The Good News This Week

It’s not all doom and gloom in the media. Once again there’s been oodles of positivity coming in from across Britain this week (15th – 21st March).

Here are our best read news stories from the last seven days. Enjoy the positive news. Britain is certainly building back better! #TheGoodNewsThisWeek

10. Over 25 million Brits have received first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Significant milestone reached as almost half of all UK adults in the UK get the vaccine. Figures released this week show the UK health services vaccinated a total of 25,273,226 people between 8 December and 16 March with first doses of the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, while 1,759,445 people have had their second dose. This means almost half of the adult population (26.5 million) have already been vaccinated and will soon develop strong protection from serious illness, saving countless lives and significantly reducing pressure on the NHS… Click here

9. DfT announces 650 roles to be created in Birmingham and Leeds

DfT has this week announced the creation of a second HQ in Birmingham and a northern hub in Leeds, as part of a plan to create 650 roles in the cities. The move is part of the government’s commitment to diversifying the Civil Service, ensuring decisions are rooted in the communities it serves. It is a particularly important step for DfT, given the huge role it has to play in levelling up the UK through investment in vital transport infrastructure and services. It is the latest step in the government’s drive to move 22,000 Civil Service roles from London to communities across the UK by 2030… Click here

8. Millions of students back in class

Over seven million children were back in schools and colleges last week, as new data released this shows the full scale of national school returns. Primary schools opened to all pupils on Monday 8 March, and as of Monday 15 March, 94% of children were back in the classroom with their teachers and friends. Secondary schools had the option to stagger the return of their students over the week beginning 8 March to help facilitate testing for students before they returned to education. As of 15 March, 89% of secondary school pupils were in school, the highest rate of attendance since the start of the pandemic… Click here

7. Boris launches £3 billion bus revolution

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has this week unveiled the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation, which will see lower, simpler flat fares in towns and cities, turn-up-and-go services on main routes, and new flexible services to reconnect communities. The government’s new bus strategy, backed by £3 billion of investment, will see passengers across England benefiting from more frequent, more reliable, easier to use and understand, better coordinated and cheaper bus services… Click here

6. Thousands of rough sleepers to be supported with £212 million government investment in homes

Thousands more rough sleepers will be helped to rebuild their lives away from the streets thanks to a multi-million-pound investment in dedicated homes launched this week by the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP. Homes will be made available in every region of England, enabling people who sleep rough, or at risk of sleeping rough, to be rehoused in secure, long-term accommodation. This will provide some of the most vulnerable in society with a place to live and help them to rebuild their lives as they transition away from life on the streets. Through this scheme, rough sleepers will be supported by specialist staff to access the help they need, such as support for mental health or substance misuse needs, so they can move towards training and work, and finding a permanent home… Click here

5. Grant scheme to encourage more people to make the switch to electric cars, vans and trucks

As more people than ever opt for electric vehicles, the government announces changes to the plug-in car, van and truck grant. The grant scheme for electric cars, vans and trucks has been updated to target less expensive models and reflect a greater range of affordable vehicles available, allowing the scheme’s funding to go further and help more people make the switch to an electric vehicle. From today this week the government will provide grants of up to £2,500 for electric vehicles on cars priced under £35,000… Click here

4. Priti Patel to strengthen Police and Crime Commissioner role

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will be more accountable to the communities they serve as a result of a review led by Home Secretary Priti Patel, by requiring them to explain their record on crime to the public and strengthening their relationship with the Chief Constable and force. The Home Secretary outlined the recommendations of part 1 of the review this week which ensures the public have transparent, democratically-elected, local leaders who are equipped to drive down crime and deliver the safer communities the public deserve. It could also see them lead a wider range of services, in time, such as fire and rescue… Click here

3. Prince Philip returns home to Windsor Castle following month long hospital stay

Prince Philip left King Edward VII’s Hospital in London this week, one month after he was first admitted. The 99-year-old, who had heart surgery earlier this month, is said to be in “good spirits” after being discharged and has now returned to Windsor Castle. In a statement on Tuesday, Buckingham Palace said the duke was discharged “following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition.” Philip, who is set to celebrate his 100th birthday in June, is now home in Windsor with the Queen… Click here

2. New £5 billion ‘Project Gigabit’ to connect the UK

More than one million hard to reach homes and businesses will have next generation gigabit broadband built to them in the first phase of a £5 billion government infrastructure project. Up to 510,000 homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Tees Valley will be the first to benefit as part of ‘Project Gigabit’. Their available speeds will rocket to more than 1,000 megabits or one gigabit per second. It means families no longer having to battle over bandwidth and will give people in rural areas the freedom to live and work more flexibly. Contracts for these first areas will go to tender in the spring with spades in the ground in the first half of 2022. In June the government expects to announce the next procurements to connect up to 640,000 premises in Norfolk, Shropshire, Suffolk, Worcestershire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight… Click here

1. UK and Canadian Trade Ministers celebrate trade deal ratification

UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Canadian Minister for Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng have this week spoken to welcome the ratification of the UK-Canada trade continuity agreement and to commit to bringing it into force next month. In December the UK and Canada agreed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure exporters could continue to benefit from preferential tariff rates until the deal is brought into force. The agreement, which supports total trade between Canada and the UK worth £22.4bn in 2019, will help both countries build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting high-quality jobs in industries such as automotive and food and drink… Click here

If you’re on ClubHouse, join us at 7pm (gmt) on Sunday March 21st for The Good News This Week show with Claire Bullivant, Mike Rouse, Joshua Godfrey and Adam Kent.

If you have some good news please contact us at editor@conservativepost.co.uk.

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