Rutland MP Alicia Kearns talks about Remembrance Sunday, a new woodland for Clipsham and good news for Voluntary Action Rutland
There are few of us without a personal connection to the Armed Forces, and nowhere is this more true than Rutland, where one in five of our community have a connection to the Armed Forces, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns (Con).
We also have the largest community of children of members of our Armed Forces in the country, so it is always particularly moving, and a privilege, to see the outpouring of gratitude and respect across Rutland in memory of the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces over Remembrance weekend. It is our responsibility to ensure that the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice is never forgotten. Thank you to those who protect our nation, and to your forefathers, friends and fellow service men and women.
In news locally, I am pleased to share that Forestry England has unveiled new plans to create a new, publicly accessible woodland near Clipsham, providing yet another opportunity to explore the wildlife and beautiful countryside we are fortunate to be surrounded by. If you would like to comment on the proposed designs before planting begins, do have your say through the survey currently running on Forestry England’s website.
Last fortnight I reported back that Voluntary Action Rutland (VAR) is set to receive an uplift in Government funding for their Community Transport Scheme. Following this good news, it was great to visit to meet with Chief Executive Tom Walters and many of the team about how this financial boost will help this brilliant charity. VAR has been helping Rutlanders for over 40 years, providing important community transport services and volunteer support. I am so grateful to the team of volunteers here who give up so much of their time to give others greater independence – it really is Rutland at our best.
Volunteers are the backbone of so many of our amazing local organisations, and it was a pleasure also to meet the team of volunteers, led by the powerhouse that is Ali Wainright, at Rutland Foodbank recently. Their work to support local residents is important, and I look forward to working with them to support families and individuals who find themselves in crisis or struggling with the cost of living.
Last week I also met with Principal Solly and chairman of Governors Geoff Thompson at Uppingham Community College. We discussed developments the school has made to its site and priorities for supporting students – thank you to the three students who took the time to talk to me!
I also recently met with Pierre and Emily at the Stonemasonry Company in Ketton, where I had a fascinating time learning about the process involved in making natural stone structures and the incredible level of craftsmanship that is involved. It’s wonderful to have a world-leading company based here in Rutland – their staircases have specially crafted steel ropes concealed inside to give the clever effect of a floating staircase – don’t say that stonemasons live in the Stone Age (I stole that joke from them)!
Although road safety is the purview of Rutland County Council, I will do what I can to support our councillors and raise the concerns of our communities. I recently met with some residents and fantastic Uppingham Councillor Lucy Stephenson to discuss safety issues on the London Road section of the A6003. School children regularly walk on the narrow pavement along this road, so there are concerns around speeding, and as many of you know, there was an accident a few months back – although fortunately no one was hurt.
Rounding off this fortnight I am delighted to open nominations for Rutland and Melton’s Favourite Independent Shop Awards 2023 - last year over 19,000 votes were cast! It’s my way to celebrate our wonderful independent businesses, so can I ask you to please do your Christmas shopping locally and get your nominations in for the 15 different categories via my website before December 11!
Wishing you all a lovely fortnight