I’VE been out and about in Taunton and Wellington and am pleased that many businesses are now open, and many people are also taking advantage of the £10 Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Government advice on re-opening businesses and wearing face coverings is based on the continually evolving science, as well as balancing safety, civil liberties and the need to restore the economy and social life.

Face coverings are now required (with exemptions for some) on public transport, in shops and supermarkets; from August 8 in museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship; and are encouraged in any enclosed public spaces where there are people you do not normally meet.

Some other services, including bowling alleys, which were due to reopen on August 1 have had their date pushed back until August 15 at the earliest in the light of data suggesting infections are rising. I continue to liaise with Ministers to ensure the interests of enterprises like this in Taunton Deane are represented.

Delivering an economy which is stronger, greener, more sustainable and more resilient are key drivers for Government and priorities for me as the MP, as we recover from the virus.

In this vein I am delighted that my work with regional power distributor, Western Power, has resulted in Taunton being selected as the location for the pioneering ‘DC Share Project’ which will help facilitate the uptake of rapid electric vehicle charging equipment, helping to decarbonise transport and reduce emissions.

It will use smart technology to unlock spare electrical capacity from across Taunton to power 15 rapid EV chargers and aims to get over 110,000 EVs moving in the South West by 2023. The charge points will be available by the Spring of 2022 following installation next year. Charging will be free for local people throughout the 12-month trial. The charging stations will then be passed to a local service provider. Having recently rented an electric car I realise that having a reliable charging network is key to enabling the step change needed to moving society to the EV world.

For more detail on my work on the environmental agenda, see my latest e-bulletin available from www.rebeccapow.org.uk or email rebecca.pow.mp@parliament.uk.


MP for Taunton Deane