A new year brings fresh hope for the future.
I recently spoke with the team working their socks off at the Exmouth vaccination centre. After just over a week in operation, they managed to provide the first dose of the vaccine to 2,000 people before Christmas. It’s quite an incredible feat considering it’s not the only place people in East Devon can be vaccinated. The vaccine is also available in Exeter and Tiverton with more locations on the way. Members of my family in Devon have had their first dose and it’s great to hear how smoothly the process has been considering the speed of the roll-out. Once again, our healthcare professionals are going above and beyond.
It’s been just over a year since I was elected as the MP for East Devon. I remember many conversations on the doorstep throughout the campaign about local transport. For those of us who live along or regularly use the Avocet Line connecting Exmouth and Exeter, one issue kept coming up. For years, passengers have put up with the dreaded Pacer trains. Often referred to as buses on tracks, they first came into service in the 1980s. Finally, newer, more comfortable trains have now taken their place to improve journeys.
We all long for normality and one of my favourite past times is a trip to the cinema. We don’t have to go far to watch the latest releases with cinemas in Exmouth and Sidmouth. As you can imagine, it wasn’t the best year for the flicks but I’m glad the government has stepped in to support East Devon’s independent cinemas with £84,000 to help secure their future – and I’m really looking forward to visiting to see the next Bond film!
We also start the year in a new relationship with our friends in the European Union. As I write this, negotiations are on-going. I’ve always wanted a deal, but not at any cost. With trade agreements already signed across the world, we start the year with a new relationship with the world. Let’s look ahead, grasp the opportunities and embrace our future.
This column first appeared in the Exmouth Journal on Friday 1st January 2021.