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Rutland MP Alicia Kearns discusses flooding from Storm Henk

The storms were quite something last weekend, I for one was dashing around for pots and pans to catch water coming through the walls, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns (Con). I hope you all fared better!

Having visited some of our worst affected communities, I know some are still suffering from the flood damage caused by Storm Henk earlier this month.

I’m pleased that Councillor Lucy Stephenson called the first ever emergency meeting of the council last week as it gave a chance for residents to be heard directly, and to ensure flooding responses are given the scrutiny it needs.

Rutland MP Alicia Kearns
Rutland MP Alicia Kearns

I recently met the owners of the White Lion Inn in Whissendine, which was forced to shut temporarily after the devastating floods, and I’ll be working hard in coming months to identify what more we can do to support our communities with flooding.

Down in Westminster I met the local government minister, Simon Hoare MP, to discuss Government funding and support for those affected by floods locally.

As we experience the country’s most active storm season since records began, we must learn how we can mitigate and avoid such damaging floods in the future.

Turning to some good news locally, I’m delighted to share that 17 churches in Rutland have received funding from the Government’s Listed Places of Worship Grant scheme for restoration and conservation! I would encourage all of our local wardens to apply for this important fund if they haven’t done so already, and ensure the future and sustainability of these much-loved community assets for future generations.

Over the past few months, I have been working hard on planning my campaign to target Rutland’s low dementia diagnosis rates, which are well below the national target.

I have been engaging with national charities and local organisations on this regularly, and I hope to improve rates of early dementia diagnosis and support available post-diagnosis to those living with dementia in Rutland, as well as their carers and loved ones.

Do look out for more details on this, which will be made public later this year.

One of my favourite parts of my job as your MP is getting out and about meeting the amazing powerhouses and groups who play such an important role in our communities.

I recently met The Ehlers-Danlos Support UK to discuss this little-known syndrome and the work of their incredible Rutland and Leicestershire support group.

The Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) are a group of rare inherited conditions that affect connective tissue and can have a life-changing impact on those living with the condition and their families.

Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who give up their time to provide invaluable support to these families.

Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with Tim Ives, Justin Perry and Olive Branch owner, Ben Jones, on the wonderful ‘Pub Natter’ podcast. We discussed everything from my journey to becoming an MP, to my experiences as a woman in Parliament and becoming the first female chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Do have a listen to support this local podcast!

Finally, it was great to meet Harry Campden at Exton Park Estate to learn more about the fascinating history of the Estate and all they do for our local community. Thank you for taking the time to show me around the beautiful parkland.

Wishing you all a lovely fortnight.

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