon.
This month a new Covid vaccination centre was established in Skipton. Whilst this is welcome news, Julian is aware that a number of residents in Skipton were unable to book their vaccinations at the centre and had to travel to other vaccination sites. Julian has made repeated representations on this to Government and last week following continued correspondence he spoke to the Bradford District and Craven CCG advocating for a more flexible use of the facility for residents in Skipton. He is confident that new initiatives are being explored to open up greater access to the vaccine in and around Skipton.
Whilst progress is being made, it is clear that the pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health. Last week, Julian introduced a virtual event by PeerTalk. PeerTalk organises group meetings in Settle and Skipton for people who experience depression and anxiety as well as offering support to their families. PeerTalk is just one of a number of community-based initiatives in the constituency.
Julian spoke with the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire with regard to recent issues in Ripon. Julian also attended the virtual meeting of the Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee, to give an update and take questions from attendees.
This month schemes in Skipton and elsewhere across North Yorkshire have secured £31.2m funding from the Department for Transport's Transforming Cities Fund (TCF). Whilst, Yorkshire and Humber have secured £154 million towards 42 projects to upgrade public buildings with energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures to make them greener. This includes:
- Over £14 million for Harrogate and District Foundation Trust
- Over £2 million for Harrogate Borough Council
- Over £1.9 million for North Yorkshire County Council
- Over £130,000 for the North Yorkshire Dales National Park
Julian has continued to hold weekly telephone surgeries with constituents and businesses across the constituency - physical surgeries should restart in April.