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Crawley school pupils urged to ‘take to the streets’ for Walk To School Week

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After a week of rain there is break from the wet weather till Thursday, something that will hopefully help with this call to action.

Crawley’s MP Henry Smith is calling on pupils in Crawley to celebrate the strides they have made to improve air quality and get more active by walking to school, as part of Walk to School Week (5th to 9th October 2020).

Henry said;

“Walk to School Week gives children the chance to enjoy fresh air and exercise. It reduces congestion, improves road safety and means we have cleaner air around schools.

“Walk to School Week provides a fantastic opportunity for families to give walking to school a go and see how they could make a more permanent change to how they travel.

“I hope many more families in Crawley will give walking to school a go for Walk to School Week.”

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

It aims to encourage families to try healthier and greener ways to travel to school. Living Streets is also campaigning for changes to the Highway Code to put people first and a ban on pavement parking.

A generation ago, 70 per cent of children walked to school, now it is less than half. The Government say they have recognised the importance of walking to school and set the first ever walk to school target in its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, to get 55 per cent of primary school pupils walking to school by 2025.

Mary Creagh, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said;

“Walking to school is a fun and easy way for families to get active.

“We’re thrilled that local pupils are joining thousands of children nationwide to swap the school run for a school walk. We need safer streets so more families have confidence to walk to school.”

For more information on Walk to School Week please click here.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Brexit and a vaccine

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about Brexit and the new Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

As the UK entered the New Year it did so having finally delivered what Crawley and the country voted for in the Brexit referendum almost half a decade previously.

Last week I voted for the European Union (Future Relationship) Act which allows the British Government to implement and ratify the agreements secured between the UK and the EU.

With no role for the European Court of Justice and no requirements for the UK to continue to follow EU law, and no more payments of billions of pounds to Brussels, we fulfil one of the key aims of Brexit, which is to secure this country’s political and economic independence. This means, of course, that our laws are determined by elected politicians in the United Kingdom who are accountable to the British people.

Britain’s commitment to maintaining high labour, environment and climate standards now ensure we do not give the EU any say over our rules.

In areas such as the living wage, entitlements to sick pay, parental leave and annual leave, UK policy already goes further than EU requirements.

The Future Relationship Act represents the largest free trade agreement in history, not only allowing the UK full access to the EU but also the ability to strike trade deals globally, following recent agreements already signed with countries including Japan, Canada and Turkey.

Looking ahead to 2021; it is welcome that the start of the year has seen the roll-out of the UK-developed University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination.

On Monday the NHS began administering over half a million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, with 100 million doses secured in total. This is part of a national vaccination programme alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which has already seen more people inoculated in the UK than the rest of Europe put together. Indeed Great Britain was first globally by several weeks in delivering COVID-19 vaccines to its citizens.

The Government’s plan to roll out vaccinations as swiftly as possible is well underway, with 1,000 vaccination sites up and running by the end of the week.

With this further welcome news on the vaccine we can see an end to the blight of Covid in sight. These are still challenging times but global Britain will deliver in 2021.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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