Weston MP looking forward to a 'new normal' post-Covid

John Penrose

Weston MP John Penrose. - Credit: Archant

We aren't out of the woods yet but, thanks to most of us being responsible and following the rules, our local covid infection rate is dropping steadily.

There were real worries the new coronavirus variants would be too infectious, but thank goodness they were wrong. And with the vaccine rollout going flat out, we can start to look forward to a slow and steady return to normality.

But will our 'new normal' be the same as the old? Will we want to go back to the morning commute after months of Zoom meetings from home? Or go shopping at places like Cribbs Causeway when we've all got used to buying much more online?

Nobody really knows yet, but the Chancellor and the Business Secretary are starting to look ahead. So they asked me to work out how post-Covid, post-Brexit Britain needs to change so we all get more and better choices in shops, online and at work.

Some of it is already visible right here in Weston. Whether it’s the education business who contacted me this week about expanding into digital tuition; the local coffee shop diversifying into a zero waste refill store; the council trying to repurpose the Sovereign Centre towards local independent stores and small businesses; or telecoms firms digging up local streets to install alternatives to Openreach’s ultrafast broadband. The one certainty is change.

If you're interested in my recommendations, they're at www.johnpenrose,org or just Google my report's 'Power To The People' title. But if you haven't got time, it says Britain's new economy must be firmly on the side of consumers like you and me, rather than bureaucrats, bosses or politicians. Then even if the 'new normal' is completely different than before, it will still be exciting and fun. Let's beat the virus, and bring back normal soon!

Weston MP John Penrose


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