ACTS of Remembrance have been very different this year. It has been so sad that our traditional services have been curtailed.
On Remembrance Sunday, Lyme Regis’ town crier kindly laid my wreath at the town’s war memorial, whilst I was in Beaminster, but I was pleased to join the mayor and others to lay wreaths at the HMS Formidable grave and at the Polish Airforce memorial on Saturday, November 7 – the first time an MP has taken part for a very long time, I believe.
This year was the 100 year anniversary of The Cenotaph in London and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. On Armistice Day I laid a wreath at The Cenotaph, as the MP for West Dorset, and privately attended the grave of the Unknown Warrior later that evening.
I felt an enormous sense of duty in doing so and hope that I will have expressed your will, especially given there are so many from West Dorset who would have liked to travel to London for this occasion but were unable to because of the lockdown.
I was disgusted by Extinction Rebellion’s opportunistic hijack of The Cenotaph on Armistice Day. However, I was proud to restore solemn dignity to the memory of our fallen soldiers later that evening by personally removing Extinction Rebellion’s political ‘wreath’ from our nation’s great symbol of Remembrance.
Lats week, the government has announced important new wraparound support schemes for children and families. Nearly £1million in ring-fenced funding has been allocated to Dorset Council, especially to help with food and essentials this winter. It is the council which is best placed, with its existing network and connections, to reach those in the most need.
Schools will focus their budgets on educating, while continuing to provide term-time meals for children who need them, so there is no reason why any child should go hungry at home or at school, in West Dorset nor anywhere else in the UK.
The government will also extend help through a separate scheme, including activities, to run during school holidays throughout 2021 – plus an increase in the level of Healthy Start support from April next year.
Despite opposition claims, this is not a U-turn. And this is not the short-term scheme that the Labour Party was calling for. This is a comprehensive, effective and longer-term solution to provide for, and enrich, the lives of disadvantaged children.
For full details visit the website www.chrisloder.co.uk/families