I know how hard local businesses have been hit by the return to national restrictions. From the emails and conversations I have had with constituents, I know many are keen to access the financial support available to them in the face of closures and extraordinary challenges.
On Saturday I visited the Bicester Vaccination Centre at Bicester Heritage. The site is run by nurses and clinicians from the three Bicester GP practices: Alchester Medical Group, Bicester Health Centre and Montgomery House Surgery.
Following news earlier this week I wanted to reassure parents that schools remain open for vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers, as do special schools. I had really hoped we would have been able to keep schools open for all pupils.
I am deeply disappointed that we have had to return to a national lockdown. However, I know the decision was not taken lightly. We have seen a rapid rise in infections across the country since the new strain of the virus was identified in December.
The past year has been difficult for us all, but I know many will be feeling especially lonely this Christmas. We have all had to make changes to our festive plans and many more people will be facing the prospect of spending Christmas Day by themselves.
Last night, MPs voted on the new localised tier system. I have received lots of emails from concerned constituents. I can assure them all that I understand the strength of feeling on this matter. The past year has been difficult for us all.
It is really good news that a local testing site has opened at Woodgreen Leisure Centre in Banbury. The walk-through facility will improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for all those living in North Oxfordshire.
At the weekend, the Government launched the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. Building on the significant support given to the most vulnerable during the pandemic, the new £170m Fund will be run by councils in England.