This week has seen some good news in the fight against Covid-19 as Nottinghamshire will benefit from rapid mass testing and will receive 20,000 of these per week between the city and the rest of the county.
This is a welcome announcement in a week where we have also been given hope with the potential development of a vaccine, which could be rolled out very soon.
Whilst this is really encouraging, it’s important to emphasise that we must not be complacent and that we still need to do our best to keep infection rates down.
More positive news has been the announcement of the £170 million covid winter grant scheme.
The money will reach the hardest hit during the pandemic, helping families put food on the table, heat homes and pay bills.
The holiday and activities food programme, which has provided healthy food and engaging activities to disadvantaged children since 2018, will also be extended across England next year.
Healthy Start scheme payments are also set to increase from £3.10 to £4.25 from next April.
This scheme supports pregnant women or those with children under four to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, helping boost their long-term health and education.
These measures go above and beyond any support that has been previously provided and helps make sure we tackle some of the root causes of deprivation and poverty, rather than sticking plasters such as voucher schemes.
This money will allow councils to target those most in need and help with food, heat and bills and is a far more sensible approach than the Labour/celebrity campaign, which simply wanted to throw vouchers at people.
Finally, the government has released some guidance for students wishing to return home for Christmas.
From December 3 to 9, which will be known as the ‘student travel window’, students will be allowed to travel home on staggered departure dates set by universities.
Universities should move learning online by December 9 so students can continue their education while also having the option to return home to study from there.
Brendan Clarke-Smith is MP for Bassetlaw.