What A First 100 Days!

It seems a lifetime ago that we welcomed in a majority government on the 12th December 2019.  Yet it is just 100 days.  I had hoped to be able to write at the end of those first 100 days of the successes I have secured for North Devon, and there have been some, rather than today be pleased that the majority of our hotels, holiday parks and campsites have just closed their doors.

It started so well, we said we would get Brexit done, and indeed we did within just a few weeks of the new Parliament.  The second issue on the doorstep back in December was broadband and there is good news on this as well.  I met with the CEO of Openreach in Westminster in February, and nine days later he and his senior team were in Barnstaple with me.  I am delighted to confirm that there will be better broadband as early as May for many businesses in Barnstaple.  We are optimistic that Lynton will see an improvement in their services this summer as well as a new Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) for 138 homes in Kings Nympton by the autumn.  The CFP will hopefully form a blueprint for other villages to secure fibre directly to their premises.

And having established myself as the one-woman tourist board for North Devon in Westminster, it is with great dismay that I am pleased today to be welcoming decisions by hotels, holiday parks and campsites to close and be leading a campaign for our tourists not to come.  Non-essential travel should be avoided and this clearly includes not travelling to second homes, self catering cottages or campsites.  Our critical care facilities at our hospital simply cannot take the swell in population we normally see at this time of year, it is designed only for our permanent population.

The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. It calls for decisive action, at home and abroad, of the kind not normally seen in peacetime.  This is why we are doing everything we can to tackle the pandemic and mitigate its impact. Our goal is clear.  The overriding objective is to save lives, protect the vulnerable and support the NHS so it can help those who need it the most.

I know these are difficult and unprecedented times, but we will get through this together and North Devon will bounce back as a thriving tourist destination the other side.  At this difficult time we need to follow government guidance to ensure our health service does not become overwhelmed and support our incredible NHS staff who I would like to thank for their hard work and dedication.

In recent days so much has changed.  However, we have also seen the best in our neighbours who are setting up voluntary groups and ensuring the most vulnerable in our community are cared for.  There are going to be challenges ahead, but I will be here for all of you, however you voted last December.  My website, selainesaxby.org.uk, is being constantly updated with new information and the most up to date is all available on the gov.uk website. 

Please take care over the next 100 days, social distancing is not a choice, but a necessity to keep ourselves, our family, our friends and our NHS safe.