This week I visited Storrington’s Glebe Surgery to congratulate them on reaching their terrific milestone of delivering 10,000 jabs. They were one of the first West Sussex vaccination hubs, and are still going strong, working with their partner practices in Billingshurst, Steyning and Henfield. Combined with the national news that the Government beat its target of 15 million vaccinations, it has been a positive week. I thank everyone from our GP’s, the NHS, vaccine companies and even the Royal Logistics Corp for the success of this endeavour.
Readers may like to know that the aim now is to vaccinate all members of the priority groups before May. That includes everyone over 50 and those between 16-64 with certified health conditions and adult carers. All those who have already had their first jab can be reassured of their second within 12 weeks. And if anyone over 70 has not yet had a vaccine please now contact your GP. Working with the NHS I’ll keep the latest news on my website www.andrewgriffithmp.com.
Focus should move now to how we go about repairing our schools, colleges and the wider economy. I am supporting the #UnlockInn campaign which calls for a practical roadmap helping pubs to prepare for when they may reopen properly.
Pubs form an integral part of the community, especially in rural areas such as Arundel and the South Downs. They provide jobs and sustain networks of other businesses that rely on them being open, from butchers to breweries. They are often a hub for those suffering from loneliness and provide a real social service within the town or village.
A recent survey of pub landlords found that six in ten believe they will go out of business if restrictions continued until summer. Last year, many pubs were forced to spend thousands on covid-secure features. Despite this, even once they were allowed to reopen, many saw a major reduction in footfall and 57% of landlords reported that regulars had not returned.