Newent visit

‘Are You Being Served?' The people of Newent certainly are!

I really enjoyed getting out and about in Newent yesterday during my latest walkabout to see how our local retail businesses are reopening across the Forest of Dean in a Covid-secure way. I was joined by Newent’s County Councillor, Will Windsor Clive.

I visited shops including Country Corner, Gooch Sports, The Patchwork Basket and the Newent Association for the Disabled shop.

It was encouraging to hear that every shop had been able to take advantage of the Government’s unprecedented package of economic support to businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic – from the small business grant to the Job Retention Scheme.

I am in conversation with the Forest of Dean District Council about how to strike the right balance between encouraging social distancing and still encouraging people to come and park and shop in Newent. It’s a balance that must be struck.

We are really lucky to have some superb retail businesses across the Forest of Dean constituency, and I look forward to visiting some more businesses across the constituency over the coming weeks, with shopping local as important as it’s ever been.